Super easy, never fails, grilled drumsticks for the whole family. Pat dry, spice and cook over medium-high heat. Then you will have crispy goodness for all.
The “art” of the grilled chicken legs (drumsticks)… that is what I have been working on for several weeks. All the recipes I looked at said things like until “fluid runs clear” or 30 minutes over medium high heat. I need more precise. Plus overnight marinades and lots of other magic cooking stuff. Not good for me.
My mistakes or at least the ones I remember. First, I cooked them to 165 just like I love chicken breast. They weren’t done. They were tough and stringy. Then I went to 180-190, yep just the right temp. But I cooked it too fast on high heat. Burnt skin. Char is good, burnt is bad.
I tried several spice mixes and settled on the one below. Just some kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper (but not too much of kids but just enough for the taste for adults).
Recipe Notes for Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
- DO NOT SKIP PAT DRY or you will not have crispy skin. (See https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/chicken-rinse-not-rinse/)
- Check the cut joint area for loose parts. You may be handing this to a child and don’t need loose bone aspirated.
- You must use a thermometer to be sure you get to 185 plus. Do not guess.
- Spice as you want. I frequently add the Cayenne but if you have little ones, skip it.
- Scale to any amount you need
- Skip the seasoning and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce the last 5 minutes to make great BBQ drumsticks.
Charcoal Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
In the interest of helping you charcoal people, this comment was posted by Craig on Nov 8, 2016. I believe you will find it helpful
“I’ve made these several times on a charcoal grill. I use about 4 lbs of charcoal (~50 briquettes) and distribute them on one-half of the grill. Cool the drumsticks over the direct heat, but use the other side for any flair ups or if you have smaller drumsticks that cook faster. I’ve never measured the surface temp, but rotating every 5 minutes to get a good char until the temperature is right seems to work out perfectly. I usually end up with 40 min of coin time and apply BBQ sauce liberally in the last 10 min. We’ve only had success with this recipe and we’ve found it’s hard to overlook the chicken, just avoid flames and burning early on!”
Update: (June 23, 2012) rbeland asked a question in a comment below. Specifically, what temp on the grill surface? Well, I did a test cooking tonight on my new super-duper Weber, which is a much “hotter” grill than my previous grill. I chose a surface temp of 450 which is what I estimated was the surface temp of my old grill. To get that stable temp on my Weber, the burners were at about 50%. The drummies were done in 32 minutes and were great. I now use a done temp of 185-190, and they are fall off the bone tender with great skin. I have updated the description to reflect their facts.
Another Update on grill temperature( October 10, 2014). 450 is the suggest surface temperature on the grill grates. NOT the temperature on that useless thermometer in the grill hood. You can get a $8 thermometer from Amazon, Lowes or Home Depot and it will save you many times the cost of meals you won’t ruin. Don’t blame me when you burn your drummies.
November 8, 2016