How To Grill Chicken Drumsticks

How Long Do You Cook Chicken On A Gas Grill

How To Grill Drumsticks – Ace Hardware

This will depend on the temperature! If youre cooking it like me which is between 325°F and 350°F, then itll take between 45 minutes to an hour. If you need dinner on the table faster, consider cranking up that heat, but keeping an eye on the chicken!Either way, be sure to use a digital thermometer to verify that the internal temperature has reached 165°F before serving. Stay away from the bone while checking as well or that could alter the results.

What To Serve With Bbq Chicken Drumsticks

This recipe is fabulous with classic BBQ sides like Sour Cream Cornbread and Baked Beans – as well as my favorite Easy Rice Pilaf – but I’m sharing my favorite other dishes to serve with baked chicken legs as well:

  • Perfect Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
  • The Best Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan Asparagus Recipe
  • Easy Cheddar Bay Biscuits Recipe
  • Easy Sautéed Squash and Zucchini Recipe
  • The Best Slow Cooker Baked Beans Recipe
  • The Best Easy Air Fryer French Fries Recipe
  • Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes Recipe
  • The Best Crab Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs Recipe Ever

You can find our complete side dish recipe archives here.

How To Season Chicken Drumsticks

For these drumsticks, I am using The Best Chicken Seasoning Blend on my blog. It is a versatile and easy to use seasoning for this, and it won’t overpower the sauce. If you are looking for a store bought blend, my favorites are the Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic or McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning. I have plenty of other marinades in my How to Cook Chicken Breast tutorial that would make great seasonings, but maybe not paired well with a sauce.

For the sauce, I like serving two types of chicken drumsticks: barbecue and sweet chili drumsticks. Everyone has had barbecue drumsticks, but sweet chili sauce adds a sweet heat that will really up your barbecue game.

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How To Grill Drumsticks

Your ingredients are whatever you want them to be.

We like serving ours with asparagus, but you can serve them with any side you wish. Most importantly, whats the chicken drumstick grill time?

You can spice your drummies with salt and pepper, or get creative with garlic salt, cayenne pepper or one of our favorites, Stubbs Rub.

Lets get to it. How long do you grill chicken drumsticks? Whats a good internal temp of chicken drumsticks? How long to grill chicken legs?

How To Make Homemade Bbq Sauce

How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

Making homemade BBQ sauce is super simple! All of the ingredients are pantry and fridge staples and when simmered together make an incredible sauce that will become a family favorite.

All thats needed to make BBQ Sauce is one pot and about 10 minutes of time. Add all the ingredients to the pot and whisk them together. Bring the sauce up to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the sauce cool and you are ready to serve.

These chicken legs are great with the classic BBQ sauce in this recipe but they are also amazing when grilled with Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce.

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How Long To Cook Chicken Legs At 325 Degrees

There are different temperatures where you can cook chicken at. At 325 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to cook the chicken for at least 60 minutes with the grill lid closed.

Then again, the time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken. Make sure to keep a meat probe at reach to measure the temperature if the chicken has reached the right temperature.

For a higher temperature, such as 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to grill the chicken for about 35 minutes. Just make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips For Perfect Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

If not done correctly grilling drumsticks can result in chewy meat with a really dry, charred outside .

But this is easy to avoid if you follow these tried and true steps:

  • Brine before you grill. Chicken drumsticks benefit from spending time in a brine. The salt penetrates into the dark meat, denatures the proteins and loosens the muscle fibers to create gaps that become filled with water. This is how thee meat absorbs and retains moisture. In result the drumsticks remain juicy during grilling and the meat is more tender.
  • Use a dry rub instead of a marinade. A dry rub will add a ton of flavor to the already moist drumsticks and is very easy to mix and apply. Plus if you made a flavorful brine it will impart the essence of its ingredients to the chicken and a marinade will be a bit redundant.
  • Grill over indirect heat. This will ensure that the drumsticks are tender. Cooking near the heat source allows the fat to render and for the skin to get crispy .
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    Bbq Chicken Leg Ingredients

    Chicken- For this BBQ chicken legs recipe you can use either chicken legs or chicken leg quarters depending on availability.

    Rub- You can throw together the perfect BBQ rub with what you already have in your cupboards! Just use some brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

    BBQ Sauce- For my homemade honey barbecue sauce all you need is ketchup, white vinegar, molasses, honey, salt and pepper, dry mustard, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. This recipe will make enough to coat your chicken legs and leave some extra for dipping or saving for later.

    Know What Else I Love Buffalo

    How to Grill the Perfect BBQ Chicken Drumstick

    It isnt that we dont appreciate the wing. Buffalo wings are legit one of the best discoveries of my 30s. I know theyve been around forever and a day, but for me they were new , and Im a little obsessed now.

