Homemade Dry Rub for Chicken

5 from 6 votes
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We are so proud of this dry rub for chicken. We are not just tooting our own horns, last year we received this dry rub as a DIY holiday gift from two people! This is not a lie. Other people love this dry rub so much that they mixed up a huge batch, packaged it up with a cute little bow, and gave it away for holiday gifts.

Use this dry rub for chicken on the best grilled chicken legs and pair with our olive oil parmesan grilled corn, foil pack grilled red potatoes and grilled peach crumble and you’re off to the perfect summer meal. Enjoy!

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dry rub for chicken in a mason jar

The Ultimate Dry Rub for Chicken

We don’t say this lightly, but this dry rub for chicken is THE ultimate dry rub. It’s great on chicken legs, thighs, wings, breasts and more. We’re already planning to try it on slow-roasted pork ribs this weekend, so no need to limit yourself to just poultry for this rub either.

But isn’t it time-consuming to make your own dry rub?! We get this question all the time, and our answer is: it doesn’t have to be! We created this dry rub for chicken with ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, and what we really love about making our own dry rub at home is that there are NO additives!

No additives + minimal salt

If you turn the label around on many of the store-bought dry rubs, you’ll see a combination of ingredients you can’t pronounce as well as salt and more salt. Not with this dry rub! You’ll have full control of the amount of salt, spice, and sweetness your make at home dry rub has, which is great for so many reasons.

What does this dry rub for chicken taste like?

This recipe is the perfect blend of savory, but it’s also slightly sweet and has a hint of spice. It’s made from a base of garlic powder, but the addition of onion powder, chipotle powder, ground cinnamon, and mustard make it uniquely delicious.

dry rub ingredients on a plate

Dry Rub for Chicken Ingredients

Yay for chicken dry rub ingredients you can pronounce! And yay for ingredients you likely have on hand already! Nobody likes having to spend $30+ on spices that you’ll use infrequently to create a dry rub recipe at home, especially if it doesn’t end up tasting as flavorful as you’d like.

This dry rub is both flavor-packed and includes simple, easy to find ingredients, including:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Ground chipotle powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground mustard seed
  • Table salt
  • Ground pepper

Make it hotter: add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon more of chipotle powder.

Make It hot hot hotter: add a pinch of cayenne powder.

Make it sweeter: add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon more sugar.

What cuts of meat can I use?

Good news for you, this is the perfect chicken spice mix to use on any cut of poultry. Use around 1 – 1.5 lbs. of the following:

  • chicken legs
  • chicken breast
  • whole chicken
  • chicken thighs
  • chicken wings

I’ve actually used this rub on our Foil Pack Potatoes plenty of times and it is so tasty! Try it on our Roasted Red Potatoes, Grilled Carrots, or Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin.

How much dry rub per lb. of chicken?

We recommend using around 1/4 cup of dry rub for chicken per 1 to 1.5 lbs. chicken.

How long should dry rub sit on chicken?

We recommend letting the dry rub sit on the chicken for at least 15 minutes before cooking.

chicken legs rolled in dry rub on a plate

How to Use this Dry Rub

  1. Place 1 – 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, thighs, wings, or legs on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle on chicken dry rub, massaging it into the chicken. Make sure all parts are covered and be generous!
  3. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before cooking the chicken.

Chicken Cooking Methods

You may think dry rubs only come in handy when grilling, but let me tell you…I beg to differ! You can use dry rubs for sauteeing, baking, steaming, Instant Potting, and more!

Here are some of our favorite cooking methods to use on your chicken after seasoning. These directions are for chicken breasts:

Grilled chicken: Grill chicken at 400ºF for around 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Grill chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

Baked chicken: Bake chicken breast at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Sous Vide Chicken: Heat your water bath to 145ºF and then cook the chicken breast for 1.5 – 2 hours.

