Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings

These crispy, smoky wings are coated with the most flavorful blend of spices that will bring you all the joy of hot wings without the sticky mess!

Sheet pan with Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings and Ranch Dressing
Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings and Ranch Dressing

There are a lot of opinions out there regarding dry rub vs wet wings, but I’m decidedly on the dry rub side.  These wings are smoky, sweet, and just a little bit spicy and in my opinion – PERFECT!  For the best bite, try them with my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing!

I like these wings  just the way they are, but as with all my spicier recipes, there is always wiggle room in how much, in this case, cayenne or chili powder you use.  I wouldn’t mess with the chipotle powder level though, because that would affect the smokiness, and that’s crazy delicious here.  Let’s get started!

Round plate with Chicken Wing Dry rub spices
Chicken Wing Dry Rub Spices
Sheet pan with Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings and Ranch Dressing

Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings

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Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme

Other Pretty Important Ingredients

  • 4 lb chicken wings (flats and drums. You can freeze the wing tips and use them in making chicken stock another day!)
  • Canola or Vegetable oil, for giving the dry rub something to cling to


  • Preheat oven to 425° Cover 2 large sheet pans completely with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack in the sheet pans, spray the racks, and lay your chicken wing pieces in nice rows, leaving a little space between each piece. Sprinkle the wings with salt and pepper (even though we will be putting our dry rub on them, we season all layers of our food!) and brush both sides of each wing with the oil.
  • Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and whisk until completely mixed. Sprinkle a generous amount of the dry rub on both sides of the wings. You can use your fingers to do this, or I had this old Parmesan cheese shaker that I poured the rub into and used that. I’ve even saved old spice jars with shaker lids and used them to sprinkle on the rub. Do whatever makes it easier for you, just don’t be skimpy with the rub. Get it on there!
    Sprinkling dry rub on wings
  • Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, then turn the wings over. If you want to sprinkle on some more rub at this time, go for it! I sure did! Bake for another 20 minutes or until the wings are crispy and nicely caramelized. Serve with my delicious Ranch Dressing and (maybe) some carrots and celery. Share with a friend or two, if they are wing worthy. Your decision.
    Dry rub wings with ranch dressing

2 Replies to “Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings”

  1. I’ve tried wings from coast to coast and I’m tellin’ you this epic dry rub will Knock your socks off . This rub is insanely flavorful.

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