What Seasonings Work Best for Dry Rubs On Chicken Wings?

Smoking chicken wings is straightforward, but the simple things are often the easiest things to get wrong. Using the perfect chicken wing dry rub requires the best seasonings for chicken wings that complement one another and serve the chicken well during the smoking process. So what are the best seasonings for chicken wing dry rubs?

The best seasoning for dry rubs for chicken wings use flavors that work well together and elevate the flavor of the chicken. These flavors include onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili, thyme, basil, turmeric, oregano, lemon pepper, and celery salt.

what seasonings work best for dry rubs on chicken wings

The ideal chicken wing dry rub seasonings are those that work the best for chicken while also combining well for the best overall flavor. 

A dry rub should not overwhelm the chicken, and it should taste incredible at the same time. Let’s explore the best seasonings for chicken wing dry rubs and some recipes for making them.

What Seasonings Make The Best Dry Rubs For Chicken Wings?

Smoking chicken wings can be done with a multitude of varying methods, flavors, seasonings, marinades, brines, bastings, and techniques, but the chicken wing dry rub is one of the best ways to smoke this part of the bird.

Everyone knows the basic flavors that work well for chicken marinades and bastings, but dry rubs are a different skill and require different flavor combinations to work well for chicken wings on the smoker.

When constructing a good chicken wing dry rub, there are some essential flavors to keep in mind that will best serve the chicken and work well together. Some of the best flavors and spices to use for chicken wing seasoning rubs include:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Smoked Paprika Powder
  • Tumeric
  • Thyme
  • Black Pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Salt
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Chili
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Celery Salt

All of these flavors and spices will work well together when combined well, and they are all incredibly flavorful components to use for chicken wing dry rubs. 

However, all of these flavors are very intense and can be overwhelming, so it is essential to balance the flavors well, especially for a dry rub that will soak into the chicken. 

If the flavors are too robust, they will be overwhelming to eat and ruin the chicken wings entirely.

Balance these flavors well and use them in well-thought-out combinations, and you will create some of the most delicious chicken dry rub recipes that you have ever tasted.

The Best Chicken Wing Dry Rub Recipes

Understanding which seasonings go well together and that work well with chicken for a dry rub is only part of the puzzle of creating an excellent rub for chicken wings.

The true skill is learning how to combine these ingredients to complement one another and elevate the chicken’s natural flavors without being overpowering.

The best way to get a feel for using these seasonings well is to follow a few recipes to create excellent chicken wing dry rubs. Then, once you have learned the basics from these recipes, create your own with your learned skills.

Let’s take a look at three fantastic chicken wing dry rub recipes that use the seasonings that we have discussed above. First, we will look at a simple recipe that is great for cooking chicken wings drenched in flavorful sauces, a spicy dry rub recipe, and the ultimate dry rub recipe that will require no additional sauces or flavors whatsoever.

Simple Dry Rub Recipe

The simplest dry rub recipe for chicken wings uses a simple combination of coarse salt and coarse black pepper. This is a very simple flavor combination, but used in conjunction with high-quality chicken wings and cooked slowly in a smoker, simply sat and pepper may very be the most delicious way to season chicken wings for smoking.

Combine 1 part salt and 2 parts black pepper to create this rub. Once the seasoning is combined, apply it liberally to the chicken wings before placing them in the pit. Seasoning the wings with this dry rub the night before and allowing the chicken to dry brine is a good way to do this.

Once on the smoker, add a little more of the seasoning to crispen in the heat while smoking to make the skin extra crispy and to make the chicken wings look delicious.

Spicey Dry Rub Recipe

A standard spicey dry rub seasoning for chicken wings uses paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, or hydrated chili.

Combine 15 grams each of the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika with 8 grams of cayenne pepper and chili to create this dry rub.

Apply the rub to the wings liberally and pat the seasoning on the chicken. The amount of spicey flavors used in this rub should be according to personal preference. Only be sure not to use too much as to overpower the chicken.

This rub will form a good crust on the wings. And make the skin crispy while adding good spicey heat to the chicken and flavoring the meat well.

The Ultimate Dry Rub Recipe  

The ultimate chicken wing dry rub seasoning recipe has to be a recipe that combines all of the best flavors for chicken.

In a way that compliments one another. That is not overpowering and does not compromise the taste of the chicken itself.

This recipe is a little more complicated, but the flavors speak for themselves. For this rub recipe, you will require the following ingredients:

  • 15 grams of salt
  • 15 grams of black pepper
  • 15 grams of garlic powder
  • 15 grams of paprika
  • 7 grams of onion powder
  • 5 grams of thyme
  • 5 grams of oregano
  • 5 grams of basil
  • 3 grams of cayenne pepper

For the best results, combine the salt and pepper and rub them into the chicken before adding the rest of the rub. Once this is done, combine all other ingredients into a small container and shake to incorporate them well.

Rub the mix of herbs and spices directly onto the wings, and be sure to cover them entirely. 

When cooking the wings, be sure to cook them slowly so that the rub can harden and allow the flavors to penetrate deeply into the chicken to season it well.


The best seasonings for dry rubs to use on chicken wings are those that complement one another and elevate the flavors of the chicken itself. 

The flavors we have explored here are excellent and combine well for fantastic chicken dry rubs.

Take your time to experiment with flavor combinations and quantities to find the best run seasoning combinations for you and your own preferences.

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