There is no doubt that smoking is the ideal way to get that well-cooked, tender, and flavorful chicken. But when you talk about rubs, many people will think of rubbing a brisket or pork. Unbeknownst to them, adding a great rub on your chicken before tossing it into the smoker will give you that spicy, smokey, and finger-licking smoked chicken.
You also have a wide variety of spices to pick from, including all-purpose chicken rubs that are great with every part of this poultry. Amazingly, you also have the option to customize your homemade rubs to take your smoked chicken to the next level.
What Is a Dry Rub?
A dry rub is a mixture of dry spices that can include herbs and other dry ingredients. The blend is liberally sprinkled and rubbed on the chicken’s surface or applied to the food you wish to prepare. Depending on your recipe, you can apply dry rub to poultry, meat, fish, and even vegetables.
Rubs lean towards a salty base and help amplify the other flavors in the herbs included in the blend. Sprinkling dry rub on your chicken also enhances the taste as it penetrates the meat.
You’ll find different types of rubs on the market, from standard to super-enhanced, but nothing comes close to customized, homemade rubs.
Homemade Rubs to Take Your Smoked Chicken to The Next Level
1. Basic dry rub
This is one of our favorite rubs for smoking a whole bird. The rub also goes well with other chicken cuts if you want to spatchcock or butterfly it. It is also one of the most highly customizable rub recipes you can get. You have the freedom to add or reduce any spice, depending on your liking.
This dry rub enhances the flavor of your chicken, depending on the type and nature of spices you add.
Two tablespoons of this dry rub will be enough to give you that crusty coating on your bird. You need to make a paste of the dry rub using one spoonful of olive oil, then spread the blend on the chicken. Place the chicken in the smoker and wait for the magic to happen.
2. The Mediterranean Dry Rub
This is a highly flavorful rub you can make at home. The rub is rich in savory flavors as it contains huge amounts of onion and garlic powder. Like its name, the Mediterranean dry rub is made of classic Greek herby flavors, like oregano, dried basil, or dill.
Be careful to shake to evenly mix the powder, spices, and herbs in this recipe to glue them together. You will also want to rub it on the entire outside of the chicken, whether you are cooking a whole or sliced up chicken.
Remember to rub halved lemons on the outside of the chicken to maintain its moisture throughout the cooking process.
3. The Smokey Chipotle Dry Rub
We all want spicy, smokey, and deeply flavored chicken, which is precisely what the smokey chipotle dry rub provides. This dry rub lives up to its name, and we can guarantee you’ll never go wrong with it.
The smokey chipotle rub goes well with different spices, including cumin, smoked paprika, and the craved for ancho chili powder. Smoked paprika with the smokey chipotle dry rub takes the flavor to another level.
Apply the dry rub to your chicken first before adding it to your sauce if you want some sauce.
We recommend allowing your chicken to sit for at least 10–15 minutes after applying the dry rub. This allows for the rub to sit properly on the chicken and infuse into the meat.
How to cook
Applying rubs to your poultry won’t limit your cooking options. Dry rubs are highly versatile, and you can cook them depending on what your recipe dictates. Our preferred method would be to toss a spatchcocked or butterflied chicken into your smoker, or you can choose to either slow cook or roast the chicken in an oven.
We advise using a reliable smoker for the optimal food smoking experience. You can choose to go for our Bradley Food Smoker that will help improve your cooking experience. Ensure you have a cooking thermometer to help monitor the temperature of the meat. Your dry-rubbed chicken will be ready when your thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
Once ready, just ensure you let your chicken rest for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute evenly through the chicken.
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your Bradley Smoker, Check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.