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23 April 2021

The Best Dry Rubs for Chicken Wings

There’s more than one way to spice a chicken wing. Sure there are always sauces, but did you know dry rubs can also create mouthwatering flavor and varying levels of heat just like your tried-and-true wing sauces? Spicy dry rubs for chicken wings are also easy to order off the menu at Buffalo Wings & Rings and simple to create in your own kitchen too!

Read on to learn more about the delicious dry rub offerings at your local Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant or become skilled at making your own chicken wing dry rubs at home with advice and tips from our own Chef Dan.

What Is the Purpose of a Dry Rub?

Dry rubs (also called spice rubs) are pretty much exactly as they sound: a mixture of dry spices (and other dry ingredients) that are mixed together and rubbed onto meat before cooking.

The spices adhere to the meat as it cooks, creating a flavor crust of sorts. Dry rubs can be added to the meat before cooking to act as a sort of marinade or they can be added on right before cooking.

Dry rubs can act as flavor enhancers or add a complementary taste to your meat, like the varieties of seasoning for chicken wings.

Dry Rubs at Buffalo Wings & Rings

At Buffalo Wings & Rings, we offer spice rubs that work for both mild- and medium-heat lovers. Our mild Lemon Pepper Dry Seasoning is a mixture of tangy lemon flavors plus crushed and cracked pepper that offers a burst of zesty flavor with every bite (plus, it’s gluten-free).

On the flip side, our Cajun Dry Seasoning offers a nod to the flavors of Louisiana, where Cajun cuisine rules. Although we can’t completely reveal our secret recipe, you can bet our spicy dry rub for chicken wings features spices such as cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, pepper, and more.

How to Make Spicy Chicken Wings at Home

Want to make the best dry rub for chicken wings at home? Chef Dan suggests starting with a mixture of tasty spices that appeal to your taste buds as a good seasoning for chicken wings. His favorite ingredients include red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper or, if he’s feeling adventurous, he also tosses in dry mustard or wasabi powder.

“Dry mustard always adds a great level of heat when mixed with other spices,” Chef Dan says. “Wasabi powder or dipping sauce can add a really intense heat and pairs well with Chinese hot mustard.”

Chef Dan says he loves using dry rubs on chicken wings because there’s no liquids added that could dilute the flavors, which means more of your favorite spices are delivered via chicken wing with each bite.

Although some recipes you come across for chicken wing dry rubs might seem to contain hard-to-find ingredients, Chef Dan suggests pursuing the spice aisle before throwing in the towel, as you’ll be surprised with what you can find.

“First pick some flavors you like and then find a spicy addition to add, like Cajun seasoning, cayenne, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, or wasabi powder,” he says. “And don’t forget to cruise the ethnic food aisles because there are so many great dry ingredients located there, too.”

How to Use a Dry Rub

Once you have created your ideal dry rub, adding it to the chicken wings is as easy as rubbing the spices onto and around them before baking or grilling. If your wings seem too wet, simply pat them dry with a paper towel before adding the dry rub seasonings.

If you prefer, you can rub the wings in a little olive oil first before rubbing the seasonings into them.

How to Spice Up Already Cooked Wings

Have you found yourself with leftover wings and no sauce or seasonings in sight? Then dry rubs are the perfect way to spice up already cooked wings. In fact, Chef Dan suggests the perfect time to add a good seasoning for chicken wings like dry rubs is after frying them.

Other options for cooking chicken wings before adding a dry rub include using an Instant Pot or an air fryer before sprinkling with your favorite seasoning.

Ready to try a rub? Try our popular dry-rubbed chicken wings at your nearest Buffalo Wings & Rings location, order them via carry out, or try tossing together your own signature spicy dry rub for chicken wings at home!