Who says that a Pit Boss pellet grill’s only good for beef brisket!
It’s fantastic for cooking smoked chicken, whether it’s the chicken thigh, chicken leg, or chicken breast.
Smoked chicken, in my opinion, tastes EPIC.
Unlike ordinary grilled chicken, it has this excellent smoky flavor that makes it taste so good.
In this article, we’ll be teaching you how to easily smoke chicken drumsticks at home using your barbecue grill smoker.
It’s very simple to do, but we understand that the cooking process and prep work may seem a little overwhelming at first.
You might have concerns regarding the types of racks you’ll need or the type of wood pellets to use
But don’t worry, we’ll be sure to answer all of your questions and more. So just keep reading on.
Use Your Pit Boss Pellet Grill to Smoke Chicken Legs
Your Pit Boss pellet smoker’s cooking grate will be able to hold chicken drumsticks just fine.
So even though chicken legs are a lot smaller than a brisket, you won’t have to worry about them falling through the grill grates.
Everything You’ll Need
Here is a list of everything you’ll need for smoking chicken legs:
- An electric smoker or any other type of smoker grill
- At least a pound of chicken legs or chicken quarters.
- BBQ seasoning or any other type of marinade you’d like
- A digital meat thermometer
- Wood pellets for your smoker (This will also add that great smoke flavor to your meat!)
How Do You Know How Much Chicken to Buy to Make Smoked Chicken Legs?
The amount of chicken you’ll need to buy depends on how many people you’ll be cooking for.
It’s a good idea to prepare half a pound of chicken person.
However, if the chicken pieces are cheaper than usual, then we would recommend buying more than you’ll need.
This is an excellent cost-saving tip.
Because you can always freeze the leftover chicken drumsticks that you don’t intend on cooking immediately.
You also don’t have to worry about the meat going bad because storing it in the freezer will help it keep for longer.
It’s also quite convenient because you can defrost the raw chicken and cook it whenever you want.
Just remember to keep the meat tightly sealed in a resealable plastic bag so that it’s not left directly exposed in your freezer.
The Preparation Process
While it seems like a smart idea to wash the meat before patting your chicken legs dry, you actually shouldn’t.
Doing is not only gets rid of most of the meat’s flavor, but it can increase the bacteria count on the meat’s surface.
Since white meat must be properly cooked through before it can be eaten, you won’t have to worry about trying to get rid of any bacteria during the preparation phase.
So long as the chicken achieves an internal meat temperature of 165 ℉, everything should be fine.
Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Start by removing the chicken legs from their packaging and then place them onto a clean cutting board.
Step 2: Next, grab some paper towels and just pat the surface of the meat so that it’s dry before you season it.
Step 3: Preheat your grill smoker to 250 ℉ – 275 ℉. If you’re using a Pit Boss pellet smoker then leave the P-Setting at P-4.
In terms of wood choice, we would say that the best wood chips to use would include:
- Maple wood
- Cherry wood
Step 4: Season the meat with your favorite marinade.
While you can easily make a dry rub for chicken at home, you could also purchase an all-purpose chicken dry rub from the shops.
But here’s an easy DIY rub that we recommend you try — Mike’s All-Purpose Dry Rub for Chicken.
Step 5: Next, place the seasoned chicken drumsticks into your preheated smoker.
You should keep the meat away from the open flame and instead cook them using indirect heat.
If you cook the chicken legs at high heat for an extended amount of time, they will develop an undesirable leathery texture.
You can also just place the chicken pieces over direct heat at the very end of the cook so that it develops those nice grill lines.
However, you should make sure that your smoker grill’s lid is left open for this process.
Step 6: Flip the drumsticks about halfway into the smoking session so that both sides are cooked evenly.
This will also ensure that both sides of the chicken legs have crispy skin.
Step 7: Check the chicken’s internal temperature.
When your meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to take it off the heat.
It should take around an hour and a half to complete the cooking process.
We like to leave the chicken in the smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 ℉.
Drumsticks don’t dry out when you overcook them, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them in the smoker for too long.
It’s safer to overcook it than undercook it.
Do I Need to Rest the Chicken?
Yes! Resting the meat allows it to reabsorb some of its juices so that you’re left with tender chicken that’s a delight to eat!
We recommend placing the smoked chicken drumsticks on a cooling rack and leaving it to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
By doing this, you can be sure that each mouthful will be succulent and tasty.
And that’s all you need to know to make delicious smoked chicken leg quarters on your Pit Boss pellet grill.
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Click here to see more side dishes for bbq chicken thighs
Smoked Chicken Legs
- 1 Grill or Smoker
- 1 lb Chicken Legs or Chicken or Quarters
- ½ tbsp BBQ seasoning or any marinade of choice
- Wood Pellets for enhanced smoky flavour to your chicken
- ½ tbsp Olive oil
- Preheat your grill smoker to 250 ℉ – 275 ℉. If you’re using a legitimate Pit Boss pellet smoker then leave the P-Setting at P-4.
- Remove chicken legs from the packaging and place them onto a clean cutting board.
- Pat the surface of the meat with a paper towel so that it’s dry before you season it.
- Place the wood pellets on the griller (applewood, cherry wood or any wood pellers of choice).
- Season the drumsticks with your favorite marinade or BBQ sauce.
- Place the seasoned chicken drumsticks into your preheated smoker and smoke for 1 ½ hour. The exact time will depend on drumsticks size.
- Flip the drumsticks about halfway into the smoking session so that both sides are cooked evenly.
- Check the chicken’s internal temperature. When your meat thermometer reaches 165 F, it’s time to take it off the heat. You can also keep them until the temperature reaches 180 F. Drumsticks don’t dry out when you overcook them, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them in the smoker for too long.
- Remove from grill, rest for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack and enjoy!
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
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 adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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