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The BEST Way To Get Seasoning To Stick To Chicken

If you’ve had one too many disappointing, barely-seasoned grilled chicken mishaps, you may be wondering what’s going wrong.
Surely it can’t be that difficult to get a bit of dry rub to stick?!
I have experimented with several different seasoning techniques to find out what the very best method of seasoning chicken is (with no bare patches!).
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 150 kcal


Wire rack


  • 1 portion olive oil
  • 1 portion chicken
  • 1 portion dry rub


Dry the chicken

  • This is the most important thing you’re going to read all day.
    Make sure your chicken is completely dry before you start seasoning it.
    It might seem like some moisture on the chicken will help the seasoning stick.
    But as soon as you start cooking the chicken, the water will turn into steam and evaporate, causing the seasoning to fall off in the process.
    To dry your chicken, take a paper towel and pat the chicken all over until there’s no more juice left. Only then are you ready to start the seasoning process.
    If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, another way to dry chicken is to leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for a few hours. The dry air will wick moisture away from the surface of the chicken and dehydrate it. You should still pat the chicken with some paper towel once you take it out of the fridge to ensure it’s as dry as possible.

Coat the chicken with a sticky base (a binding agent)

  • Some of the most popular binding agents include:
    - EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
    - Mustard
    - Melted butter
    - Mayonnaise
    - Other types of oil
    - Worcester sauce
    EVOO is the most popular option for chicken because of its neutral flavor profile.
    Mustard is often associated with pork, and Worcester sauce is associated with beef. But nothing is stopping you from using them on chicken.
    Melted butter and mayonnaise are less common but work well.
    Steer clear of ketchup and barbecue sauce because they contain lots of sugar which means they burn easily.
  • Coat the chicken with a minimal amount of your chosen binding agent. You only need a minimal amount, and the flavor of the binder generally disappears after cooking.
    Don’t use too much binder, or it can have the opposite effect and cause all the seasoning to slide off. You just want a really thin layer covering the entire piece of chicken.

Work the seasoning into the chicken

  • Once you’ve covered the chicken with your binder, the next step is to season the chicken.
  • Use your fingers or your knuckles, and rub the seasoning into the chicken until you’ve covered every part.

Cook the chicken

  • Cook the chicken to your preference. Just try to minimise the amount of times you flip the chicken.


Serving: 112gCalories: 150kcal
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