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!
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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 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.
How to Grill BBQ Drumsticks
It’s super easy to make BBQ drumsticks:
- Mix together bbq sauce ingredients (per recipe below).
- Grill drumsticks with the meatiest side down. Turn over & brush with sauce. Repeat the process 3 times.
- 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.
What to Serve with BBQ Drumsticks
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.
Barbecue & Grill Faves
- Smoked Pork Loin – Slow food deliciousness!
- Smoked Baby Back Ribs – Succulent and tender.
- Hamburger Foil Packets – Easy fun meal.
- Smoked Beef Ribs – Savory main dish.
- 3 pounds chicken drumsticks about 12-15*
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup hot sauce buffalo style
- ½ cup chili sauce or ketchup
- 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!
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.