how to get seasoning to stick to chicken

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For those who’ve had one too many disappointing, barely-seasoned grilled hen mishaps, chances are you’ll be questioning what’s going improper.

Absolutely it could possibly’t be that troublesome to get a little bit of dry rub to stay?!

Studying: find out how to get seasoning to stay to hen

I’ve experimented with a number of completely different seasoning strategies to seek out out what the perfect technique of seasoning hen is (with no naked patches!).

On this article, I cowl:

  • Precisely find out how to season hen (so it sticks!)
  • When it is best to season your hen
  • The right way to retailer hen coated with dry rub
  • The right way to get seasoning to stay to cooked hen

Prepared? Let’s bounce proper in.

How do you get seasoning to stay to hen? To get seasoning to stay to hen, first pat the hen dry utilizing a paper towel. Subsequent, coat the hen in a lightweight layer of additional virgin olive oil. Use your arms to generously coat the hen within the dry rub seasoning. Lastly, cook dinner the hen, ensuring to show it as little as doable.

The right way to season hen so the seasoning sticks

There’s much more to seasoning hen than simply sprinkling some spice rub on.

To verify as a lot because the seasoning sticks as doable, comply with these steps:

  1. Pat the hen dry with paper towels.
  2. Cowl the hen with olive oil or one other sticky binder of your alternative (extra on these later).
  3. Rub the seasoning into the hen together with your fingers.
  4. Cook dinner the hen.

I clarify every of those steps in additional element under.

Dry the hen

Chicken breast being patted dry before getting seasoning to stick

That is a very powerful factor you’re going to learn all day.

Be sure that your hen is totally dry earlier than you begin seasoning it.

It’d look like some moisture on the hen will assist the seasoning stick.

However as quickly as you begin cooking the hen, the water will flip into steam and evaporate, inflicting the seasoning to fall off within the course of.

To dry your hen, take a paper towel and pat the hen throughout till there’s no extra juice left. Solely then are you prepared to begin the seasoning course of.

For those who’ve received a bit extra time in your arms, one other method to dry hen is to depart it uncovered within the fridge for a couple of hours. The dry air will wick moisture away from the floor of the hen and dehydrate it. It’s best to nonetheless pat the hen with some paper towel as soon as you are taking it out of the fridge to make sure it’s as dry as doable.

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

Stick your finger in a bowl of salt and be aware what number of grains stick. Then cowl your finger with mayo and stick it in a bowl of salt. A LOT extra grains have caught, proper?

(okay, no want to really do that).

Not a lot will persist with a dry hen, so you should add one thing sticky.

As I defined above, water is not any good as a result of it evaporates as quickly because it hits the warmth.

So what can you utilize? Listed below are a number of the hottest choices:

  • EVOO (additional virgin olive oil)
  • Mustard
  • Melted butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Different forms of oil
  • Worcester sauce

EVOO is the preferred choice for hen due to its impartial taste profile.

Mustard is usually related to pork, and Worcester sauce is related to beef. However nothing is stopping you from utilizing them on hen.

Melted butter and mayonnaise are much less widespread however work properly.

Avoid ketchup and barbecue sauce as a result of they include a number of sugar which implies they burn simply.

It’s regular to fret in regards to the binder imparting an excessive amount of style (particularly in the event you’re utilizing mustard), however you don’t must. You solely want a minimal quantity, and the flavour of the binder typically disappears after cooking.

And after I say minimal, I imply minimal. Don’t use an excessive amount of binder, or it could possibly have the other impact and trigger all of the seasoning to slip off. You simply need a actually skinny layer masking your complete piece of hen.

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To search out out what the very best hen seasoning binder is, I carried out an experiment.

Chicken breast being patted dry before getting seasoning to stick
From left to proper: mustard, EVOO, mayonnaise, management (no binder)

I coated three hen breasts with olive oil, mustard, and mayonnaise. Then I had a fourth management hen breast.

