Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Chris Whitehair
Skip The Sauce!
Recently, I’ve noticed at some of the local pizzerias in my area have started to increase the number of dry rubs selections they have on their chicken wings menu.
For those amateur cooks like myself who are into DIYing it, I have a rotation of the best rubs for chicken wings I like to use when I want to skip the sauce.
Don’t get me wrong – I love a good hot or BBQ sauce to slather on freshly fried or baked chicken wings.
There’s something so satisfying about biting into a drumette or flat with a thick layer of sauce.
With that being said, there is something also to be said about going sauceless and using just a dry rub to flavor up that wing as well.
With a growing number options available to purchase for the home market, I thought I would take a look at some of my favorites.
I’ve broken them down into the flavor style and my preferred brand for each, let’s take a look!
I could not write a blog on the best rubs for chicken wings you can buy without going right to Karma Sauce’s Jerk Me Around Seasoning. A good jerk seasoning needs to find the perfect balance of the allspice and Scotch Bonnet peppers and Jerk Me Around does it flawlessly. This was a Golden Chile winner at the 2013 Fiery Food Challenge at ZestFest and it’s no surprise why. If you’ve never had a jerk seasoning before, this is the place to start. The island flavors will make you want to take a trip to the Caribbean!
Brand: Karma Sauce
Sea Salt, Evaporated Cane Juice, Onion, Ground Chile, Green Mango, Garlic, Allspice, Black Pepper, Ginger, Thyme, Clove
Sweet & Spicy
This is Flower City Flavor Company’s all-time best selling seasoning and it’s no surprise why. What’s not to love in this blend? Sugar, cinnamon, chipotle and of course, real Jack Daniel’s Black Label Whiskey! Even though it’s great on any protein and even popcorn, our favorite love for it is on wings, especially smoked wings on a grill! Yum!
Brand: Historic Lynchburg
Sugar, Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt, Spices, Cinnamon, Chipotle Pepper, Black Pepper, Onion, Garlic, Vinegar Powder, Jack Daniel’s Black Label Whiskey
Bone Suckin’ is from top-to-bottom is one of the most complete lineups you’ll find at Flower City Flavor Company, so you know one of their seasonings would wind up here. We love their Original Rub but when it comes to all things chicken, their specialized Chicken Seasoning is the way to go for wings. A little less brown sugar than the Original but it’s balanced nicely with garlic powder and salt. A must have in your seasoning rotation.
Hot & Spicy
Another local gem from right here in my home city of Rochester, NY, Max Spice is the seasoning for heat seekers. However, it’s not extremely hot, so even your friends and family who aren’t spice addicts will enjoy it. At $3.99, it’s definitely one of the best rubs for chicken wings you can get at the price point, especially since you don’t need a lot per use.
“A little Butt Rub makes everything better”. You’re dang right – I can’t make a list for the best rubs for chicken wings without this all-star seasoning. We think Butt Rub is especially awesome on chicken wings that are grilled, so when you’re out at a BBQ with the family or friends, make sure to bring this gluten-free and no MSG seasoning with you. This one has won so many awards it’s not even funny.
One of Flower City Flavor Company’s newest brands, Burning Asphalt, comes up big with the wildcard of all chicken wing dry rubs – lemon pepper. The flavor stays in your mouth well after you’ve finished devouring that wing. The garlic punch in addition to the sweet lemon and powerful peppercorn adds another complex layer.
Brand: Burning Asphalt
Salt, Sugar, Citric Acid, Black Pepper, Garlic, Celery Seed, Onion, Tricalcium Phospate & Silicon Dioxide, Lemon Oil, Yellow Lake #5.
Who doesn’t love a good meal with some cajun spice! Heat up those dry wings with this flavorful offering from Bravado Spice Co. It packs a punch from the paprika and the Arbol chilis.
Garlic Parmesan is definitely my favorite wing sauce flavor, but remember, no sauce here! Skip the butter and still get the goodness of garlic you desire. We found no better garlic than Mikey V’s version.
The Best Rubs For Chicken Wings: In Conclusion
Hopefully, you’ve read this blog with open eyes to consider going dry next time wings are on the menu.
You can still get the same types of flavors as sauces, but biting into a crisp, juicy wing that’s crusted with a rub can satisfy even the biggest wing snob.
Whether it’s fried, baked, air-fried or grilled, shake it up and pour it on! Let us know your favorite type of rub in the comments.