Chicken drumsticks are coated in a homemade BBQ seasoning blend, brushed in BBQ sauce and grilled outside on a gas grill! This grilled chicken drumstick recipe is the perfect summertime grilling recipe for your next backyard cookout!
Making a grilled chicken drumstick recipe is a must for summertime cooking. Drumsticks are meaty and full of flavor, and are usually far less expensive than boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs!
For those reasons, I make grilled chicken drumsticks several times throughout the summer. BBQ chicken drumsticks are one of my favorite chicken recipes, and I love making my own BBQ dry rub for them.
This is one of those simple recipes that the whole family will enjoy! Flavorful chicken drumsticks will be a huge hit at all of your backyard cookouts!
⭐Why you'll love this recipe
- This is a quick and easy recipe!
- This recipe calls for basic ingredients that are regularly found in your pantry and spice drawer.
- Grilled chicken drumsticks are the perfect main dish for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor day and every summer weekend in between!
- Chicken drumsticks - You'll want to purchase bone-in, skin-on, fresh chicken drumsticks from the grocery store. Chicken drumsticks contain dark meat and they are not the same as whole chicken legs. Grilled chicken legs contain both the thigh and the drumstick and are obviously much larger than a drumstick.
- Homemade BBQ spice rub - The BBQ seasoning blend contains, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, yellow mustard powder, brown sugar, kosher salt and black pepper.
- Olive oil - You'll use the olive oil to lightly oil the outside of the chicken and also to oil the grill grates.
- Your favorite barbecue sauce - You'll need your favorite, bottled barbecue sauce or your own homemade BBQ sauce! I prefer a thick and sweet BBQ sauce. Rib Rack Original BBQ Sauce is my favorite!
*See recipe card for exact quantities.
- Gas grill - I cook on a gas grill that uses propane as the heat source. This recipe has not been tested on a charcoal grill.
- Large grilling tongs - You'll need tongs to flip the chicken while it's cooking on the hot grill.
- Small mixing bowl
📋How to make
Step 1: Preheat your grill using medium-high heat. You'll want the grill temperature to stay at about 400°F. A consistent grill temperature can be tricky to achieve. You'll have to play around with the level of heat and watch the thermometer on your grill.
Clean and oil your grill grates like you normally would. Remember, a little bit of oil goes a long way! I prefer to put a small amount of vegetable oil on a napkin. I then turn the heat down to low, and rub the oiled napkin onto the top of the grill grates using grilling tongs.
Step 2: Remove the drumsticks from the package. Pat both sides of the drumsticks dry with a paper towel. Lay them out on a flat surface. I laid them out on a baking sheet.
Step 3: Mix together the BBQ seasoning blend. Add all of the seasonings and the brown sugar to a small bowl and mix them together.
Step 4: Lightly brush the olive oil onto both sides of the drumsticks.
Step 5: Liberally season all sides of the drumsticks with the spice mixture. I use my hands to really press the seasoning onto the drumsticks.
Step 6: Transfer the chicken drumsticks to the hot grill. Cook the drumsticks over medium heat, keeping the grill at about 400°F, for 20 minutes. Check the chicken every 5 minutes. Flip it a few times during the 20 minutes, and make sure it isn't burning.
Step 7: After 20 minutes, open the grill and carefully brush your favorite BBQ sauce onto the drumsticks, using a spoon or a basting brush. Return the drumsticks to the heat and continue cooking them for another 10 minutes.
Step 8: After 30 minutes of cooking time, check the internal temperature of the chicken using a digital meat thermometer. Grilled chicken drumsticks should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Step 9: The drumsticks should now have flavorful and crispy skin, and be juicy and tender on the inside! Remove the drumsticks from the grill and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Chicken - This is a grilled drumsticks recipe, but you could use the dry rub in this recipe on chicken wings, chicken thighs or chicken legs.
- Homemade seasoning blend - If you don't want to make your own seasoning, then you could just buy a BBQ seasoning blend.
- Olive oil - The olive oil could be swapped out for any kind of vegetable oil.
Leftover grilled chicken drumsticks can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed, airtight container for 3-4 days. I prefer to remove the meat from the bone before storing them, but you don't absolutely have to do that!
Leftover BBQ chicken is delicious in salad, in a sandwich wrap or on it's own!
- Grilling is a hands-ON cooking technique. I find that I have to keep a very close eye on my food that is grilling to prevent burning. You never know when a flame can flare up and char the outside of your food.
- Do not add excessive amounts of oil to anything that is getting grilled. The oil can drip down onto the flames and catch fire. This almost always results in heavily charred food and can be very dangerous!
- If you're looking to add some heat to this recipe, then add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your seasoning blend.
- If you have leftovers, remove the meat from the bone before storing in the refrigerator. I find it is much harder to remove meat from the bone once it has chilled in the fridge. If you remove it while the drumsticks are still at room temperature, you'll have meat that can easily be warmed up the next day and ready to eat!
A delicious grilled chicken drumstick recipe like this one can be served with so many different side dishes! My favorite side dishes for BBQ chicken are baked beans, pasta salad, grilled vegetables, potato wedges, fresh salad and just about any cooked green vegetable!
I find that 30 minutes at 400°F is the perfect amount of time! Always check for doneness using a digital meat thermometer though. If your chicken isn't cooked through yet, then keep adding on 5 minutes to your cooking time until it's done.
If your chicken legs or drumsticks are tough, it is most likely due to the fact that the drumstick and leg contains more muscle than the chicken breast does. The muscle breaks down during cooking, making it more tender and easier to chew.
- 10 chicken drumsticks (about 3.5 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- Preheat your grill to 400°F. Once preheated, clean and oil your grill grates like you normally would.
- Make the BBQ seasoning blend by combining the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
- Lay the drumsticks out on a baking sheet (or other flat surface). Pat them dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat the outsides of the drumsticks with the olive oil.
- Liberally season both sides of the chicken drumsticks with the BBQ seasoning blend. I like to use my hands to really press the dry rub into the skin.
- Transfer the seasoned chicken drumsticks to the hot grill. Cook the drumsticks for 20 minutes. Flipping them over every 5 minutes or so.
- After 20 minutes, use a basting brush to coat both sides of the drumsticks with BBQ sauce. Continue cooking the drumsticks for another 10 minutes at 400°F.
- After 30 minutes of total cooking time, check the internal temperature of the drumsticks using a digital meat thermometer. The drumsticks have finished cooking once they reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Continue cooking the drumsticks if needed.
- Remove the drumsticks from the grill, let rest for 10 minutes, serve and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: lunch, dinner
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: grilled chicken drumstick recipe, grilled chicken drumsticks recipe
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