Mike’s All-Purpose Dry Rub for Chicken

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Are you tired of dried out baked, roasted, or grilled chicken? Are you wondering how to lock in that tasty and moist juice?

Throw out marinades, oils, and lemons, and look into using a dry rub instead!

Everybody loves crispy skin on their chicken but lots of times trying to achieve this ends up with dried meat. A dry rub helps to lock in moisture and can really boost the overall flavor. Try our all-purpose chicken dry rub recipe today!

Why Use a Dry Rub?

A dry rub (especially in combination with dry brining) seals the skin against moisture loss.

Basically, it dries out the skin of the chicken and traps juicy goodness on the inside rather than allowing it to escape.

Here’s the deal:

You want to make your own seasoning mixture with bulk spices rather than buying a commercial product.


A commercial product will be mostly salt. Why pay premium prices for salt?

Moreover, this technique is best used with dry brining, which introduces salt into the meat well before the rub is added. If salt is in your mixture, the poultry will be way too salty when it’s finished.

Boost the flavor of your baked, roasted, grilled, or smoked chicken today with this spicy dry rub recipe from Foodal! Click through and get it now.

This colorful mixture is suitable for:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Breasts
  • Thighs
  • Wings and Drumlets
  • Drumsticks
  • Cornish Hens
  • Turkey

Pretty much, if it clucks, crows, or gobbles, it’s fair game to be brined and rubbed.

Top down view of the various spices that comprise this chicken dry rub recipe.

You can use this recipe to flavor poultry prepared via a wide range of cooking methods, including baking, roasting, grilling and smoking, and even deep frying. (Deep fried turkey, anyone?)

Close up of a mason jar containing the ingredients for an all-purpose chicken dry rub recipe. The jar is being shaken to mix the spices | Foodal

This recipe contains the following ingredients (the links go to Amazon to help you find them):

Note that I used 1/4 cup of dried thyme leaves but ground leaves (as linked above) would be better for a rub. If you use ground thyme, consider reducing the amount to 3 tablespoons.

All-Purpose Dry Rub for Chicken Recipe

Close up of a top view of different kinds of spices that will be used to make the chicken dry rub | Foodal
The Best Dry Rub for Chicken
Votes: 48
Rating: 3.17
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Turn your chicken from blah to wow with this incredible dry rub recipe. Fills a one quart jar and is good for 10 or so whole 4 lb chicken fryers.
Servings Prep Time
10 whole chickens 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 whole chickens 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Close up of a top view of different kinds of spices that will be used to make the chicken dry rub | Foodal
The Best Dry Rub for Chicken
Votes: 48
Rating: 3.17
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Turn your chicken from blah to wow with this incredible dry rub recipe. Fills a one quart jar and is good for 10 or so whole 4 lb chicken fryers.
Servings Prep Time
10 whole chickens 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 whole chickens 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper (0.96 oz)
  • 1/2 cup ground paprika (1.92 oz)
  • 1/4 cup onion powder (0.94 oz)
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic or garlic powder (1.39/1.12 oz)
  • 1/4 cup dried thyme (0.57 oz)
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard powder (0.64 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne powder` (0.45 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon (0.08 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar (11.64 oz)
Servings: whole chickens
  1. Spread brown sugar out on a plate and break up clumps.
  2. Place all ingredients in a canning jar and attach the lid.
  3. Shake the jar to mix the spices. Break up any remaining clumps of brown sugar with a fork. Continue shaking until all ingredients are well incorporated.


Bonus Recipe: Dry Brined and Rubbed Roasted Chicken

An easy way to cook your chicken is a simple roast in the oven. I dry brined a chicken for 24 hours, added the rub, and roasted her in a large convection toaster oven (I used my beloved Breville Smart Oven Air).


  • 3-4 oz.  flaky sea salt (not coarse but not super fine either; that being said, use what ya got)
  • 3-4 oz. Mike’s All-Purpose Dry Rub For Chicken

Step 1 – Dry Brining

You’ll want to dry brine your bird with sea salt for a minimum of six hours – 24 is even better.

