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How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

Yield: 8 servings 1x
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 1 hour 15 minutesTotal: 1 hour 30 minutes


16 chicken drumsticks, (mine were about 7 ounces each)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for the grill grates

2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (see here or here)


Drumsticks vary in size but usually run between 6 ounces and 10 ounces. Smaller drumsticks will obviously cook in less time than larger drumsticks so the time below can change based on the size of your drumstick and the accuracy of your grill. The time listed is for 7-ounce drumsticks.

Bring the drumsticks to room temperature and pat dry with paper towels.

Lay all of the drumsticks on a sheet tray and slather on the olive oil all over both sides of each drumstick.

Sat and pepper one side, turn and repeat with the remaining salt and pepper.

Heat one half of your grill to high and leave the other half off.

Clean and oil the grill grates (use long handles tongs to hold a folded papertowel dipped in oil) then set the chicken drumsticks on the hot side. There will be a quick flare up as the oil burns off.

Brown and turn for about 15 minutes, or until the skin is crisp all the way around, then move each drumstick to the cool side of the grill.

Once the final drumstick has moved to the cool side, close the cover and turn off all burners except one on low (opposite side of the chicken). Then try to regulate the inside grill temperature to stay at 275 degrees F. If you cannot, feel free to transfer to your home oven at the 275 degrees F temperature.

The drumsticks will take between 60 and 75 minutes to cook at that low temperature. Use a probe thermometer, test as you get close to an hour by inserting into the thickest part of the drumstick without touching bone. (Larger drumsticks will take longer, smaller drumsticks will take less time.)

Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F, turn the hot side up to medium high.

While that side is heating, slather the chicken all over with your BBQ sauce and once ready, move to the hot side and char both sides. The sugar in the BBQ sauce will burn quickly so be careful here and check often. Once I moved mine to the hot side, they took just shy of ten minutes to get charred on both sides. I turned them often to get an even char.

During this last cooking process, the drumsticks internal temperature will rise to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Remove to a platter and enjoy. You’ll find the outside sweet and crispy and the inside juicy and tender.

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© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: American Method: grilled