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Chicken BBQ Rub

This chicken BBQ rub recipe couldn’t be easier to put together. It’s so easy, in fact, that you’ll probably stick to making your own rubs in the future.

Not only are homemade rubs a lot cheaper than the store-bought variety, but you can also fine-tune the ingredients to get the flavor just the way you want it. 

New Orleans Style Barbecue Chicken Wings

How to Use Chicken BBQ Rub

This BBQ rub uses a mixture of very basic spices that you probably already have at home. To give your chicken loads of extra flavor, make sure you apply the rub well ahead of your cooking time.

Whilst it’s fine to leave it for just 30 minutes or so, letting the chicken sit with the dry rub on it for a few hours really helps deepen the flavor. Better still, why not leave it overnight?

Before applying the rub, make sure your chicken is completely thawed, then pat it all over with a paper towel to dry it.

You can then apply the dry rub straight to the skin, or rub the chicken all over with a little olive oil first. This helps the spices stick to the skin a lot better.

Don’t go too crazy with the olive oil, though, or your carefully prepared dry rub will run right off!

Taco Seasoning Picture

When you apply the rub, be very careful not to put the hand with which you touch the raw chicken back into the container.

This will contaminate the rest of the rub and you will have to throw it out. 

Make sure you apply the spices evenly, all over the bird and in every nook and cranny! This will maximize the savory BBQ flavor.

If the chicken has skin, lift it up and apply some of the dry rub underneath, so that the flavor doesn’t all disappear the minute the skin is removed!

Finally, set your chicken aside until you are ready to use it. Keep it in the refrigerator, in an airtight container with a lid.

You probably want to avoid storing it in food-safe bags or plastic wrap, as you may find that these will rub off some of the spices.

Taco Seasoning Image

Should You Wash Chicken Before Applying a Dry Rub? 

The short answer? No, you actually shouldn’t.

In fact, health experts say you should never wash raw chicken.

Although it may seem like a safe thing to do, washing chicken actually increases your risk of illness caused by food-borne bacteria.

This is because placing raw meat under running water could cause bacteria to splash all over and around your sink, potentially causing it to come into contact with your dishes or cutlery.

As long as you cook chicken properly, there is no need to wash it.

Taco Seasoning Photo

How to Store Chicken BBQ Rub

Store your dry rub in an airtight container or jar in a dark, cool place. If you live in a humid climate, keep it in the refrigerator.

The flavor will be at its best for up to 6 months after preparation.

Since this recipe is so quick and easy to prepare, it’s best to make smaller quantities that you store for less time, as this will ensure the flavor is always bright and fresh.

More Homemade Seasoning Recipes

If you haven’t caught on, we love a homemade seasoning recipe! This Jerk Baked Chicken Seasoning is one of our favorites.

If you love a bit of heat, this Spicy Seasoning Rub is right up your alley!

Or if you’re looking for a great way to boost the flavor of your favorite steak, might we suggest this Ribeye Steak Seasoning or our Simple Steak Marinade? Enjoy!

New Orleans Style Barbecue Chicken Wings

Chicken BBQ Rub

Cyd Converse
Who doesn’t love the smokey taste of BBQ chicken? This make-ahead mixture will season several chicken dishes!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 9 kcal


  • 1 Kosher Salt
  • 1 Black Pepper
  • 2 Chili Powder
  • 1 Garlic Powder
  • 2 Paprika
  • 1 Onion Powder


  • Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl or add to a mason jar.
  • Stir or shake well to combine then store in airtight container.
  • When ready to use, rub seasoning on chicken to coat well then grill or roast.


Calories: 9kcalCarbohydrates: 1.75gProtein: 0.25gSodium: 94.42mgFiber: 0.42gSugar: 0.33g
Keyword Barbecues, Chicken, Easy, Homemade Spices, Spicy
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