Step 2 – Add the Rub

Transfer your bird to a clean baking pan and pour a bit of the rub over the skin.

A mason jar is pouring the dry rub mixture on top of a whole chicken inside of a non-stick baking pan | Foodal

Spread the rub generously over the bird, making sure to get into all cracks and crevices.

A human hand rubs in a dry rub mix onto a whole chicken inside of a roasting pan | Foodal

Once both sides of the bird have sufficient coverage, place the fowl on its breast with the back right-side up. If needed, temporarily remove the bird and knock any loose material into the trash.

Oblique view of the whole chicken with the dry rub mix completely applied | Foodal

Step 3 – Bake/Roast

Preheat the oven or convection toaster oven to 350°F and set the timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once the temperature is up to par, place the pan into the oven and go have a beer/glass of wine (or two… who am I kidding? … three).

Do you love a crispy exterior and juicy meat in your chicken? But you never can seem to achieve this texture and taste? Try a dry rub and you'll never go back to a wet marinade again. Get Foodal's recipe now!

Step 3 – Let Cool and Dig In!

Once the bird reaches 180°F (in about 75 minutes – check with a meat thermometer), remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. At this temperature and for this duration, the seasonings on top will slightly blacken. This is a good thing, as it tells you that the sugar in the rub has fully caramelized.

You will find that you have a super crispy crust with truly juicy meat. And flavors that will absolutely floor you.

Trust me, once you start dry brining and using a dry rub, you’ll never cook chicken with anything else.

A piece of fully roasted chicken leg pulled off the carcass demonstrating how juicy and tender the meat is. | Foodal

Even the breast is super moist with this method.

Using a dry rub on your chicken can exponentially boost flavor, texture, tenderness, and juiciness! Get our amazing dry rub recipe now!

Also, as previously mentioned, you can use this technique for roasting/baking, smoking, and grilling.

What about you? Do you have any favorite poultry dry brine recommendations?

Also, be sure to check out all of our protein preparation guides as well as all of our poultry recipes.

And if you love this homemade seasoning mix, be sure to take a gander at my favorite pork version.

Don’t forget to Pin It!

Are you searching for the perfect dry rub that gives you tasty results with your chicken? A dry rub can give your bird the ultimate in a crispy skin with juicy and flavorful meat underneath. Try our rub recipe. Sweet, spicy, amazing texture, and out of this world flavor. And it works whether you are baking, roasting, grilling, or smoking!

Photos by Mike Quinn, © Foodal / Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

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About Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.

4 thoughts on “Mike’s All-Purpose Dry Rub for Chicken”

  1. I’m sure this is good, but trying to convert the recipe to something I could understand was too tedious, so I gave up…I’m not familiar with measuring dry ingredients in ounces…

    • Measuring in ounces is often recommended to get the most exact results possible, and this is a method often favored by bakers where being exact is important to the final outcome. But it’s by no means necessary for this recipe (and would be extremely difficult to pull off if you don’t have a kitchen scale!).

      Since the ingredients on the recipe card provided are listed in cups and tablespoons, maybe you’re referring to the recommendations in ounces within the article for the bonus recipe? Again, please keep in mind that this is not an exact measurement, but rather, more of a reference point. The total quantity needed to coat will depend on the size of your bird, with a ratio of one part flaky sea salt to one part dry rub, roughly 3-4 oz of each in total.

      If you really want to be more exact, 3-4 oz. of flaky sea salt is about 14-19 teaspoons, but this will depend to some degree on the brand and level of coarseness. The dry rub measure is unfortunately a bit more difficult to calculate since the ingredients included all have different weights, and this also depends on whether you choose to use granulated garlic or garlic powder. According to our calculations, the total volume of a full batch is about 18.5 oz, or 3 1/3 cups. As indicated on the recipe card, the best estimate would be roughly around 1/10 of the total spice mix recipe per chicken, or the (roughly) 1:1 ratio indicated above. For those who do wish to measure out each ingredient in ounces, estimated weights have been added to the recipe card as well. Hope this helps!


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