The BEST Smoke Rub For Chicken

Dry Rub For Chicken spices on a white plate.

This is the best smoke rub for chicken, including Smoked Chicken Thighs, Smoked Chicken Legs, Smoked Whole Chicken, Smoked Chicken Wings, and Smoked Chicken Thighs.

This all-purpose rub for smoked chicken is infused with a flavorful and classic blend of herbs and spices you probably already have in your pantry.

Smoke Rub For Chicken

More homemade spice rubs for chicken: Chicken Taco Seasoning, Creole Seasoning, and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.

Smoked chicken thighs on a white plate.

Chicken Rub For Smoking

Nothing beats grubbing down on moist chicken rubbed down with an array of seasonings and slathered in homemade barbecue sauce. It’s great on its own if you’re not into sauce.

Whip up a huge batch of our easy BBQ rub and keep it on hand, in an airtight jar, to use as needed.


To make this chicken seasoning rub, you’ll need the following spices: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, dried thyme, and brown sugar.

Optional ingredients: cayenne pepper (it’s not spicy, but feel free to omit), and salt for those who need a salt-free rub.

If you prefer to also use a binder, we highly recommend using our Dijon mustard recipe.

Smoke rub for chicken spices on a white plate with a silver spoon.

How To Make Smoked Chicken Rub

Making this smoked chicken rub recipe couldn’t be easier. Just measure, mix, taste, and adjust to suite your preference. Remember to check the list of “Best Wood For Smoking Chicken” to ensure it pairs well with this rub.


Prefer a marinade over a dry smoked chicken seasoning? Just 1/4 cup of olive oil to one batch of this smoke rub for chicken. That’s it!

Glass jar of Dry Rub For Chicken next to a small spoon.


  • Spicy – amp up the heat by doubling, or even tripling the cayenne!
  • Extra Smokey- Use smoked paprika, in place of regular paprika, for an extra smokey flavor.
  • Like Garlic? This dry rub recipe can certainly handle a double hit of garlic powder. Go for it!
  • Prefer Less Sugar? We get it. Half it and take a test. The other flavors should shine with the reduction in sugar.
  • Prefer Less Salt? Add 1 tsp, taste, and increase until your perfect level is reached.


In addition to using this dry rub for Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs, you can use it on any of the following:

Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Smoked Turkey
Dry Rub For Chicken Wings
Smoked Pork Loin
Smoked Pork Chops
Smoked Tri Tip

spices in a glass bowl with a silver spoon.

Expert Tips

Here are some tips when making this dry rub recipe for chicken:

  • Adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your taste preferences.
  • Plan on using about 1/4 cup of dry rub per 2 lbs. of chicken.
  • Marinate your meat for at 15 minutes, after applying the smoked chicken dry rub, to ensure maximum flavor absorption.
  • Store the spice mix in an airtight container, for up to 6 months

Chicken Dry Rub Recipe

Dry Rub For Chicken spices on a white plate.

The Best Smoke Rub For Chicken

This is the best rub for smoked chicken! This smoke rub for chicken is infused with a flavorful and classic blend of herbs and spices.
5 from 42 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 Tbsp
Calories: 5kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $2.50


  • ½-1 tbsp Salt ((*Note 1))
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Dried Thyme
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper ((*Note 2))


  • Add all the ingredients to a medium size bowl and stir to combine. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.


Note 1 – Start with 1/2 tablespoon, taste and add extra salt if desired.
Note 2 – Cayenne adds flavor and not much heat, but feel free to omit if spice isn’t your thing.


Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.03g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @foodieandwine or tag #foodieandwine!

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