Pan Seared Chicken: Pan sear chicken breast in olive oil or butter over medium/high heat. for 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

Instant Pot Chicken: Place the trivet in your Instant Pot and add water. Place chicken breast on top of trivet and cook on high for 8-12 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

meat thermometer.

Try it!

Thermoworks Thermapen

We swear by using a meat thermometer when cooking any cut of meat. The Thermapen is our go-to meat thermometer that works every time.

Recipe Pairings

Whether you’re making grilled chicken legs or another meat dry rubbed in this deliciousness, here are some go-to recipe pairings we’re always coming back to to flesh out a top notch meal:

Salads

Sides

Desserts

chicken legs rolled in dry rub on a plate ready to be grilled

Storage

Got leftover dry rub? Transfer it into an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

spice jars.

Glass

Spice Jars

Organize your homemade spices with this empty glass spice jar set!

5 from 6 votes

Homemade Dry Rub for Chicken

A seriously delicious dry rub for chicken that is slightly sweet and smokey at the same time! Use it on chicken legs, breasts, wings, thighs, or a whole chicken! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and then transfer into an empty spice container or a Mason jar with a lid.
  • Use this dry rub on our grilled chicken legs or 1 to 1.5 lbs. of your favorite cut of chicken by sprinkling it onto the chicken and using your hands to massage it in.
  • Store leftover chicken dry rub in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

Tips & Notes

  • This is enough dry rub for 1 – 1.5 lbs. chicken.

Watch It

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”sPRnCRKX” upload-date=”2020-06-18T23:11:25.000Z” name=”Homemade Dry Rub for Chicken” description=”Finally a dry rub for chicken with no additives that actually packs a flavor punch! Make a batch of this dry rub with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and be ready anytime the dry rubbed chicken mood strikes.”]

Nutrition

Calories: 32 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 0 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

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About Emily Richter

Emily is Fit Foodie Finds' editor-in-chief. She has a master's degree in strategic communication, and a passion for food. She is an incredible at-home cook making her writing an important part of the content creation process.

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Kelley
June 30, 2023 10:57 am

5 stars
This has become a staple in my house for chicken! So easy to whip up, but I make sure I always have some on hand!

Lili
May 11, 2023 8:38 pm
Recipe Rating :
     

5 stars
This was absolutely DELICIOUS! I used this for my baked chicken twice, then the rest I used with beef strips, & added some curry powder. TRY IT! It was AMAZING!

Thank you so much! Love, peace and blessings! 😃

Last edited 1 year ago by Lili
November 29, 2022 1:59 am
Recipe Rating :
     

5 stars
Hi. I like chicken!

Sara
July 25, 2021 7:34 am
Recipe Rating :
     

5 stars
Excellent flavor

JAH
June 2, 2021 11:24 pm
Recipe Rating :
     

5 stars
Great rub recipe! I would recommend kosher or sea salt instead of table salt. Putting the spices in a food processor or blender combines them very well.

John
May 15, 2021 10:32 am
Recipe Rating :
     

5 stars
Excellent rub. Low in sodium and sugar. Very versatile flavor. I can think of numerous uses other than just meats. Popcorn? Chips?

May 18, 2021 9:16 pm
Reply to  John

Ohhh love the popcorn and chips idea!!

Mary
August 3, 2020 5:52 pm

THIS RUB IS AMAZING

August 4, 2020 2:12 pm
Reply to  Mary

YAY!! We’d love it if you could give us a star rating for this recipe!

davidF
September 15, 2019 7:13 am

I have not made it yet, but can you show a picture of what it looks like cooked? Also, I am looking at your other spice recipes. I didn’t know you had those on your website. I’m starting to cook at home more, because I want to lose weight and then maintain that loss. So, thank you for all of your recipes and encouragement on your website.

September 16, 2019 9:29 am
Reply to  davidF

Sure thing! If you take a look at this recipe you can see it cooked. Literally the BEST rub — https://fitfoodiefinds.com/best-grilled-chicken-legs/

May 10, 2015 9:49 am

This look amazing!