Grilling Chicken Drumsticks: A Delicious Summer Recipe

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Grilling juicy burgers is a summertime classic, and I love making baked chicken legs all year round. But when it comes to achieving that smoky char and irresistible flavor, nothing beats grilled chicken legs. The tender meat, crispy skin, and that unmistakable charred taste make grilled chicken drumsticks the perfect summer meal.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Choosing the right ingredients for grilled chicken legs is key. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken Drumsticks: For this recipe, bone-in, skin-on chicken legs work best. You can also use bone-in chicken thighs or leg quarters (adjust grilling time accordingly). Keep in mind that skinless white meat, like grilled chicken breast, requires a different cooking method.
  • Olive Oil: Any high-heat cooking oil, such as avocado oil, will do.
  • Spices: I recommend a combination of sea salt (or kosher salt), black pepper, smoked paprika (or regular paprika), garlic powder, and onion powder to season the chicken.

How To Grill Chicken Legs

Grilling chicken drumsticks is a breeze. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prep: Start by cleaning your grill grates with an oiled paper towel. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels.
  2. Add oil: Brush both sides of each drumstick with olive oil.
  3. Season: In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Season the drumsticks with this blend on both sides.
  4. Grill: For faster grilling, place the chicken legs directly over the heat and flip every 5-7 minutes. To achieve crispier skin, cook them over indirect heat and flip halfway through. Remember to grill them skin side down first. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Rest: Once cooked, remove the grilled chicken legs from the heat and let them rest, uncovered, before serving.
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How Long To Grill Chicken Legs?

Grill chicken legs over direct heat for approximately 25 minutes. For crispier skin, opt for indirect heat and grill for 30-40 minutes. To ensure juicy and fully cooked drumsticks, they should reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storage Instructions

To store leftover grilled chicken drumsticks:

  • Store: Place them in the refrigerator, either wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or in an airtight container. They can be stored for 3-4 days. You can also use the meat to make BBQ chicken salad.
  • Reheat: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place the chicken on a baking sheet, and heat for about 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can microwave them for a minute or two (although the skin will lose its crispiness). Another option is to reheat the chicken legs on the grill itself. Wrap them in foil and warm them over indirect heat.
  • Freeze: Allow the grilled chicken legs to cool completely, then place them in airtight freezer bags or containers. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What To Serve With Grilled Chicken Legs

Now that you’ve mastered the art of grilling chicken legs, complete your meal with some delicious and easy sides:

  • Grilled Veggies: Take advantage of the hot grill and whip up some simple grilled asparagus or cauliflower steak.
  • Salads: Enhance your meal with refreshing summer salads like grilled peach salad, sweet mango salad, or a super easy cucumber tomato salad.
  • BBQ Classics: Pair your grilled chicken drumsticks with classic BBQ sides such as potato salad or Instant Pot corn on the cob. For a lighter option, try cauliflower potato salad.
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More Chicken Drumstick Recipes

If you’re looking for other ways to cook chicken legs, here are some fantastic recipes to try:

  • Family Cuisine: A website dedicated to providing delicious family-friendly recipes.

Grilled chicken drumsticks are a delightful addition to any summer gathering. With their mouthwatering flavors and straightforward cooking process, they are sure to become a favorite in your home. So fire up the grill and enjoy this fantastic dish!

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