Crispy Dry Rub Chicken Wings

These dry rubbed chicken wings have super crispy skin and juicy and flavorful meat! Plus you can use this homemade dry rub recipe for chicken tenders, breasts, and thighs too. It’s a great appetizer, main course, and the perfect game day recipe!

Dry rub chicken wings with ranch.

This post was updated in 2023 with improved photos, more step by step photos and instructions, improved directions, more helpful tips, better FAQs, and a slightly tweaked recipe for the best dry rub.

Crispy chicken wings are essential for football parties! Try out Honey Lemon Pepper Wings or Crispy Blackened Chicken Wings for your game day feast. Don’t forget a delicious dipping sauce like Spicy Cajun Garlic Aioli or Homemade Cajun Ranch.

If you’re looking for more appetizers and party food, try Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Buffalo Chicken Dip!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • There’s a secret ingredient in this chicken wing recipe that makes them come out extra crispy!
  • Delicious dry rub mix is the perfect combination of seasonings and spice, with just enough medium heat
  • These are bakednaked wings” so there is no breading or frying
  • Use this dry rub chicken wing recipe as a snack or appetizer, or serve larger portions for dinner

Equipment needed

What is dry rub?

A dry rub is a mix of dry seasonings that is generously applied to food, usually proteins, before cooking. It’s a great way to infuse a lot of flavor into chicken without doing a longer marinade or dry brine. It is not necessary to let the dry rub sit on the meat for a long period of time. 

For this dry rub chicken wings recipe I use a mix of seasonings and dried herbs for flavor, plus sugar which helps with caramelization so your wings get that perfectly savory and crispy skin. I also added baking powder which helps get wings crispy without using a breading coating. 

You should add the dry rub seasoning to your protein right before cooking so it can penetrate the meat during the cooking process. 

This spice rub recipe is great on other proteins too! It is so good on chicken tenders, chicken breasts, and chicken thighs. Pat the chicken dry, toss with oil, then coat with the dry dub mixture and cook as usual. 

If you love dry rubbed wings and have a smoker, you’ll love these smoked wings! They’re crispy, a little spicy, and deliciously smokey.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make dry rub chicken wings.
  • Chicken wings – Use fresh or frozen raw chicken wings. You can buy them whole, or already broken down. See how to break down a chicken wing below. 
  • Neutral oil – It is best to use a neutral oil that has a high smoking point since we will be cooking these wings at a high temperature. I like using vegetable oil or avocado oil. I don’t recommend using olive oil since we are cooking these wings at a high temperature and olive oil has a low smoking point. 
  • Baking powder – Aluminum-free baking powder is the secret to getting oven baked wings extra crispy without a full breaded coating! 
  • Spices and seasonings – This wing dry rub recipe calls for a seasoning blend of onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, chipotle chili powder, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. You can substitute white sugar for brown sugar, just mix it well. Note that chipotle chili powder is not the same as chili powder. You can substitute if you need to but it won’t be exactly the same. Chipotle powder has a smokey flavor. 
  • Dipping sauce – You can’t have wings without a delicious sauce to dunk them in! I love using Homemade Cajun Ranch or Spicy Cajun Garlic Aioli. You can also go the traditional route with a blue cheese dressing, or toss them in buffalo sauce.

See the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and measurements.

How to break down chicken wings

Chicken wings are usually sold in two ways at the grocery store: “party wings” or whole wings

The party wings are already broken down into drumettes (which look like mini drumsticks) and wingettes (also called flats). 

The whole chicken wings are sold with the drumettes, wingettes/flats, and wing tip still connected. 

Labeled parts of a chicken wing.
The dotted lines of this photo show where to cut, through the “V” the joint makes.

The whole wings are usually cheaper, but you have to break them down yourself (which is easy to do!). I like to buy the whole wings and save the wing tips for making stock. Chicken wings are full of collagen, so they are perfect for making chicken stock! 

To break down a chicken wing, you will need a sharp chef’s knife or sharp kitchen shears and a cutting board. I also like wearing nitrile gloves to keep my hands clean. You can pat them dry with paper towels before cutting them to make them less slippery. 

  1. Locate the joints – Look at the wing with the skin side down. The drumette is connected to the wingette (or flat), which is connected to the wing tip. You can feel the joints between the bones as you bend the pieces back and forth. 
  2. Cut through the joints – Locate the drumette, which looks like a mini drumstick. Place your knife cutting through the “V” that the joint makes, and cut through the joint cartilage by pressing the heel end of your knife firmly and straight down. The knife should easily cut through the joint and the bones will stay intact. Repeat for the joint between the flat and the tip. 
Cutting a chicken wing through the joint.
Cut through the joint.
Cutting a chicken wing tip off.
Repeat on the other half.

You can discard the wing tips, but I save them  in a bag in the freezer for making stock later. 

If you are meeting a lot of resistance when cutting the wings, reposition the knife so you are cutting through the cartilage and not bone. 

How to make crispy dry rub wings

A chicken wing cut into the drumette, flat, and tip.

STEP ONE: PREP

Preheat the oven. Prepare a large baking sheet. Break down the chicken wings into drumettes and flats.

A bowl of chicken wings before seasoning.

STEP TWO: MIX

Pat the wings dry with paper towels.  Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. 

Massaging oil into a bowl of chicken wings.

STEP THREE: COAT

Add the wings to a large bowl, and massage the oil into the wings until thoroughly coated. 

Chicken wings with dry rub seasoning on them in a bowl.

