If you want chicken that has irresistible crackly, crispy skin and flavorful meat, then give this Smoked Chicken Drumsticks recipe a try.

While drumsticks may be a less expensive cut of meat, when they are cooked long and slow in a smoker, they become extra delicious! The skin turns a beautiful golden color, becomes super crispy and full of flavor. And with a little help from an easy chicken rub, the drumsticks become even more flavorful. No sauce needed for this recipe, just some time and a little patience! So whether you are cooking with a Traeger pellet or a Masterbuilt electric grill, get that smoker fired up and ready for these drumsticks!

close up of cooked Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

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

PIN this Smoked Chicken Drumsticks recipe to your MAIN DISH Board!

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

  • Chicken drumsticks smoked turns an inexpensive cut of meat into a delicacy! They have a lot of fat in the skin and meat which makes them perfect to cook slowly and for a long time.
  • Cooking in a pellet grill is the best way to cook meat, and gives it an added smoky flavor.
  • The savory chicken rub makes a simple and flavorful addition to these smoke chicken drumsticks.

process of coating Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients & Variations 

CHICKEN: This recipe calls for bone-in chicken drumsticks. However, bone-in chicken thighs, with the skin on, are also a great option. Frozen drumsticks can be used, but they must be thawed first. Remember to pat drumsticks or thighs dry before adding the rub.

RUB: Use a storebought chicken rub for this recipe, or try this homemade smoked chicken rub. Other flavorful rubs or seasonings like homemade taco seasoning or fajita seasoning would work as well.

plated Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

How to Smoke Chicken Drumsticks

Cooking chicken drumsticks is easy, it just requires a little patience and time for those crispy morsels of chicken to cook!

  1. Preheat smoker to 225°F.
  2. Rinse drumsticks and pat dry.
  3. Add chicken to a ziplock bag with rub. Shake well to coat.
  4. Place chicken on smoker and cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes (as per the recipe below).

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with pasta salad and corn

Tips for Smoking Chicken

  • Make sure to preheat smoker to 225°F before adding the chicken.
  • For extra crispy skin on the chicken, turn up the temp and grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • If the grill is smoking too much, it may be caused by the quality of the pellets. Try changing them for a fresh batch.

close up of Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Other Delish Smoked Recipes!

close up of cooked Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Make chicken drumsticks smoked in a Traeger or Masterbuilt smoker for a tender, juicy and flavorful entree!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Grill (optional) 3 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 28 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Candace


  • 12 drumsticks about 3 pounds*
  • ¾ cup chicken rub you may need slightly more or less


  • Preheat smoker to 225°F. Hickory chips or pellets are great for drumsticks.
  • Rinse drumsticks and lightly pat dry.
  • Add chicken to a zip top bag. Add about ½ of the rub and shake the bag to coat chicken. Continue to add rub and shake until chicken is fully coated, using more or less rub as needed to coat fully.
  • Place drumsticks on the rack of the smoker. Smoke for about 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165°F (or 160°F if grilling to crisp) on a digital thermometer.


  • Grill at high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side to crisp the skin.


  • *Any number of chicken pieces could be used if your smoker has room, making this recipe a great choice to feed a crowd.
  • Preheat smoker to 225°F before adding chicken pieces.
  • Brush the drumsticks with BBQ sauce before grilling, if desired.
  • Chicken can be grilled on high heat for 2-3 minutes for extra crispy skin.
  • If too much smoke is produced, try changing the pellets to a fresh batch.  
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 268 | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg

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 Main Course
Cuisine American

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

REPIN this Smoked Chicken Drumsticks recipe!

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks on a plate with writing
cooked Smoked Chicken Drumsticks on a sheet pan with writing

plated Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with writing

close up of Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with writing

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks on a plate and close up with a title

close up of Smoked Chicken Drumsticks on a plate 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