Then I coated them with a dry rub and cooked them in a pan. Listed below are the outcomes.

Chicken breast being patted dry before getting seasoning to stick
From left to proper: mustard, EVOO, mayonnaise, management (no binder)

The EVOO got here out trying the very best. The oil helped the rub extra a slight crisp and gave the surface of the hen a little bit of crunch. Just about all of the seasoning stayed on the hen.

Out of mustard and mayonnaise, I most popular mustard. I couldn’t style the mustard in any respect, and the seasoning caught properly.

With the mayonnaise coating, a number of the seasoning caught to the pan. I might additionally style a touch of the mayonnaise on the hen which I didn’t like. (Sorry, not sorry – mayo gang).

However each had been higher than no binder. The management was so much barer than the three coated chickens. As you’ll be able to see within the image, not a whole lot of seasoning remained.

Work the seasoning into the hen

When you’ve coated the hen together with your binder, the following step is to season the hen.

Binding agents compared on chicken before adding dry rub
Rubbed vs sprinkled seasoning

Ought to I sprinkle or rub the seasoning onto my hen?

100% rub the seasoning in (it’s referred to as a dry rub for a cause!).

Think about in the event you unintentionally sprinkled some chili powder onto your white high. The very last thing you’re going to do is get your fingers and rub it in. Rubbing it in would make it more durable to get out!

The identical applies to hen. The seasoning will stick significantly better if it’s labored into the hen slightly than simply sprinkled on high.

There are a great deal of tiny little fissures and cracks on the floor of the hen. They aren’t seen to the bare eye, however as you knead the seasoning into the hen, the spices will get trapped in these holes and are due to this fact much less more likely to fall off.

Rubbing the seasoning in additionally helps combine it in with the binder growing its effectiveness.

Use your fingers or your knuckles, and rub the seasoning into the hen till you’ve coated each half.

Different ideas for getting seasoning to stay to hen

I’ve defined one of the best ways to get dry rub to stay to hen above, however there are a couple of different ideas value mentioning you could check out.

Prick the hen

The logic behind actually rubbing the seasoning in is that it lets you work it into all of the tiny cracks and fissures on the floor of the hen.

Going by the identical logic, in the event you prick a couple of holes within the floor of the hen, the seasoning will fall into them and keep there.

Nevertheless, the counterargument is that pricking holes within the floor of a hen imply it’s simpler for moisture to leak out throughout cooking, resulting in dry meat.

I personally suppose that drying the hen and utilizing a binder works properly sufficient, so there’s no must danger a dry hen!

Use a marinade as a substitute

If all this feels like an excessive amount of work, one other method to taste a hen is to marinate it.

Marinades are liquid seasoning. The liquid works its approach into the hen and flavors the surface layers. As a result of the marinade penetrates the hen, you don’t want to fret about it falling off.

To marinate a hen, all you should do is choose the marinade you need to use, cowl your hen, after which let it relaxation.

How lengthy it must relaxation relies on the minimize of hen you’re utilizing. Harder cuts may want a couple of hours, whereas extra tender cuts will solely want an hour or two.

Remember to dry off any extra marinade earlier than you cook dinner the hen in any other case you danger it burning. Additionally, a moist hen received’t crisp up as properly.

When ought to I season hen?

The very best time to season hen is every time it’s handy for you.

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Dry seasoning doesn’t penetrate the meat in the identical approach a marinade does. It received’t make a discernible distinction to the style in the event you go away the seasoning on for 10 minutes or 10 hours.

The one factor to be cautious of is that if your seasoning incorporates any tenderizing components (i.e. salt). Leaving these on too lengthy might flip your hen a bit mushy.

However by too lengthy, we’re speaking days, so it’s probably the hen can have gone off by then anyway.

Can I go away dry rub on hen in a single day?

It’s completely high quality to depart hen coated with a dry rub in a single day. You may both wrap the seasoned hen in plastic wrap, put it in an hermetic container, or simply go away it uncovered on a wire rack with a drip tray beneath.