STEP FOUR: DRY RUB

Sprinkle the dry rub seasoning over the wings and toss to coat evenly. The dry rub should stick to wings easily since they are coated with oil. 

PRO TIP: Use a large baking sheet so the wings can have space around each other. If they are too close together, they will steam instead of get crispy. 

Dry rubbed chicken wings laid out on a baking rack before baking.

STEP FIVE: ARRANGE

Place the wings on the baking rack in a single layer, giving them even space around each other.

Dry rub wings on a baking rack out of the oven.

STEP SIX: BAKE

Bake wings for 20 minutes. Increase the heat and flip wings over using silicone tongs. Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and cooked throughout with an internal temperature of 165°F. 

PRO TIP: Your oven may get pretty smoky since you will be cooking at a high temperature. Use a double layer of foil or parchment paper on the baking sheet. If the oven is smoky, and there is burnt residue, remove the top layer when you flip the wings. 

STEP SIX: SERVE

Serve these crispy chicken wings warm with your favorite dipping sauces like ranch dressing or blue cheese. If you love zesty Cajun spice, try Homemade Cajun Ranch or Spicy Cajun Garlic Aioli

For more delicious and crispy wing recipes, try Crispy Blackened Chicken Wings or Honey Lemon Pepper Wings.

Dipping a dry rub chicken wing into ranch sauce with parsley.

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Expert Tips

  • Buy whole wings and break them down yourself to save a little money. Save the wing tips in the freezer for making stock!
  • Use a large baking sheet so the wings can have space around each other. If they are too close together, they will steam instead of get crispy. 
  • Using a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet helps give the wings more airflow so they can get crispier. Spray it generously with cooking spray or brush with oil so the wings won’t stick. 
  • Pat wings dry before adding oil to get crispy wings.
  • Silicone tongs come in handy for flipping wings. 
  • Your oven may get pretty smoky since you will be cooking at a high temperature. Use a double layer of foil or parchment paper on the baking sheet. If the oven is smoky, and there is burnt residue, remove the top layer when you flip the wings.

Storage & Reheating

How to store leftovers: Store leftover wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Wings are best enjoyed right away. 

How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing these wings once they have been cooked. 

How to reheat: Reheat chicken wings in the oven or air fryer until warmed throughout.

A serving tray of crispy dry rubbed chicken wings and ranch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to bake chicken wings in the oven? 

Chicken wings will need 30-40 minutes to fully cook in the oven at 400°F. I Turn up the heat to 450°F halfway through to make sure they get extra crispy. 

How do you make baked chicken wings crispy?

There are a few things you can do to ensure your wings get extra crispy in the oven. Pat them down with paper towels before adding oil or seasonings. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness! Coat them well with oil so the skin can fry and get crispy. Cooking the wings at a higher temperature will also help them get crispier. My secret ingredient to crispy naked wings is to toss when with baking powder. 

How many chicken wings per serving?

Allow for 1 pound of chicken wings per person for a snack or appetizer portion, and 2 pounds of chicken wings per person for a dinner sized portion. One pound of chicken wings is approximately 6-10 pieces of drumettes and/or flats depending on their size. 

Is dry rub or sauce better for wings?

I personally like dry rub chicken wings better because they will be crispier. If you toss wings in sauce, they can get soggy. I like the best of both worlds by dipping dry rubbed wings into sauce!

More delicious wing recipes!

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Up close dry rubbed chicken wings in ranch sauce.

Crispy Baked Dry Rub Chicken Wings

These dry rubbed chicken wings have super crispy skin and juicy and flavorful meat! Plus you can use this homemade dry rub recipe for chicken tenders, breasts, and thighs too.
4.79 from 38 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 699 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds chicken wings whole or party wings
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil vegetable oil, avocado oil
  • cooking spray helps wings not to stick to the baking rack

The Best Dry Rub:

Instructions
 

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 400°F and place oven rack in the middle position. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then place a wire baking rack on top. Spray the rack generously with cooking spray. If necessary, break down the chicken wings into drumettes and flats. Discard the tips or save for stock. Pat the wings dry with paper towels.
  • MIX: Combine the seasonings for the dry rub together in a small bowl.
  • COAT: Add the wings to a large bowl, and massage the oil into the wings. Sprinkle the dry rub seasoning over the wings and toss to coat evenly. Place the wings on the baking rack in a single layer, giving them enough space around each other.
  • BAKE: Bake wings for 20 minutes. Increase heat to 450°F and flip wings over using silicone tongs. Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and cooked throughout with an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • SERVE: Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces.

Notes

  • If using frozen chicken wings, defrost completely before preparing.
  • If you don’t have cooking spray, brush oil lightly onto the wire cooling rack.
  • Use a large baking sheet with a cooling rack on top to give the wings more airflow so they can get crispier.
  • Your oven may get pretty smoky since you will be cooking at a high temperature. Use a double layer of foil or parchment paper on the baking sheet. If the oven is smoky, and there is burnt residue, remove the top layer when you flip the wings.
  • How to store leftovers: Store leftover wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Wings are best enjoyed right away.
  • How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing these wings once they have been cooked.
  • How to reheat: Reheat chicken wings in the oven or air fryer until warmed throughout.

Nutrition

Calories: 699kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 46gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 2578mgPotassium: 457mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 968IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 400mgIron: 3mg
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About me

Hey good lookin’, what ya got cookin’? I’m Lauren and I love to teach you how to make the good stuff, from scratch! I use fresh quality ingredients to create impressive but approachable restaurant worthy recipes.

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