    My Favorite Buffalo Recipes

    Okay, maybe more than a little. Sons #1 & #3 are both now requesting Buffalo Mac and Cheese to be added to our dinner rotation, so watch out for that Buffalo Recipe list to expand in the not-too-distant future. Oh, and these Buffalo Chicken Pretzel Bites from Heather at Sugar Dish Me might just be the best things since pretzels themselves came to be.

    More delicious Traeger Recipes here!

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    What You Need For Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

    You might be surprised to learn you only need FOUR basic ingredients to make your own chicken legs. They all happen to be incredibly cheap as well! I picked up a massive bag of drumsticks at Costco for less than $10 and its been enough to feed our family for weeks!

    • Drumsticks- Like mentioned above, drumsticks are relatively cheap compared to breasts. You can find them at most grocers and bulk stores.
    • Oil- We used avocado oil and vegetable oil with great success.
    • Seasoning- Find your favorite chicken seasoning. We really like the Traeger Citrus and Black Pepper Chicken Rub .
    • Sauce- If you have never made your own barbecue sauce, I highly suggest you give it a try, or you can use your favorite brand.

    Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

    This recipe for baked chicken drumsticks is one of my favorites – but if you’re looking for how to make addictively delicious chicken drumsticks in an air fryer, be sure to check out my Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks Recipe.

    Crispy drumsticks are so delicious in the air fryer – and you can use the basting BBQ method we use here, but in the air fryer!

    And don’t forget my favorite way to make french fries at home – my Air Fryer French Fries recipe goes perfectly with delicious chicken legs!

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    The Best Way To Grill Chicken Drumsticks

    The secret to a really good, juicy chicken drumstick thats fully cooked through without burning or drying it out is to grill using the LONG AND SLOW method over indirect heat.

    First make sure your chicken drumsticks are at room temperature before you start to grill. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the skin, then rub the chicken legs with extra virgin olive oil, and simply season with salt and pepper.

    Heat half of your grill to a high heat, leaving the other half off. Make sure your grill grates are clean, then use tongs and a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to oil the grill grates.

    Place the drumsticks on the hot side of the grill. Once the skin starts to brown and loosen from the grates, turn with tongs, allowing the skin to begin to brown and crisp up all over the drumstick. This will take about 15 minutes. As each leg is browned, move it to the cool side of your grill.

    Once the last chicken leg is moved over, close the cover and leave only one of the grill burners on on the opposite side of the drumsticks. Adjust the flame on that one burner, trying your best to regulate the grills temperature to stay right at 275 degrees F.

    Now just let the grill do its magic and go about making the rest of your dinner. We cooked 7-ounce chicken drumsticks for todays recipe and they cooked through in about an hour and 15 minutes. Smaller chicken legs will take less time.

    Boneless Or Skinless Thighs

    Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

    While the discussion is mainly for bone-in skin-on thighs, the meat is all the same and will cook the same with a few minor adjustments.

    The bone will absorb some of the heat, so boneless thighs will cook a few minutes faster due to that, and they always seem thinner to me. Thickness is a big variable it cooking time, so pay attention to the internal temperature.

    For skinless thighs, you can skip the uneven grilling times I discuss. You have no chicken skin you are trying to protect. But you will still need the large surface area to move around and avoid flare-ups from the fat drainage. Plus, give them a nice brush of vegetable oil before grilling.

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    Baked Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

    These drumsticks can be cooked completely in the oven if you are not grilling. I prefer the grill, but it is not for everyone. After your second coating of barbecue sauce , finish the drumsticks with a high broil for 1-2 minutes each side. The broiler will mimic the flames of the grill and get them caramelized and ready. If you are afraid of your broiler, just crank the heat to 450 for about 5 minutes. Remember, every broiler is different so keep an eye on it.

    What Temperature Should Drumsticks Be Grilled At

    When you are grilling drumsticks, you need to be careful and set the grill at the right temperature. That way, you will be able to manage them easier when you are cooking.

    Keep in mind that the skin on the drumsticks is sensitive. They cook fast, so you need to keep the temperature low, but not too low, that the insides or the heat do not reach the bone.

    It is a matter of balance, and depending on the thickness of the drumsticks, you can adjust the grills temperature between 300 degrees and 400 degrees Fahrenheit when cooking them.

    To make the cooking process even more on the drumsticks insides, you need to make sure they defrost. So wrap them in aluminum foil and let them warm up.

    You can do this by leaving the drumsticks at room temperature after wrapping them with aluminum foil. This will take about 30 minutes so do this part of the process ahead of time.

