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!
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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.
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.
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!
- Preheat smoker to 225°F.
- Rinse drumsticks and pat dry.
- Add chicken to a ziplock bag with rub. Shake well to coat.
- Place chicken on smoker and cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes (as per the recipe below).
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.
Other Delish Smoked Recipes!
- Smoked Salmon – incredible flavor!
- Baby Back Ribs In The Smoker – fall off the bone tender
- Smoked Brisket Recipe – easy prep
- Smoked Beef Ribs – a favorite
- Spatchcock Smoked Turkey – for the holidays
Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
- 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.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.