The Best Dry Rub for Chicken

ChickenDry RubSpice Mix

This premade All-Purpose Chicken Spice Rub is great on every part of the chicken! You can even sprinkle it on roasted potatoes or vegetables.

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

Summertime means pulling out the grill! When I cook out, I usually want to stick to the basics, nothing too fussy. That often means picking up some chicken and throwing some rub on it before I grill it.

I like to make my own spice rub because I can control what goes into it and tweak it to my own tastes. Having a pre-made batch of the rub stored in the pantry means dinner is ready fast.

Dry rub chicken wings overhead shot of dry rub in jar with lid on side

WHAT’S IN THIS SPICE BLEND

This chicken rub uses a lot of paprika, along with granulated garlic and onion powder. It also has herbal notes with the addition of oregano and dried thyme. The coriander adds a floral, citrusy note, which works well with the neutral flavor of chicken meat.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR RUB

As with all spice rubs, you can customize the blend to your own taste.

  • Omit the cayenne if you don’t like it spicy.
  • Consider more pepper or reduce the salt to suit your palate.
  • Add herbs and spices such as dried basil, parsley, marjoram or sage to give the rub a more pronounced green herbal note.
  • Lemon, lime or orange zest add a citrus touch.
  • Porcini mushroom powder gives the blend an earthy savory umami kick. You can find it upscale grocery stores and online.

USE FRESH SPICES AND HERBS

Pantry herbs and spices don’t go bad, but they do lose potency and flavor. It’s best to use fresher dried herbs and spices for best flavor with this rub.

Most herbs and spices have a 2-year shelf life for potency. You can test each herb and spice by crushing a pinch of the spice or herb with your fingers and smelling it. If it smells dull or musty, it’s time to replace it.

Pro tip: Use an airtight glass jar to mix the ingredients together and you’ll save on cleanup!

Chicken spice rub recipe - mix of spices in bowl

HOW LONG DOES THIS RUB LAST AND HOW SHOULD I STORE IT?

Store this spice rub in an airtight container in the pantry with the rest of your herbs and spices, clearly labeled with a date. If the spices you used are fresh, the rub should last a solid two years. If your spices aren’t quite that fresh, the rub won’t last as long.

WHAT TO USE IT ON

This spice rub is great on all chicken parts—breasts, thighs, legs, or wings. You can even sprinkle it on a whole chicken to grill or roast. It’s also delicious on roasted potatoes or as a seasoning for veggies in general.

HOW TO USE IT

Drizzle a little bit of oil over the chicken, then sprinkle as much rub as you want all over the chicken. Use your fingers to rub the spice blend in. Then grill or roast in the oven as you normally would! You can even use this rub to make a sheet pan dinner, meaning you have dinner ready in no time.

AYE, THERE’S THE RUB! HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO USE THEM!

Three More Rubs to Know:

The Best Dry Rub for Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

1 Mix: Place all the spices in an airtight glass jar and shake gently to combine.

2 Store: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 years.

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Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker, and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Love and his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

One Comment

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rhonda

    I like mine spicy so I will be adding more heat to my dry rub. This is a great dry rub for chicken or poultry in general.

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Dry rub for chicken - jar with leaf lid and labelThe Best Dry Rub for Chicken