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    Make Ahead Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

    Can these be made ahead? Absolutely. This is another reason why I love these drumsticks. You can bake them ahead of time and heat them up directly on the grill. I reheat them on low and then crisp them on medium high heat. You can also reheat these, covered, in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes before grilling.

    Grab Some Extra Napkins & Dig In

    HOW TO: Chicken drumsticks on a gas grill

    Once you learn this method for grilling chicken drumsticks, I predict it will be your go-to method from now on. Your patience will be rewarded with grilled chicken drumsticks that are so tender and juicy, youre going to need some extra napkins to wipe your mouth and hands. Enjoy!

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    How To Cook Brined Chicken Drumsticks

    The best way to enjoy brined chicken drumsticks are by roasting them in the oven. This where the brining process comes in handy because the meat will remain juicy and moist inside, noo matter how long the chicken is exposed to the heat of the oven. Of course, you shouldnt over do it, because then youll burn the chicken. However, with the brine having taken effect, there should be no reason to aim for obtaining that extra crispy skin. The exterior will be lovely and golden while the inside of the chicken with be moist to the bone. I recommend keeping the chicken skin on as a form of protecting the flesh from too much heat. The skin layer will act as a protection membrane against additional heat transfer and it will make your chicken even juicier.

    If you decide to take the skin off, the muscles on the chicken drumsticks can become very stringy and hard. Stick to my advice and keep the skin on. If you dont like it, you can always remove it once you finish cooking the chicken in the oven or in the pan.

    If youre lucky enough to own a smoker, you can enjoy a great meal comprising smoked chicken drumsticks!

    How To Make Grilled Bbq Chicken Drumsticks:

    Place the chicken legs in a resealable plastic bag. Mix brown sugar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic cloves, onion powder, smoked paprika, dry mustard, salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne together and pour it over the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate in the sauce in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

    When its time, grab your grill brush and give each grill grate a good scrub, then preheat the grill to 400 degrees. You want the grill temperature to be between a medium heat and a high heat.

    Spray the chicken drumsticks with grill spray and grill for 4-5 minutes on both sides. Keep an eye on them because the sugar in the sauce can caramelize and burn. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees. Pro tip: I do love a digital instant read meat thermometer it makes checking the cook temps super easy .

    Remove the chicken from the grill and baste with your favorite BBQ sauce. Then allow the drumsticks to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

    Im just going to warn you, it requires a lot of restraint to not pick up one of these BBQ chicken legs and just devour it right off the grill. But that would not be good trust me the wait is so worth it!!

    Theyre all saucy and caramelized and grilled to perfection. And if you need another amazing grilled chicken recipe idea, try my Grilled Chicken Caprese with Balsamic Sauce. Or, if you find yourself without a grill, dad will surely love these low carb garlic parmesan wings.

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    Strategies For Perfectly Grilled Chicken

    Ive come up with two strategies. One is to cook my chicken until its pretty much done in the oven, where I can better control the heat. Then I just finish it on the grill, brushing it with barbecue sauce and getting some nice grilled flavor and color. That method is described in this post for how to grill chicken perfectly, and would work great for any type of chicken pieces, including drumsticks.

    My other strategy is a two-step cook on the grill, and thats the one Im using in the recipe below. I set up the grill for two kinds of cookingdirect heat and indirect heatthen basically use the grill like I use my oven in the first strategy. That is, I put the chicken over indirect heat and leave it there until its pretty much cooked through. Then I brush it with barbecue sauce, move it to direct heat, and cook it for just a few minutes per side, to get some flavorful color and caramelization.

    I should mention that, with either of these methods, you can actually do the first cook in advance, let your chicken cool, refrigerate it if youre doing the first cook way in advance, and then finish it on the grill whenever youre ready. Nice if youre cooking for a crowd and would rather spend the party with people than with chicken!

    Another advantage of pausing between cooks is, if you prefer skinless chicken, its a lot easier to remove the skin from the cooled chicken after that initial cook than when the chicken is raw.

    How Should I Lay Out The Grilled Chicken Legs On The Grill

    Southwest Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

    This great article shows how I like to lay out drumsticks while theyre grilling. They talk about using indirect heat, but I use low direct heat when grilling my own.Think about laying out the chicken in a way like the picture above in almost an interlocking pattern. This will help ensure that your grilled chicken legs will finish at the same time.I also quarter turn my pieces on the grill every 10 minutes without switching locations completely to make sure that each part has been on the grill for an equal time.

    Be sure to enjoy and tag me with #theculinarycompass on Instagram if you make this!

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