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Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are the ultimate crowd-pleasing recipe for summer. Finger-licking, lip-smacking BBQ chicken legs on the grill are loaded with flavor and capture the essence of summer, even if you cook them indoors. Grilled chicken drumsticks are the go-to choice for parties and gatherings, plus the recipe is simple and affordable. 

BBQ chicken legs on a plate with veggies and lemon wedges.
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Imagine sinking your teeth into tender, marinated, grilled chicken drumsticks that explode with flavor. Succulent bbq chicken legs are the superstar dish that will satisfy even the biggest appetites. This budget-friendly recipe lets you host a feast without breaking the bank. Grilled chicken legs are perfect for a simple weeknight dinner or your next pool party or backyard BBQ. 

If you love chicken legs, try my Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks, Fried Keto Chicken or Butterfly Drumsticks.

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Legs Recipe

  • It requires minimal cleanup. Grilling means fewer dishes to clean up compared to cooking indoors, making this recipe even more appealing, especially when hosting a party.
  • It’s budget-friendly. Using chicken legs is not only delicious but also cost-effective. It allows you to feed a crowd without breaking the bank, making it an excellent option for affordable meals.
  • It’s super flavorful. The combination of paprika, oregano, garlic, onion powder, and a hint of cayenne creates a mouthwatering explosion of flavors. Each bite is a delightful mix of smokiness, herbs, and a touch of heat.
  • Crowd-Pleasing: Whether it’s a family dinner or a backyard barbecue, these recipes are bound to impress your guests and leave them craving more.

Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients

Ingredients needed for grilled chicken legs.
  • Chicken Legs: Chicken drumsticks are affordable and easy to make. They are rich in flavor and offer a juicy, tender texture that’s perfect for grilling, baking, or frying.
  • Olive Oil: Use any light, neutral flavored oil. Olive oil adds moisture to the chicken and helps deliver a crispy texture when cooked.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a lovely smoky and slightly sweet flavor to the chicken. Try smoked paprika for an even smokier taste. 
  • Dried Oregano: Oregano provides a hint of earthy and herby taste. If you don’t have dried oregano, use dried thyme or basil instead.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder brings that classic garlicky taste without needing fresh garlic. You can use minced garlic or garlic salt in a pinch, but remember to adjust the salt quantity accordingly.
  • Onion Powder: Onion powder adds a subtle onion flavor. If you don’t have it, you can use finely chopped fresh onions or a dash of onion salt (adjusting salt quantity).
  • Salt: Salt is essential for seasoning the chicken and enhancing its flavors. You can use kosher salt or sea salt.
  • Black Pepper: Black pepper provides a mild spiciness and complements the other flavors.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper adds a nice kick of heat to the chicken. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference or use red pepper flakes if cayenne is unavailable.

How To Make Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

  • Prepare the chicken. Pat dry the chicken legs with a kitchen towel. Set it aside. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice rub: paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Massage the chicken with oil, ensuring it is well coated, and then sprinkle the spice rub generously over the chicken legs. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grill the chicken. Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken to the grill pan or grill and cook for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has beautiful grill marks.
  • Garnish and serve. Transfer the grilled chicken legs to a plate and garnish with chopped parsley for added freshness.  
A platter with grilled chicken legs garnished with lemon wedges.

Tips To Make BBQ Chicken Legs

  • Marinate: To enhance the taste and tenderness, marinate the chicken drumsticks in the spice mixture for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Pat Dry Before Marinating: To ensure a crispy exterior, pat the chicken legs dry before marinating. This prevents excess moisture from interfering with the desired texture.
  • Let Them Rest: Allow the cooked chicken legs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier meat.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your marinades and seasonings. Try different herbs, spices, and sauces and even add lemon or lime juice to discover your favorite combinations. If you prefer a spicier or milder taste, feel free to adjust the quantity of cayenne pepper or other spices in the marinade.
  • Monitor Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary based on your oven or grill. Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and prevent overcooking.
  • Right Temperature: Ensure your grill is preheated to medium-high heat before placing the chicken legs on it. To ensure the chicken legs are cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
  • Sauces: Pair with your favorite dips, such as barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, tzatziki, or a tangy chimichurri, for guests to personalize their flavors
A plate with 2 chicken drumsticks, potatoes and green beans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other cuts of chicken?

Absolutely! While the recipe specifically calls for chicken legs, you can use other cuts like chicken thighs or a combination of drumsticks and thighs. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I cook these without a grill?

You can still make delicious grilled chicken legs using a stovetop grill pan or by baking them in the oven. To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook the chicken for 35-40 minutes. 

How do I keep chicken legs from sticking to the grill?

To prevent sticking, make sure the grill grates are clean and well-oiled before adding the chicken. You can oil the grates using a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Use tongs to hold the paper towel so you don’t burn your fingers. 

How do I store and reheat chicken drumsticks?

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer for the best texture. You can also microwave the grilled chicken drumsticks. 

Can I freeze grilled chicken drumsticks?

Yes, you can freeze the marinated chicken legs for future use. Place the chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator before grilling.
To freeze leftovers, cool completely and wrap the chicken tightly. Freeze for up to three months. Reheat in the air fryer, grill or microwave. 

How to cook chicken drumsticks in the oven?

Baking chicken drumsticks in the oven is a hassle-free way to achieve tender meat with a crispy skin. Preheat the oven to 400°F, coat the legs with your preferred marinade, and bake for 35-45 minutes, turning halfway through.

What to serve with grilled chicken legs?

Grilled chicken legs pair perfectly with your favorite sides such as Oven Baked Onion Rings, Honey Chilli Potatoes, Air Fryer Potato Wedges, and the Best Grilled Vegetables.

Close up of bbq chicken drumsticks.

More Grilled Recipes

Chicken drumsticks are the heroes of the poultry world, offering taste, versatility, and satisfaction in every bite. With this easy to follow step-by-step recipe, you’re well-equipped to impress your loved ones with your culinary skills. I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Grilled Chicken Drumsticks recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

If you try this recipe and liked it, please leave a star rating and comment below. Use my hashtag to share it with me on Instagram so I can see your delicious recreations! Also, follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

5 from 2 votes

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Made with a simple marinade, these Grilled chicken drumsticks are the go-to choice for parties and gatherings, plus the recipe is simple and affordable.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients 

  • 10-12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions 

  • Pat dry the chicken legs with a kitchen towel. Set it aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice rub: paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • Massage the chicken with oil, ensuring it is well coated, and then sprinkle the spice rub generously over the chicken legs. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium heat.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the grill pan or grill and cook for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has beautiful grill marks.
  • Transfer the grilled chicken legs to a plate and garnish with chopped parsley for added freshness.

Notes

  • Marinate: To enhance the taste and tenderness, marinate the chicken drumsticks in the spice mixture for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Pat Dry Before Marinating: To ensure a crispy exterior, pat the chicken legs dry before marinating. This prevents excess moisture from interfering with the desired texture.
  • Let Them Rest: Allow the cooked chicken legs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier meat.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your marinades and seasonings. Try different herbs, spices, and sauces and even add lemon or lime juice to discover your favorite combinations. If you prefer a spicier or milder taste, feel free to adjust the quantity of cayenne pepper or other spices in the marinade.
  • Monitor Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary based on your oven or grill. Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and prevent overcooking.
  • Right Temperature: Ensure your grill is preheated to medium-high heat before placing the chicken legs on it. To ensure the chicken legs are cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
  • Sauces: Pair with your favorite dips, such as barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, tzatziki, or a tangy chimichurri, for guests to personalize their flavors

Nutrition

Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 300mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 691mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 604IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
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