This smoked chicken rub is a great basic dry rub for smoked chicken you can make at home. The ingredients are made with pantry staples, just waiting to make some amazing chicken recipes for you!
Why this works
- Use on everything - this smoked chicken rub can be used on a whole chicken, chicken quarters, chicken wings, chicken thighs, or, my favorite, chicken drumsticks. You can also use it on smoked turkey breast.
- Not just for the smoker - this amazing homemade dry rub is also great for seasoning chicken for the grill too!
- Perfect blend - a delicious rub with great flavor that you can adjust the spice level for your taste. Try our Grilled Jalapeno Popper Chicken Breasts recipe if you like spicy chicken.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Scroll to the recipe card, where you will find the exact measurements.
- Smoked paprika - for best results, do not substitute this for regular paprika for this smoked chicken rub recipe, as this helps to give it a smoky flavor, especially if you use it for oven-roasted chicken.
- Cayenne pepper - you can also use hot red pepper flakes and adjust the amount for more to make it spicier or less to make it not so spicy.
How to make this homemade rub
The combination of spices is what makes this a good dry rub. In a small bowl, whisk or stir together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, parsley, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
Depending on the cut of chicken you are using, you will either want to put them in a large bowl or on a baking sheet to apply the chicken seasoning.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel prior to applying the homemade chicken rub. Drizzle some olive oil on the chicken pieces, so the bbq chicken rub sticks to the chicken pieces better.
Apply the chicken rub liberally to the chicken skin, so it is completely coated, then cover it with plastic wrap if not cooking immediately. Place chicken on the counter while you prepare the smoker or grill.
Tips for smoking chicken
Prepare the smoker for low and slow cooking by making sure the ambient temperature of the smoker is between 225 degrees and 250 degrees.
Use a lighter or fruitier wood for smoking chicken, like pecan, hickory, apple, or cherry.
Smoke the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Once it reaches temperature, remove to a baking sheet and allow the chicken to rest tented with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
A dry rub is a mixture of dry seasonings that is put on the surface of the meat but does not penetrate the meat. A marinade is a mixture of oil, acids, liquids, and seasonings to season the meat over a period of time for the marinade to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
The general rule of thumb is to use homemade rubs within six months. Seasonings never expire, but they lose their potency over time.
Serve your barbecue chicken with potato salad, a blood orange salad with Burrata, or a cool tomato cucumber salad.
Store any leftover rub in a dry place at room temperature in a mason jar for up to six months. For the best flavor, use it within two months.
More delicious recipes
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Smoked Chicken Rub
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with a whisk or spoon.
- Use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
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