This easy BBQ Chicken Rub will quickly become a staple chicken seasoning in your pantry! Use this dry rub for chicken on breasts, thighs, legs, wings, or whatever! It’s a great all-purpose chicken seasoning!
This post was originally written in 2020 and updated in 2022 to include new images and more tips! It’s the same recipe!
Chicken seems to be a go-to for most people, but at our house we’re beef lovers through and through! If I’m going to talk my boys into eating chicken it HAS to be killer good!
We also love it on Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chops.
Why I Love This Chicken Rub Recipe
The best flavor! This dry chicken seasoning has the perfect barbecue flavor that compliments any meat! It’s a little sweet and you can adjust the spiciness!
Simple inexpensive ingredients! You don’t need to buy expensive seasonings and rubs any more! Save yourself money and make this recipe at home! Plus, you know EXACTLY what’s in it! That’s what I love about DIY rubs.
Dry rub with brown sugar will get hard after awhile. Add a piece of bread or a Brown sugar saver to keep the spiced dry and soft.
Ingredients for bbq chicken rub
The list of ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe is a little long, but don’t let that scare you! They’re all pretty simple pantry spices.
Brown sugar chicken rub is great because the brown sugar caramelizes on the chicken and adds the best flavor!
Brown Sugar: Light or dark
Smoked Paprika: Use regular if you don’t have it, but using it really adds the best flavor and makes it taste like smoked chicken rub
Sweet Paprika: This is traditional paprika
Cayenne Pepper : I almost always skip it because my boys can’t handle it! Add it if you like a little extra spicy heat!
Course Black Pepper: Use 1/4 of the listed amount to substitute ground black pepper for course ground black pepper.
Kosher Salt: Use 3/4 of the listed about of Kosher salt if substituting with regular table salt.
Other Spices and Seasonings: Dry mustard, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder
How to make dry rub for chicken.
It couldn’t be easier! It’s just dumping and shaking!
STEP 2: Shake until all the spices and seasonings are mixed together. You might need to crush brown sugar if there are lumps.
How to Store Homemade Chicken Rub
Store dry rubs in an airtight container to keep them fresh. Store them in a dry, dark place. This rub will last up to a month, although you’ll probably go through it faster than that!
It’s really handy to have some on hand for quick meals. I love having any kind of a head start on dinner that I can find. Having this sitting there and ready to go really is a lifesaver.
FAQs and Expert Tips
How long should dry rub sit on chicken?
Chicken needs to be rubbed with dry rub for at least 15 minutes, or up to 2 hours before baking, air frying, grilling, or smoking. Letting it sit for at least an hour gives the seasonings time to penetrated the chicken.
How do you get dry rub to stick to chicken?
To get dry rub to chicken first pat the chicken dry with a clean paper towel.
Next, apply a light coat of olive oil, mustard, or mayonnaise on the meat. Olive oil is a good choice if you’re using oil because it has a high smoking point. They all work well as a binder for rubbing chicken without affecting the flavor.
Then sprinkle with chicken rub.
Keep in the refrigerator until the poultry is ready to cook.
Does rub need sugar?
Dry rub needs sugar because it crystalizes while it’s smoking or barbecuing creating a nice crust.
Ways to Use BBQ Chicken Rub
This really is great if you want a chicken wing rub, grilled chicken rub, dry rub for smoked chicken, or even air fryer chicken wings rub!
One of our favorite ways to use this seasoning is on my famous Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks! It’s also a great shortcut for making Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, just substitute this seasoning for the seasonings listed in the recipe.
Add it to ground beef to make the best hamburgers! Try my Hawaiian Pineapple Burgers!
BBQ Chicken Rub
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoons smoky paprika
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoons dry mustard
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoons course ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper optional
- Add all ingredients to a container with a lid, or a sealable bag. Shake until combined. If needed break up any clumps with a fork or your fingers if you're using a bag.
- Store chicken rub in an airtight container for up to a month. Store in a dark, dry, and cool place. As it sits the seasonings might get a little bit hard. If needed break up clumps before using.