savory spiced rubbed chicken drums
Meats, Supper Time

How to make the best Spice Rubbed Oven Baked Chicken Drums

Cooks in 45 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

Creating a delicious meal doesn’t have to be complicated. With this recipe, you can easily make savory spice-rubbed chicken drums that are baked in the oven until crispy and delicious. The spice rub blend is a breeze to make and is enough to cover twelve drumsticks, perfect for a tasty, easy weekday dinner. And the best part? Chicken drums are a budget-friendly meal option that tastes absolutely amazing!

Once you try this spice rub blend on your baked drumsticks, you might find yourself wanting to use it on everything. After all, it’s not just for drumsticks! You can also try it on chicken thighs or chicken wings. It’s a flavorful and delicious blend that requires minimal work, except for the measuring of spices. So go ahead, get creative in the kitchen! 

I made it even easier by doing a classic shake-and-bake with the spice run, ensuring that each chicken drumstick was completely covered in tasty spices. 

If you love chicken, see our chicken veggie stir fry. 


Why You Will Love This Spice Rub On Your Chicken Drums

Simple ingredients. This recipe is nothing complicated. Measure the spices and blend. Add them to a paper or plastic bag and shake up the drums. Each one is coated in a delicious savory rub that will make you anxious for it to finish roasting. 

Cost. Let’s face it, having one or two grocery meal items that are on the lower end of the cost scale can be a great option. Chicken drumsticks are generally fairly inexpensive compared to other cuts of meat, making this a budget-friendly meal. This recipe can also be made with dollar-store spices to save even more on it. 

Bake or air fry. This spice mixture is perfectly safe to put on the chicken drums and air fry them, as well as to enjoy them baked. If cooking in your air fryer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for chicken drums. 

Let’s Make The Dry Rub Chicken Drumsticks. 

It’s a simple chicken drumstick recipe that begins by measuring the seasoning mix  and blending it in a small bowl. If you don’t plan on making twelve chicken drumsticks, make the spice blend in a mason jar and lid it for later use. 

Start by measuring the black pepper, followed by the thyme. Be careful to be exact with the thyme, as it’s pretty potent stuff. After that, we’re adding the achiote chili pepper, which adds a rich, slightly smoky flavor. To balance and enhance the spice blend, we add one teaspoon of salt. We continue with measuring the remaining ingredients: paprika, garlic, and onion powders, as well as poultry seasoning. 

Now that we’ve measured powdered spices, we can blend them together. Add them to your bag to season the chicken drums. You can use a baggie to do this part. Coat only one chicken leg at a time, as putting more than one in the bag and having them knocking around together will result in losing some of the spice rubs off the drums. Coating one at a time ensures that each leg is thoroughly coated in this savory blend. 

If you are cooking thawed drumsticks from the freezer, it’s okay to coat them while they are still icy. However, you must adjust the cooking time to allow the chicken to cook thoroughly. 

A large rimmed baking sheet will keep the chicken juices from spilling into your oven. In the tray, add a layer of parchment paper to save on scrubbing the pan later. This step is entirely optional. Next, place a baking rack on the baking tray. The chicken drums must be in a single layer to cook evenly in the oven. If you have to stack any on top to keep them off the baking tray, be sure to temp them before removing them from the oven. 

Bake chicken drumsticks in a high heat oven at 400F degrees for 45 minutes. Check for crispness. If they’re not quite there, reduce the temperature to 350F degrees and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. The longer they bake, the crispier the skin. Adjust the cooking time to your family’s preference. 

To test the chicken:

  1. The meat thermometer should read  165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If you do not have a meat thermometer on hand, pull one of the chicken legs out, generally the largest leg, as it will have taken the longest to cook.
  3. Open it with a sharp knife to see if the meat is cooked fully all the way to the bone. There should be no blood and no pink left in the chicken leg. 

Remove these easy baked chicken drumsticks from the oven and enjoy hot with various side dishes all year round. Double or triple the spice blend to keep jarred and ready for use the next time you’re looking for chicken drumstick recipes. In fact, this easy recipe would even work on stovetop chicken breasts! It’s a tasty mixture that is sure to become one of your favorite dishes at the dinner table.

This chicken leg recipe is so good you will enjoy having it cold on your next summer picnic, too!

savory spiced rubbed chicken drums (1)


Black Pepper:  This ground spice adds a bit of heat and depth to the blend, enhancing the flavor profile with its spicy notes.

Ground Thyme: Imparts a subtle earthiness and herbaceous aroma that complements the chicken, creating a balanced savory taste.

Achiote Chili Pepper: This pepper provides a rich, slightly smoky flavor and a touch of sweetness, adding complexity and depth to the rub. It adds a nice dark red to the blend, making the crisp chicken look mouthwateringly good. 

