Do You Put Dry Rub On Wings Before Or After Cooking?

Everyone knows that little things in life taste as good as chicken wings. Whether party food or game-time snacks, wings can be an undeniable winner. Cooking them can be even more satisfying than eating them, especially if you have found the perfect dry rub to bring your a-game to the table.

When adding dry rub to wings, do so before cooking. By doing this the wings, you are enhancing the overall taste and texture of the wings. You’ll be going for a tasty, crispy chicken wing rather than a dry saucy one. For added flavor, sprinkle a bit of rub on after cooking too.

do you put dry rub on wings before or after cooking

A dry rub is a fantastic flavor-enhancing product. It’s crazy to think that something so easy in essence can make such a big difference on food, especially wings. Using dry rub can also be a good substitute for marinating, making the actual prep timeless, giving you a win-win situation. 

After reading this article, you’ll understand how to correctly add dry rub to your chicken wings, as well as other common questions regarding seasoning your wings.

Adding The Dry Rub Before Cooking Wings

Whether frying, oven baking, slow cooking, or grilling the chicken wings, most recipes will call for the wings to be tossed in sauce after cooking. Many won’t realize that the skin on the wings should be crisped to perfection for the sauce to be completely soaked up by it. 

When the skin isn’t crispy enough or over crispy, which then leans more towards burnt skin, the sauce that contributes significantly to the taste would not be soaked up well, and the wings might taste a bit dull and dry. 

Luckily adding dry rub to the wings will help the skin crisp evenly, and adding a generous shake or two over the wings after cooking will enhance the flavor completely. 

Why Dry Rubbing Wings

A dry rub is an excellent flavor-enhancing product. You can get a store-bought dry rub or brave the world of homemade spice and get a recipe to follow and mix up a batch of dry rub. Some wings recipes will even give you the spice mix quantities to make a dry rub. 

If you get one you like, though, we advise you to keep it and use it on other chicken cuts too, like chicken thighs and drumsticks or even some nice chicken fillets. A culinary wizard friend of mine also believes that dry rub meant for chicken or even chicken spice can go on red meat, and it would taste great. 

Since wings cook so quickly, dry rub and spices are some of the first things that would burn when you’re grilling wings. That’s why it is best to let the wings rest with the dry rub rubbed in rather than just putting it on the grill. 

When you are deep frying wings, the seasoning will usually float away when it touches the piping hot oil. So rubbing the wings with a dry rub is the perfect step in making wings to get the flavor to get into the meat of the wing as well, without only making the skin taste good. 

For any other method of cooking wings, such as oven baking, air frying, or slow cooking, the flavor-enhancing of the dry rub will only be beneficial to the overall taste of the dry rub. 

How Do You Use Dry Rub On Wings?

If you are mixing the dry rub mix, combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix it. Alternatively, you can mix up a big batch of dry rub and keep it in a shaker or glass container for future use.

Then pat dry the wings with a paper towel. Spread the wings out on a baking sheet or plate and get spicing. Rub the dry rub seasoning over the chicken wings.

If you are struggling to get the seasoning to stay on the wings, you can add a teaspoon or two of oil to the wings and toss it in the oil so that it is lightly coated, then add the seasoning. It should stick to the wings once oiled.

Another little hack you could try, especially if you have time for the wings to chill in the fridge for a bit or are doing more of a crumbed wing. It is to toss the wings in the dry rub or crumb seasoning, and once they’re nicely covered. 

Place the wings, covered with some plastic wrap, in the fridge for at least half an hour. The cold air of the fridge will give the seasoning some much-needed moisture in order for it to stick to the wings without adding any extra oil. 

Can You Put Dry Rub On Wings After Cooking?

So, you made the wings, they’re perfectly crisp with golden skin, but something is missing. You forgot to add the dry rub before cooking them. But, as you sigh with the heaviest disappointment, don’t fret. All’s not lost, and you don’t have to call for take-out just yet.

  1. You’re going to have to expect that the wings will not be as flavorful as dry rubbed wings. A certain blandness that only unseasoned chicken can have will remain. However, like with anything, you can put salt and spice on, but not take it out. 
  2. The next step for the wings would be to make a sauce; some recipes already require a tossing sauce of some kind to add to wings after cooking.
  3. Before adding the wings to the sauce to toss around, you can season the wings with your dry rub mix or some salt and pepper. 
  4. Even though it won’t have the same taste and texture as dry-rubbed wings, it won’t taste bad if you seasoned it before cooking, as the sauce will make up for it.
  5. Add the wings in the sauce and then a skillet or frying pan with no added oils. This will help the wings get a hint or two of taste and flavor. 
  6. Toss the wings around the pan over medium-high heat until the sauce sticks to the wings well. 
  7. You can now serve the wings, and when serving, you can add some salt or a nice spice as a condiment for each person to decide to add extra spice. 

Final Word 

Dry rubbing chicken wings are probably one of the best choices to make. And, if you don’t believe me, try it for yourself, and remember to add the dry rub before cooking the wings to give that skin the crispiness it deserves and a taste that you would want more of for days.

If you have forgotten to add the dry rub, you know now that you can still save the wings with some sauce by following the method above.

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