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Spicy Dry Rub Chicken Wings are a low-carb appetizer or dinner you can enjoy at home or bring to any get together. In this post, I share directions to make a dry rub for chicken. Then, I include directions to make these wings in a Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, grill or oven.
Ingredients in Dry Rub Chicken Wings
Dry rub chicken wings start with the most obvious ingredient: chicken wings. I use fresh, not frozen wings as I find they taste the best and you can avoid the defrosting time.
For the rub, I use a lot of spices you probably already have on hand. The spices include:
- cayenne pepper
- chili powder
- freshly ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- sea salt
This combination of spices gives you irresistible flavor with minimal added carbs.
How to make dry rub chicken wings
Making dry rub chicken wings is about as easy as using a marinade.
Make the Dry Rub
All you need is to measure out the proper amount of spices and mix them in a small bowl.
Cut the wings (if necessary)
Depending on your store, you may be able to find precut wings. If yours are already cut, then you can skip this step.
Otherwise, you can get whole wings and cut them into pieces yourself. If you take that approach, get a good pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife to cut them right at the joint.
Remove extra moisture
Before you add the rub to the chicken, give it a good pat down with a paper towel.
You want to remove as much moisture from the chicken as possible to help prevent them from getting soggy.
Don’t skip this! It will help your wings crisp up nicely in the oven.
Add the dry rub to the chicken and allow to marinate
When the spice rub and wings are ready, place the wings into a large zip lock bag. Then pour some of the pre-mixed dry rub into the bag.
Seal the bag and give it a bit of a shake until the mixture has coated the chicken wings evenly.
Once you’ve evenly applied the dry rub to the chicken wings, place the bag in the refrigerator. For best flavor, I marinate the wings overnight. But if you are short on time, you should keep them in the bag for at least a half hour.
Cook the wings in an air fryer, grill or oven
When you are ready to cook the wings, remove them from the refrigerator. Let them come up to room temperature, which takes 20-30 minutes.
For this recipe, I bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. But you could use an air fryer or grill instead if you prefer (see the directions below).
How to make a dry rub for chicken wings
Dry rubs are easy to make. The hardest part is measuring out the ingredients, but that really doesn’t take too long. To make the rub, combine all the ingredients paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, oregano, and thyme in a small bowl.
You can use a fork or spoon to mix the spices. Just make sure they are well combined before either storing them in a mason jar or adding to the chicken wings.
My dry rub recipe makes about 1/2 cups of dry rub. This is a little extra than what you need.
How to make dry rub chicken wings in the oven
When you are ready to cook, take the wings from the refrigerator and let them come up to room temperature, which takes about 20-30 minutes.
While the wings warm up, you can preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once lined, add the chicken wings to the pan with the side with the most skin facing up.
When the oven is heated, put the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes per side.
How to make dry rub chicken wings in the air fryer or grill
If you’re short on time, then I’d recommend that you make these in the air fryer or on the grill.
Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Directions
You can also cook dry rubbed chicken wings in an air fryer or on the grill. Similar to the oven, the initial prep involves creating the rub and marinating the chicken wings overnight in the refrigerator.
Cook the wings at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes per side.
If cooking the wings on the grill, set the grill to 400 degrees. Drizzle the wings with a little bit of olive oil to help prevent them from sticking.
Place the wings on the grill over direct heat and cook for about 12-15 minutes per side. Since grills can be different, it’s a good idea to check the wings after a few minutes of cooking to make sure they are not starting to burn.
Difference between these Baked Wings and my Oven Fried Wings
If you’ve checked out my site or perhaps made my oven-fried wings, then you might be wondering what’s the difference.
One of the major differences is that oven-fried wings are crisped using baking powder in the spice mix. The baking powder allows the chicken wing skin to cook faster than the meat & creates the crispy wings that we all love.
Since spicy dry rubbed wings do not include baking powder, they are also Whole 30 compliant.
Oven Fried Crispy Baked Chicken WingsGet this recipe
Tools for cooking
You don’t need many tools to make dry-rubbed baked chicken wings. You only need:
- a small bowl to mix the spices
- a ziplock bag to hold the wings
- parchment paper
- a baking sheet
- tongs to flip the wings
And if you get whole wings, you’ll need a way to cut the wings, which I would recommend a santoku knife.
Side Dishes for Dry Rub Wings
Spicy dry-rubbed chicken wings pair well with a lot of different dishes. You could serve them alongside your favorite salad or vegetable side dishes.
One of my favorites to make with this baked wing recipe are these Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic.
If you’d prefer, you can try serving my dry-rubbed wings with coleslaw. One of my favorite coleslaw recipes is this Easy Low Carb & Keto Coleslaw Recipe.
Easy Low Carb & Keto Coleslaw RecipeGet this recipe
Homemade Blue Cheese DressingGet this recipe
Ranch Seasoning Mix RecipeGet this recipe
- 2 lbs Chicken Wings
To Marinate the Wings:
- Place chicken in a ziploc bag with 1/4 cup of the spicy dry rub. You can store the rest in a mason jar.
- Shake the bag so that the mix coats the chicken evenly
- Store in the refrigerator for at least four hours, ideally overnight
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow to come near room temperature (30 minutes). Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the oven:
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the chicken wings on the paper and space them evenly
- Cook for 20-25 minutes per side
For the Ninja Foodi:
- Place the chicken wings in the air fryer basket
- Cook for 15 minutes per side