Suppose you are new to grilling and smoking and thinking How to make smoked chicken legs. that can be a great place for experimentation. There isn't one correct answer for cooking these tasty treats. we're confident that whatever direction you take will end up delicious! You'll get the hang of things with time and experience, but in the meantime. It is fun to experiment and play around with different types of rubs or sauces until you find your favorite combination.
Smoked chicken legs and drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks and legs are the easiest and most popular things everyone tries on their smokers. Whenever I cook chicken Drumsticks on my smoker, I end up with empty plates as my family goes nuts.
Though the term 'smoked chicken legs' looks straightforward. there are endless possibilities and combinations that you can try and mess up with. You can play around with different flavors of rubs and seasonings. drying the pieces in the refrigerator overnight and smoking over a high temperature, and not what! I probably use applewood chips, but you can choose whatever you like.
Seasoning for Chicken legs and drumsticks
The very first thing that I always take care of is the seasoning. It is an excellent way to bring out the natural flavor of the chicken legs and drumsticks without messing up things. I use different rubs to check out the taste and try something new, but sweet rubs are always my favorite.
You can check the best rubs that we have found out for you. Though it is unnecessary to buy rubs as you can create one yourself. It is best practice to have a rub of different flavors to mess around them and give an excellent taste. Or, you can add paper, salt, and acids like lemon juice.
It is recommended that you drizzle the drumsticks with olive oil to help add more flavor. and make sure they don't go too chewy.
How to smoke chicken legs/drumsticks
As I said, I usually keep my chicken legs and drumsticks overnight in the refrigerator for it to dry out. and this period ranges from 8 to 9 hours.
Though chicken legs and drumsticks look pretty similar, they are different. Drumstick is the darker part of the leg, and because of the bone, it takes slightly longer to cook.
The entire recipe takes around 10-11 hours to complete, including prep, cooking, and serving.
You can finish up by grilling the drumsticks if you want the skin crispy. Though many don't prefer it, I love the combination of smoke and grilling effect on my chicken drumsticks.
Below, I am sharing my recipe for the smoked chicken legs and drumsticks. I will also share some ins and outs for the chicken legs and drumsticks, what you should follow and what to skip.
The following recipe is for 12 drumsticks, and you can change your ingredients accordingly.
Here are the ingredients and the steps for how you can cook smoked legs or drumsticks:-
- 10-12 Chicken drumsticks
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil Or vegetable oil
- Salt and black pepper
Recipe for smoking the chicken legs/drumsticks
- First, air dries the legs and drumsticks overnight for approximately 8 hours by placing them in a drip tray or baking sheet.
- Get your smoker heat up to 275 degrees F. Add wood chips to it. Maple, pecan, and oak are widely used wood for smokers, but I always like to use applewood chips, which gives the chicken an excellent smoky flavor.
- Apply the vegetable oil on your drumsticks or legs lightly by brush. Spread the season on every side of it and toss to coat evenly. Make sure seasoning gets covered everywhere on the chickens' pieces so that the effect takes place evenly.
- Now, place the legs or drumsticks in the smoke. Cook for approximately 2- 2 1/2 hours until the temperature goes up to 175-180 degrees F.
- After trying this recipe a couple of times, I learned that drumsticks take pretty longer than chicken legs to get a perfect smokey and juicy effect.
- Now, you can give a kiss of grilling to the chicken drumsticks and legs if you want crispy skin. Else you can directly serve it.
Enjoy the smoked chicken legs and drumsticks with the BBQ sauce, or you can have it as dry.
How long should I smoke the chicken?
See, there is no usual time for how long one should smoke the chicken legs or drumsticks. It usually takes me up to 2 hours to cook the chicken drumsticks perfectly, whereas it takes a couple of minutes less for the chicken legs.
Smoking chicken is not a big deal. and you can mess around anything and undoubtedly end up with something crazy. sometimes tasty, sometimes not.
Keep in mind that while using the BBQ Rub and Sauce for smoking,. brush the pieces with the sauce. not before the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees F. It helps the sauce tighten and caramelize.
You can also get the appearance of a grilled dish on your legs or drumsticks, but don't count on it.