Smoked chicken drumsticks with crispy skin and some sauce on top, how can anybody resist that?
Learn how to make smoked chicken below with our recipes and guide!
Smoked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
First things first, we must have our ingredients ready before turning on the smoker. Here are the things you need to prepare beforehand to make some delicious smoked chicken drumsticks:
- 10 chicken legs: You ought to buy enough portions for everyone. However, to make things clear throughout the process, we’ll make a dish serving 10 to 12 pieces serving four.
There are secrets to have the best chicken pieces: You can know by the appearance of them. Should the flesh have a light pink, with no blood visible, that’s a fresh pile of meat. The duller and greyer it is, the older the chicken is.
Also, another tip for you, give the chicken legs a light squeeze. If it’s firm and pops back, that means the chicken is fresh chicken. In case the chicken’s hard or soft and fails to get back to its original shape, it might have been staying on the shelf for quite a long time.
- 1/3 cup of hot sauce: You can make your own chili sauce if you like, or you can buy a bottle of any brand to your liking.
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Step By Step Guide:
Step 1: Prepare the chicken
Take all the chicken legs out of the plastic and rinse them carefully. Then, put the legs into a bowl and add the sauce mixture.
You ought to stir the mixture and wait for a while to marinate the chicken drumsticks and add some spice to them.
We cannot deny that the taste of these chicken legs is out of the world, but they cannot be perfect without a little help from some seasoning.
You can find all kinds of marinades and rubs for these drumsticks at the grocery store or supermarket near you.
However, if you like simple and rusty things, a little salt and pepper would do the trick. Have your raw chicken drumsticks tossed in the sauce and let them sit in the fridge, then marinate them for a couple of hours.
In case you are still pondering which sauce to use, let us recommend one delicious handmade sauce. The ingredients for the sauce have been listed out for you already.
Step 2: Prepare the sauce
Add the garlic powder and salt into the hot sauce and start mixing them together.
You can add some more ingredients into your mixture to your likings, like some fresh chili, onion, basil, cheese, or olive oil.
Not only can you marinate the chicken drumsticks with the sauce, but you can also brush the sauce over them when smoking. Also, you can save them for later on in the fridge.
Step 3: Smoke the chicken
Once everything’s ready, turn on your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit in advance.
Next, it’s time for you to choose what kind of wood to use.
Well, almost every wood matches perfectly with the chicken. Therefore, you can choose your favorite wood, like some fruit woods, to give those drumsticks some sweet scent of nature. Likewise, apple, cherry, hickory, maple, oak, everything is good.
Take out the chicken drumsticks and once the smoker has the exact heat, put the legs directly on the smoker rack.
But how long to smoke chicken legs at 250F? You’re gonna need roughly 2 1/2 hours smoking the chicken. If you want to get the smoked chicken faster, let use 275F instead, it only spends 1 1/2 hours.
But I highly recommend using 250F because it is thebest way to smoke chicken legs to keep their taste and quality as well.
Also, try to measure the smoked legs’ temperature once in a while to make sure the chicken is cooked perfectly.
Put the thermometer into the thickest position. Chicken drumsticks in the smoker will have been perfectly cooked when reaching approximately 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, to give the meat tender and juicy moisture, for better taste, let it stay on the smoker until it arrives at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the chicken is cooked all the way in (when it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit), it’s time you brush a thin cover of olive oil and sauce on the drumstick to help them with more flavors.
And there you have it, a pile of luscious smoked chicken legs.
Step 4: Finish the dish
Take the chicken drumsticks out of the smoker and start plating. You can garnish the plate with some hot BBQ sauce, some veggies to go along with the smoked legs.
Also, you can have a small bowl of sauce separated from the dish if you want.
Tips For Making The Perfect Smoked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
Well, the general approach is pretty straightforward, but there is something you can do for the dish, making these smoked drumsticks more delicious.
You can slice in the legs two to three lines so that the sauce and spice can run through the lines and go into the meat thoroughly.
This would increase the smoked chicken’s taste and help the chicken drumsticks cook perfectly (we mean all the way through).
Also, what do you think about adding some more apple juice or a little beer on top? We bet that you may love it more as this method will breathe a new life into your dish.
This smoked drumsticks recipe is a simple and rather easy-to-execute dish. However, we can still create some challenges with a little innovation here and there during the process.
For example, you can make a hot BBQ sauce to go along with the smoked chicken. It would sure turn on the heat in the party.
After all, all we give is some simple needed steps to make smoked chicken drumsticks. There are loads of things you can do to spice things up. And that’s your creativity and decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to brine chicken before smoking?
It is known that brining the chicken would soften the meat, keep the flavor, moisture, and tenderness underneath the skin much longer.
The method is believed to give us a more flavorsome taste when eating. In short, brining can enhance all the good things in those chicken drumsticks.
You can also put some herbs or other ingredients into the salt and water to have some freshness and light in the dish.
However, you may or may not do it. It’s up to you. In our perspective, if you want to smoke the chicken drumsticks right in the day, the chicken would be fine without brining. After all, this brining process is quite time-consuming.
How do I get the crispy skin on smoked chicken?
Well, even though your smoked chicken drumsticks are all tasty and appetizing by now, the skin isn’t crispy at all.
The smoker helped the chicken meat be smoky, tender, juicy, and all, but its temperature is too low for the skin to be crispy. Therefore, if you still want to have the crispness, those chicken drumsticks need some help.
Turn on your grill and let the chicken drumsticks sit there for a couple of minutes, and that should solve the problem. While grilling, you can brush a cover of sauce on top of the skin to add some flavors, too.
Smoked chicken drumsticks’ nutritional facts?
With two chicken drumsticks, which weigh 175g each, you would eat about 244 cals. The calories consist of these sources:
- Fat: 12g (43%), with 4g of saturated fat within.
- Sodium: 1030mg
- Carbohydrates: 1.8g (3%)
- Protein: 33g (54%)
So, if you dig up two chicken legs in your deal, that is no biggy! You can always spend some time working out to burn those fats away. An hour walking or about 25 minutes running would do the trick for you.
Moreover, nutrition values are not always correct. It can somewhat lower or higher statistics. One of the factors that could change this is reheating.
When you have smoked chicken as leftovers, you would have to reheat them before using them. Nobody likes soggy fried chicken. When you reheat the fried chicken, you can make them crispy and delicious again, but that could break off some of the dish’s vitamins and nutrition.