Do you love grilling bbq drumsticks? This EASY recipe for grilled chicken drumsticks is amazing! With a simple bbq spice rub and my homemade honey bbq sauce, these easy bbq chicken legs will be your new favorite summer cookout recipe!
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Does your family love bbq drumsticks? My guys absolutely LOVE this recipe for bbq grilled chicken drumsticks. It’s very simple, and easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
These grilled chicken legs are seasoned with a simple spice rub, that gives the chicken a great flavor base. While on the grill, the chicken legs are brushed with my BEST barbecue sauce recipe – my Homemade Honey BBQ sauce.
This chicken is most definitely lip smackin’, finger lickin’ good!
What do I need to make grilled chicken drumsticks?
Here’s a quick-reference check list of the ingredients you’ll need, including the seasoning, to make these outstanding bbq drumsticks:
- 2-3 lbs of chicken legs (I bought 2 packages of 5-legs, which was the perfect amount.)
- Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce – you can also use store bought. I absolutely LOVE my homemade sauce recipe. It’s easy to make and has minimal sugar, so it’s better for you than the store-bought stuff.
- Chili Powder
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Salt
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions please scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe card. Thanks!
How do I prepare chicken legs to be grilled?
Take the chicken legs out of the package and place on a sheet pan or large plate or platter. Pat the chicken legs dry to remove any excess moisture. This will allow the seasoning to adhere to the chicken.
Should I take off the skin from chicken legs before grilling?
No. Keep the skin on the chicken legs while grilling. This will allow the meat on the drumsticks to stay tender, moist and juicy and not dry out while cooking.
What is the best seasoning for grilled chicken drumsticks?
A combination of chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt, pepper and cumin makes a simple and very flavorful dry rub for chicken drumsticks. This seasoning, when paired with bbq sauce is an amazing flavor combination!
Be sure to pan the chicken legs dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. With the skin on, add the the seasoning mixture to the chicken legs about 10 minutes before grilling.
If you and your family enjoy chicken legs, check out my super easy Air Fryer Drumsticks recipe, which has a simple and delicious seasoning. This is a fantastic weeknight dinner option.
What temperature should I grill chicken drumsticks?
Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to 400 degrees. Place seasoned chicken drumsticks on the grill grates that have been lightly oiled to prevent the chicken from sticking or burning.
How long does it take to grill chicken legs?
Chicken legs need approximately 25-30 minutes, cooked over medium heat, or 350-400 degrees. To ensure even cooking, bone-in chicken legs should be turned every 5-8 minutes and cooked on each side.
Turning the drumsticks while cooking will also prevent the chicken skin from burning.
When do I add bbq sauce to grilled chicken drumsticks?
Add the bbq sauce the last 5 minutes the chicken legs are on the grill. Adding the bbq sauce too soon, will cause the outer skin and sauce to burn. Because chicken legs need 23-30 minutes to cook, it is best to brush the legs with sauce in the last 5-7 minutes of cooking.
BBQ Sauce recommendations:
I personally LOVE my Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe. It’s fantastic on grilled chicken and is also wonderful on pork chops. I also have a Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce and Smoky Chipotle BBQ Sauce that taste amazing on chicken, chops and burgers.
Check out my BBQ Bacon Burgers, BBQ Chicken Skewers and my Salsa Burgers for more great recipes from the grill. I also use this homemade honey barbecue sauce on my BBQ Chicken Flatbread, which is the perfect quick lunch or dinner option.
The Perfect BBQ Chicken recipe!
If you’re getting tired of the same-old grilled chicken breasts, this recipe is for you! The flavor of the spice rub & sauce together brings an amazing flavor to the chicken. This might just become your new favorite grilled chicken breast recipe!
What temperature should grilled chicken legs be?
Grilled chicken legs should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How do I know when grilled drumsticks are done cooking?
The best method for checking doneness of grilled chicken or any meat is to use an instant-read digital meat thermometer. I really love my ThermaPen ONE Instant Read Digital Thermometer (pictured above). I use it on everything from grilled bone-in chicken and pork chops, to my Thanskgiving turkey!
This is my go-to tool for grilling and roasting! With a Thermapen there’s no guessing if or when the meat is done. The precise temperature will provide you with meat that is perfectly cooked, juicy and delicious EVERY time!
Grilled Chicken FAQ’s:
To prevent chicken legs from sticking on the grill, we recommend brushing the grill grates with avocado or olive oil. This will allow your seasoning and sauces to adequately adhere to the chicken.
To prevent drumsticks from burning, you can do a few things. First, it is best to brush the grill grates with either olive or avocado oil to prevent the chicken skin from sticking and burning. Second, do your best to keep your grill temperature even. Try grilling the chicken over indirect heat, keeping the grill around 400 degrees. Third, if adding bbq sauce, wait until the last 5 minutes of grilling before brushing the chicken with sauce. If sauce is added too soon, it will burn before the chicken is done cooking.
Grilled chicken legs need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
The best method to test for doneness when grilling chicken is to use an instant-read digital meat thermometer. Internal temperature needs to reach 165 degrees for bone-in chicken. You can also test for doneness by cutting open the chicken. If juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink, chicken is likely done cooking.
Be sure to check out my Google Web Story on how to make The BEST BBQ Grilled Chicken Drumsticks!
Looking for more chicken inspiration? Check out some of my other chicken recipes:
- Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- Italian Grilled Chicken
- Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken
- Brown Sugar Balsamic Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Caprese Chicken
- Grilled Pineapple Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with Plums
- Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken
What should I serve with bbq chicken legs?
Here are some great side dish ideas that go well with grilled chicken:
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Salad with Apples & Cherries
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cucumber Melon Fruit Salad
- Crock Pot Bacon Mac & Cheese at Lil’ Luna
- Best Ever Potato Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Bacon Lovers Baked Beans
- Italian Tortellini Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- Easy Greek Tortellini Salad Recipe
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad
BBQ Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
- 2-3 lb. chicken legs approximately 10 legs
- 1/2 cup homemade honey BBQ sauce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil for grill
- Preheat your gas or charcoal grill. Heat to approximately 400 degrees.
- While grill is preheating, place chicken legs on sheet pan, and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- In a small bowl, mix together the seasoning: chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir together. Evenly sprinkle over all sides of the chicken legs.
- Once grill is heated, brush grill grates with olive oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Place chicken on hot, oiled grill grates.
- Grill chicken legs for approximately 18-20 minutes, turning the legs every 5-8 minutes to cook on all sides. Brush the legs with the bbq sauce. Grill for 5-8 more minutes, for a total grill/cook time of 25 minutes.
- To test for doneness, use an instant read digital thermometer. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.
- Remove from grill, let sit for 5 minutes for juices to evenly distribute through the meat. Serve and enjoy!