​Paprika infuses a mild, sweet pepper flavor into the mix, enhancing the overall taste. This brighter red spice blends with the achiote chili pepper to make a beautiful rub. 

​Salt:  Naturally enhances the chicken’s taste while balancing the other spices in the blend.

​Garlic Powder: Contributes a robust and spicy garlic flavor, intensifying the savory profile of the rub without overpowering the other spices.

Onion Powder: Adds a sweet and aromatic essence to the blend, complementing the savory flavors and enhancing the overall taste of the chicken.

​Poultry Seasoning: Combines various herbs like sage, thyme, and marjoram to provide a well-rounded flavor profile, enhancing the poultry’s natural taste with a blend of complementary spices.

​Chicken Drums: This cut of poultry is ideal for baking as it is flavorful and juicy. They are also very economical, making them great for weeknight dinners. 


Substitutions or Add-Ins:

Black Pepper: If you prefer less heat in the blend, you can replace this ingredient with white pepper. Its milder pepper flavor will most closely mimic the black pepper. 

​Ground Thyme: This cannot be easily replaced. If you wish, you can omit it, as it is part of the poultry season blend, and increase the poultry seasoning by one-quarter of a teaspoon.

​Achiote Chili Pepper: If you can’t add this spice, you can use chipotle, but it’s considerably hotter and has more flavor. So, you may reduce it to one-quarter of a teaspoon. 

Paprika: Smoked paprika offers a similar taste while adding a smoky depth, but regular paprika can work as a substitute.

​Salt: If you are on a low-sodium diet, you may omit this spice. The flavor will be somewhat milder than with the salt’s enhancing properties, but it will still be a delicious rub.

​Garlic Powder: Both this and the onion powder are vital components of the rub, and I wouldn’t switch them out or substitute them. 

Onion Powder: *See above.

​Poultry Seasoning: This spice is needed to round out the rub’s flavor. 

​Chicken Drums: This is a simple cut to work with, but if you are not a fan of chicken legs, thighs, or breasts, they would also work. In fact, try a whole roast chicken for dinner sometime using this rub; your whole family will thank you!

Expert Tips, Serving, and Storing Suggestions For the Oven-baked Chicken Drumsticks:

Tips #1: Be careful to measure. The most important thing when creating a juicy chicken drum with crispy skin is having the right balance of flavors in the rub. 

Tip #2: Coat one drum at a time. Coating one chicken drum at a time ensures they don’t knock the spice blend off one another. 

Tip #3: Lay end to end. When placing the chicken drums on the wire rack, lay them end to end to maximize the rack’s surface area. 

Serve these easy-baked chicken drumsticks anytime you want a simple, tasty meal. They are perfect, hot or cold! This is a great recipe to enjoy with green beans in the summer season or try with our dilly potato salad (seen in photos) any night of the week. 

Store leftover chicken drumsticks in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to let them cool completely before covering them so condensation doesn’t form. Condensation in your food container will make the chicken skin soggy and less palatable. 

You can freeze cooked chicken drumsticks and keep them in the freezer appropriately wrapped for up to three months. But I ask, why would you with this flavorful chicken? The skin will get flabby, which is best fresh from the oven. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on trying this chicken drumsticks recipe. Please leave a comment below. 

savory spiced rubbed chicken drums (1)

Savory Spice Rubbed Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Amber Bondar
This simple dinner recipe uses a seasoning blend to coat budget-friendly chicken drumsticks. Baked in a hot oven these drums are crispy and delicious. Serve them hot for dinner or packed cold for your next beach picnic this summer season. Use the spice rub on any chicken cut for a tasty chicken dinner the whole family will love.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 44 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 11


  • 1 Small Bowl
  • Wire Baking Rack
  • Rimmed Baking Tray
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • parchment paper *Optional


The Dry Rub Seasoning Blend

  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Thyme
  • ½ Tsp Achiote Chili Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder


  • 12 Chicken Drumsticks


  • Measure all of the spices into a small bowl.
  • Blend well.
  • Add spices to a plastic bag.
  • Put one chicken drum at a time in the bag and close it and shake.
  • On the rimmed baking sheet and a parchment paper if using.
  • Heat oven to 400℉
  • Add to the baking tray a wire rack.
  • Lay coated chicken drums end for end on the wire rack.
  • Place coated chicken drums in the oven uncovered and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Test the chicken for done with a meat thermometer. It should be 165℉
  • If you want crisper and drier legs or if cooking from slightly frozen cook for 15-20 minutes longer at 350℉
  • Remove from oven and serve hot. Or cool completely before covering in the fridge to enjoy cold the next day.
Keyword chicken leg, oven dinner, picnic food

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