Chicken Drumsticks on a Pellet Grill

Looking for a mouthwatering smoked chicken leg recipe? With tender, juicy meat and irresistibly crispy skin, this recipe is an absolute winner.

Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or simply seeking a quick, budget-friendly, and delectable meal, look no further than these smoked chicken legs.

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Why You’ll Love This Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

This recipe is super simple. Anyone can make it! I have tested it many times so you’ll always end up with super juicy chicken!

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What Temperature to Smoke Chicken Drumsticks

Smoke the chicken at 250-275°F.

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What Internal Temperature for Chicken Drumsticks

Cook chicken until it reaches an internal temp of 165°F. This is the internal temperature at which it is safe to serve chicken.

Since drumsticks are dark meat, you can even cook them to 180°F. They won’t dry out at this temperature like white meat will.

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How Long to Smoke Chicken Drumsticks

Cook chicken for about 30-45 minutes per pound at 250°F.

The cooking time will increase as the cooking temperature decreases.

If your smoker is at 275°F, you can expect a shorter cook time. This recipe estimates a cook time of 60-90 minutes.

The important thing is to cook the poultry until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

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How Much Chicken per Person?

Allow enough for 1/2 pound to a pound of chicken. Drumsticks usually weigh about 4 ounces so plan to have 2-4 drumsticks per person.

Another thing to consider is how many sides you will serve. If people fill up on sides, they will likely eat less meat.

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What You’ll Need This Smoked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Barbecue seasoning or your favorite marinade
  • Olive oil

What Wood Chips Are Best for Chicken?

I prefer using fruit wood pellets such as apple wood and cherry wood when smoking chicken.

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How to Make Chicken Drumsticks on a Pellet Smoker

After you preheat the smoker, you can get the chicken ready.

Pat it dry for the best chance at crispy skin. Then apply a binder and then the rub.

Put the drumsticks in the smoker and flip them about halfway through. You can expect the full cooking time to be about 60-90 minutes.

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How to Make Chicken Drumsticks on a Pellet Grill

Step 1: Preheat the Smoker

Heat the smoker to 250°F. Load up with use your favorite type of wood pellets (I recommend fruit wood)

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Apply a binder then coat in a rub. If you prefer you can marinade the chicken (try to allow at least 6 hours if you do this, this helps the chicken to tenderize).

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Step 3: Smoke the Chicken

Place the chicken in the smoker for about 60-90 minutes. It is best to place them in indirect heat.

Halfway through, flip the chicken once.

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Step 4: Finish the Chicken

When the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165-180°F, remove it from the grill.

Let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Should You Spritz the Drumsticks?

For juicy chicken, you want to spritz the chicken every 30 minutes. I like to use apple juice but here are some other things you can use to spritz the chicken.

If you don’t have a spray bottle, use a basting brush.

How to Season Your Chicken Drumsticks

You can use your favorite chicken rub, barbecue seasoning, or even a homemade blend.

Here’s a simple guide to season your chicken drumsticks:

  1. Start by patting the drumsticks dry with paper towels to ensure the seasoning sticks well.
  2. In a bowl, combine your desired spices. A basic seasoning blend can include salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried herbs like thyme or rosemary (see the exact measurement below)
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the drumsticks, ensuring all sides are coated.
  4. Rub the seasoning into the chicken, making sure it adheres well.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

What to Serve With Chicken Drumsticks

Not sure what to serve with your chicken? See some of my favorite sides below.

Read More: See more sides for chicken here.

How to Store Leftover Chicken Drumsticks

Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight container. It should last for up to 3-4 days. Make sure you refrigerate the chicken within two hours of cooking it.

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How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Drumsticks

You can reheat chicken with your preferred method. You can use the microwave, air fryer, oven, or even the grill.

When heating leftovers, the internal temperature doesn’t matter as much.

However, you’ll want it to be warm enough to enjoy.

You can also eat leftover chicken cold. Perhaps make a chicken salad or toss the meat into a soup or rice dish!

Chicken Drumsticks on a Pellet Grill

This is a simple yet delcious recipe for smoked chicken drumsticks
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 20

Equipment

  • Pellet smoker
  • Wood pellets of your choice

Ingredients

  • 12 Chicken drumsticks or however many you need
  • 1/2 tablespoon BBQ rub
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the Smoker

  • Heat the smoker to 250°F. Use your favorite type of wood pellets.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Rub on the seasoning or marinade.

Step 3: Smoke the Chicken

  • Place the chicken in the smoker for about 60-90 minutes. It is best to place them in indirect heat.
  • Halfway through, flip the chicken once.

Step 4: Finish the Chicken

  • When the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165-180°F, remove it from the grill.
  • Let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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