Some folks prefer to season their hen upfront as a result of they suppose it provides the hen time to absorb the flavors, however in actuality, it doesn’t make a lot distinction. Particularly with a dry rub the place the flavors don’t penetrate the hen.

Nonetheless, it may be very handy to arrange the hen the night time earlier than, so all you must do on the day is cook dinner it.

The right way to retailer hen with dry rub on

Seasoned hen is all the time a winner at a barbecue, however seasoning a load of hen thighs when you could have company isn’t splendid.

So what’s one of the best ways to retailer hen with a dry rub on? There are two most important strategies, the plastic wrap technique, and a easy wire rack.

I examined them each out to see how properly they labored.

The plastic wrap technique

After scouring the web for a secret trick to get seasoning to stay to hen, I got here throughout the plastic wrap technique.

It appeared to me like an effective way of storing the hen with out all of the seasoning falling off.

Binding agents compared on chicken before adding dry rub

To retailer seasoned hen in plastic wrap:

  1. Lay out a chunk of plastic wrap sufficiently big to cowl your complete piece of hen. Be sure that there are not any wrinkles in it.
  2. Cowl an space of the plastic wrap barely larger than your minimize of hen with the seasoning.
  3. Pat your hen dry and canopy it with olive oil (or one other binding agent).
  4. Rub the seasoning into your hen as you usually would.
  5. Place the hen down onto the plastic wrap.
  6. Rigorously raise the plastic wrap so the surplus seasoning touches the sides of the hen slightly than falling down right into a small pile, then wrap the hen.
  7. Retailer the wrapped hen within the fridge.

The thought behind that is that the seasoning is pressed to the hen and has nowhere to go. The surplus seasoning additionally helps to cease the whole lot from getting too soggy.

In fact, in the event you don’t have any spare dry rub you can too simply wrap the seasoning hen in plastic wrap.


I used to be involved that the seasoning would all fall off after I took the plastic wrap off, however it didn’t!

Actually, it caught a bit too properly and there was various extra seasoning caught to the hen. Nevertheless, this was straightforward to scrape off in the event you didn’t need it there.

On a wire rack

Binding agents compared on chicken before adding dry rub

A extra easy technique is to depart the hen uncovered on a wire rack. The rack minimizes contact factors, so it doesn’t disturb the seasoning an excessive amount of.

Place the hen on a shelf by itself and put a plate or paper towels beneath the rack to catch any drips.

For those who aren’t bought on the thought of uncovered hen in your fridge, you’ll be able to create a wire rack with tin foil by scrunching it as much as create ridges. Then place this within the backside of an hermetic container and put the hen on high.

It received’t be good, however it’s higher than placing the hen down on a strong floor.


The hen appeared just about precisely the identical because it did after I put it on there.

The seasoning was a bit soggy as a result of it has soaked up a whole lot of the olive oil binder I used, however this was simply remedied by placing some extra dry rub on.

The right way to get seasoning to stay to cooked hen

It’s greatest to season cooked hen as quickly because it comes out of the pan or fryer. When the hen is sizzling, there’ll nonetheless be a number of steam or residual oil on the hen, which is able to assist the seasoning stick.

Because the hen begins to chill, the steam will disappear, and any oil will soak again into the breading. As soon as this occurs, there’s nothing for the seasoning to stick to.

For those who’ve missed the just-cooked part, the very best factor to do is spray the hen with a lightweight spritz of oil earlier than tumbling it round within the seasoning. The oil will act as a glue and assist the seasoning stick.

Chicken seasoning experiment 4 binding agents visual comparisonHow To Get Seasoning To Stick To Chicken [I Test 3 Ways]

Oil spritzers are nice for seasoning every kind of issues together with hen, popcorn, and french fries. They let you get a good, mild coating of oil and make it easier to keep away from soggy patches the place you unintentionally poured an excessive amount of oil on.

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