Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks are incredibly delicious and juicy. They are seasoned with BBQ dry rub and basted with BBQ sauce. Impress your guests with the best ever chicken you cooked on a smoker.

overhead view of two smoked chicken drumsticks on a plate.

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What Makes Smoked Drumsticks on a Pellet Grill So Good? 

Drumsticks are always the first to go at any get-together, and you can never have enough. And when you serve these smoked chicken drumsticks, you will definitely want to be sure to keep a few for yourself because no one can resist the crispy skin, savory BBQ rub, sweet BBQ sauce, and irresistible smoky flavor.

The juicy dark meat is fall off the bone tender.

Why You Must Try This Recipe 

This smoked drumsticks pellet grill recipe is excellent for anyone new to smoking because it is quick, easy, and doesn’t require any expensive ingredients or complicated techniques. Smoked BBQ Drumsticks are perfect for serving hot as dinner or packed for a picnic and eaten cold.

So if you are looking for a simple smoked chicken legs recipe, look no further because you have found it!

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients 

To make crispy smoked chicken drumsticks, you’ll need:

  • Chicken drumsticks 
  • Vegetable oil or extra light olive oil
  • BBQ rub
  • BBQ sauce

Use your favorite BBQ rub and BBQ sauce for this simple recipe. Choosing a sweet BBQ sauce will give you the best color and a wonderful, sugary coating. Any barbecue sauce made with brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup is a great choice.

smoked chicken drumsticks ingredients.

How to Make Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

To prepare smoked drumsticks Traeger style:

  1. Trim any excess fat from the drumsticks and place them on a wire rack over a baking tray. Stick them in the fridge to air dry for 8 to 12 hours. 
  2. When you want to smoke the drumsticks, preheat your smoker to 225 to 275 degrees F, depending on your preference. Lower temperatures will take longer to cook and taste smokier. A higher temperature shortens the cooking time and reduces the intensity of the smokiness. 
  3. While your smoker is preheating, prepare the drumsticks. Remove them from the fridge and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  4. Brush them with vegetable oil to help the BBQ rub stick. 
  5. Put half the BBQ rub into a food-safe bag that can seal tightly. Add two drumsticks and shake to coat. Tap off any extra seasoning and place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking tray
  6. Repeat with two more drumsticks. 
  7. Refill the bag with the remaining BBQ rub and season the rest of the drumsticks. 
  8. Add the wood chips to the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  9. Place the drumsticks directly on the smoker rack and smoke until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the drumstick is 155°F. Use a meat thermometer probe or start checking with an instant-read thermometer at around 40 minutes. 
  10. Apply a good coating of BBQ sauce and return the chicken to the smoker until the internal temp is at least 165 degrees F. 
  11. Remove the chicken drumsticks from the smoker and allow them to cool slightly before serving.
collage of recipe steps for smoked chicken drumsticks.

Tips for Making Crispy Smoked Chicken Drumsticks 

Air drying the chicken in the fridge and using a paper towel to get rid of as much moisture as possible before brushing it with vegetable oil ensures a crispy chicken skin.

Wood Recommendations

Applewood is perfect for smoking chicken drumsticks because it is mild had imparts a certain degree of fruitiness to the meat. Hickory, Pecan, or Cherry wood is also good options. 

smoked bbq chicken thigs piled on a wood board.

What to Serve with Smoked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Choose a few of your favorite barbeque or picnic side dishes to have with these Smoked BBQ Drumsticks. Basic potato saladcreamy coleslaw, or grilled corn on the cob are all fantastic options. 

How To Store Leftover Smoked Chicken

Cool the leftover chicken legs and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

You can freeze the chicken for up to three months by placing the cooled chicken on a baking tray and popping the tray in the freezer. Once the chicken pieces are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag.

How To Best Reheat Smoked Chicken 

To reheat thawed smoked drumsticks:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  2. Brush the chicken with some of the same BBQ sauce you used in the recipe,
  3. Wrap the chicken drumsticks in aluminum foil and place them on a baking tray.
  4. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. 
  5. Do not store any leftover reheated chicken. 
smoked chicken drumsticks stacked on a wood board.

More Smoked Chicken Recipes

These are great for an electric pellet smoker:

Favorite Chicken Recipes

Check out more of my easy chicken recipes and the best main dish recipes here on CopyKat!

overhead view of two smoked chicken drumsticks on a plate.

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

BBQ smoked chicken drumsticks are a delicious dinner.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chicken Drumsticks, Smoked Chicken Legs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 189kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup BBQ rub
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat an electric smoker to 275°F.
  • Brush drumsticks with vegetable oil.
  • Place BBQ rub in a zip-topped plastic bag.
  • Place drumsticks a few at a time into the bag and shake. When the drumsticks are well-coated remove them from the bag.
  • Repeat seasoning drumsticks until all are coated.
  • Place these seasoned drumsticks directly on the grill grates of the smoker.
  • At the 75-minute to 80-minute mark brush BBQ sauce over the chicken.
  • Smoke for approximately 90 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 175°F.

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 289IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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