These easy BBQ Drumsticks will have a special place on any table!

There’s nothing like the tradition of barbecuing in the summertime, especially with this simple recipe for barbecue chicken drumsticks. They come out juicy, tender and so delicious, with a crispy coating that is hard to resist! So the next time friends and family come together and all the picnic and party recipes are showcased, be sure to include this easy recipe on the menu! 

BBQ Drumsticks cooked in a baking sheet

Follow Our Zesty Life on Pinterest for more great recipes and ideas!

PIN this BBQ Drumsticks recipe to your MAIN DISH Board!

Best BBQ Drumsticks

  • Chicken drumsticks are affordable and come ready to cook on the grill!
  • Unlike large pieces of meat that require a long, slow cook time, bbq chicken drumsticks are ready to serve in less than 30 minutes!
  • Gas or charcoal grills are perfect for making bbq drumsticks.
  • Weather not cooperating? No problem! Cook bbq drumsticks in an Instant Pot, the Crock Pot, or even baked in the oven.

ingredients to make BBQ Drumsticks

Ingredients and Variations

CHICKEN Look for chicken drumsticks that are equal in size so they all cook at the same rate. Frozen drumsticks can be cooked on the grill but will take longer and will need to be basted with the barbecue sauce frequently. It’s best to use thawed chicken that’s ready to go! Chicken thighs and breasts can be grilled, but adjust grilling time to accommodate their size. For a really fun option, try grilling bbq turkey legs, just like they have at the county fair.

SAUCE This recipe uses store-bought sauce that’s been improved with the addition of buffalo sauce and hot chili sauce. But get creative and make a signature sauce or marinade by experimenting with other flavors like Dijon mustard, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, or even grape jelly!

SEASONING For extra juicy drumsticks, rub them with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub into the skin before brushing on the sauce. Or try this Jerk Seasoning for grilling all kinds of meats and veggies.

brushing sauce on BBQ Drumsticks

How to Grill BBQ Drumsticks

It’s super easy to make BBQ drumsticks:

  1. Mix together bbq sauce ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Grill drumsticks with the meatiest side down. Turn over & brush with sauce. Repeat the process 3 times.
  3. Let the drumsticks rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

PRO TIP: For smaller, less meaty drumsticks, grill about 18 minutes, and for bigger drumsticks, grill time could go up to 23 minutes.

plated BBQ Drumsticks with cooked drumsticks on a baking sheet

What to Serve with BBQ Drumsticks

Here’s a list of the best barbecue side dishes, it’s hard to pick just a few! Bacon CrackFresh Guacamole With Tomatoes, Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Oven Roasted Potatoes, or some Oven Roasted Beets.

Other tasty bbq sides are Cowboy Caviar, Creamy Coleslaw, Bow Tie Pesto Pasta Salad and enjoyed with a cool glass of Creamy Lemonade.

And for dessert, try a summery Ginger Rhubarb Pie, some Strawberry Poke Cake, or a sweet, homemade Copycat Buster Bar Ice Cream Cake.

close up of BBQ Drumsticks on a plate


Keep leftover bbq chicken drumsticks in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, brush on some extra sauce and reheat chicken in the microwave. Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 4 weeks. Let portions thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

top view of plated BBQ Drumsticks

Barbecue & Grill Faves

BBQ Drumsticks cooked in a baking sheet
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

BBQ Drumsticks

These BBQ chicken drumsticks are easy to make and are always a welcome addition to any table.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Candace


  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks about 12-15*



  • Preheat grill to medium high, about 375-400°F.
  • Rinse drumsticks, removing any bone shards and dry well with paper towels.
  • Mix together BBQ sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Place drumsticks on the grill with the meatiest side down. Grill for 5 minutes, then flip and brush with the sauce. Flip a total of 3 times, saucing each time, for 20 minutes of cooking time.** Check the temperature of each drumstick, pulling it off the grill when it reaches the finished cooking temperature of 165°F.
  • Rest the drumsticks for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


*2 pounds of drumsticks is approximately 10
**For drumsticks that are on the smaller side, you may want to check them after 18 minutes. Our meatier ones took about 23 minutes.
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 307 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

PIN this BBQ Drumsticks recipe!

BBQ Drumsticks cooked on a baking sheet with a title

plated BBQ Drumsticks with writing

cooked BBQ Drumsticks with writing

BBQ Drumsticks on a plate with baking sheet full and a title

close up and plated BBQ Drumsticks with a title

close up of plated BBQ Drumsticks with a title



, , , ,

Recipes you'll love

About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
See more posts by Candace

latest & greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating