Easy Oven Baked Bbq Chicken Legs
Baked bbq chicken drumsticks is an easy recipe that the whole family will love. Using just a few simple ingredients, this bbq chicken recipe will become one of your family favorites. No grill required.
There’s nothing like barbecue chicken in the summer. Sweet salty smoky chicken alongside fresh garden produce just screams summer to me.
Typically we enjoy bbq chicken drumsticks on the grill, but some people don’t have a grill. Even though we do have a grill sometimes I just don’t want to mess with heating up the grill and cleaning the grates. Yes, I can be a bit lazy.
We can still enjoy delicious bbq chicken legs made in the oven that will impart similar flavor to the grill. It will still be a family crowd pleaser and still give those yummy summer vibes.
How Long To Bake Bbq Chicken Legs At 400 Degrees
Chicken legs are a dark meat and they take some significant time to cook. Typically it will take about 40 minutes for the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165-175 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer for an accurate reading as cooking time will vary from oven to oven.
The good part about dark meat is that the higher fat content helps keep it juicy and can withstand some overcooking. This is good news for novice cooks and those that are nervous about under cooking poultry.
Chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees F but drumsticks can cook even longer and still yield juicy chicken.
This leaves plenty of extra time to baste with the sauce at the end.
Bbq Chicken Leg Ingredients
Chicken- For this BBQ chicken legs recipe you can use either chicken legs or chicken leg quarters depending on availability.
Rub- You can throw together the perfect BBQ rub with what you already have in your cupboards! Just use some brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
BBQ Sauce- For my homemade honey barbecue sauce all you need is ketchup, white vinegar, molasses, honey, salt and pepper, dry mustard, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. This recipe will make enough to coat your chicken legs and leave some extra for dipping or saving for later.
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Chicken To Rinse Or Not To Rinse
To rinse or not to rinse, that is the question. It has been ingrained in many of us to rinse our raw chicken. I will call it the Julia Child effect. For many years I watched her carefully wash her chickens as did much of America.
But the FDA has for years advised against rinsing poultry before cooking it. When you rinse raw chicken, the bacteria that is present on the surface of the poultry can spread to everything thats nearby, sink, counter surfaces, kitchen utensils, other foods or you. SO for good food safety, it is a definite no to rinsing.
So what about getting bacteria off the surface of the chicken? First, you can not rinse it to sterile. That is not happening. Second, properly cooked chicken will kill any bacteria. So no problem there.
Last, does rinsing chicken with skin make it cook crispier? Cooks Illustrated says no. If you want to get rid of the juices on the meat, pat it dry with a paper towel instead of rinsing it.
So I’m mending my ways and suggest you do, too.
Let’s be safe out there.
What Temperature Is Chicken Legs Done
The internal temperature of chicken thighs and legs is 175f. If they are not cooked, they will not be safe to eat. If you want to know how to tell if your chicken is cooked or not, you can use a meat thermometer.
You can find one at most grocery stores or online. It will tell you how much meat has been cooked and how long it will take for the meat to cool down.
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Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
Follow the recipe, and Ill teach you the simple steps to making your own grilled chicken drumsticks at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on , , or our .
Heres hoping you loved this chicken legs recipe. Its kid-friendly and makes for the easiest weekday dinner. They were a huge hit in our family and Im sure theyll do the same for yours.
Quick note: This post was originally published in July 2019. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
Ingredients For Grilled Chicken Legs
These chicken drumsticks on the grill only require a few simple ingredients for the easiest and best chicken legs youll ever have.
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Teriyaki BBQ Sauce. This recipe can be made from scratch using the one here on the site, or you can pick up your favorite teriyaki BBQ sauce from the store. Go with whatever works best for you.
Thats seriously it! You really cant beat 4 ingredients for these chicken legs on the grill.
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Chicken Thighs Vs Chicken Legs
While the term chicken leg is regularly used interchangeably with the term drumstick, technically the leg can refer to the full leg quarter, consisting of both the thigh and drumstick. For the purposes of this post, if were talking about a chicken leg, were talking about a chicken drumstick, and vice versa.
What You Will Need:
- chicken drumsticks: chicken legs and drumsticks are often thought of as the same thing, but they technically are not. A chicken leg technically includes the thigh and drumstick. So if you request chicken legs instead of drumsticks, you will end up with a lot more chicken.
- olive oil: I like olive oil but you could use avocado oil or another favorite cooking oil if desired.
- seasoning: garlic, onion powder, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular will work, but the flavor will not be nearly the same. Big fan of smoked paprika here! Cayenne is included, but just a touch. You can adjust to your desired spice level. Salt and pepper as well of course!
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What To Serve With Bbq Chicken Legs
I love to serve fresh summer produce and classic bbq sides alongside the bbq chicken drumsticks. Here are a few of my favorites.
- fresh summer fruit
- Pat legs dry with a paper towel.
- Season both sides liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place chicken legs on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes.
- Flip and bake another 20 minutes.
- Increase heat to 450 degrees. Liberally brush sauce on one side and bake an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Flip and generously brush more sauce on second side and bake another 5-7 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and sauce is browned.
Tips For Making The Best Baked Bbq Chicken Drumsticks:
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken legs make a delicious dinner. However, chicken thighs or chicken breasts would work just as well. Remember that you will need to adjust the cooking time, depending on the cut and size of your chicken.
- Want an even deeper flavor? Marinate the chicken in the seasoning blend in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- No need for homemade bbq sauce, though you can use that if you prefer. I like to use my favorite store-bought kind for taste and convenience.
- While broiling the chicken legs just before serving isnt necessary, it will help the bbq sauce stay put and give it that crispy, sticky finishing touch.
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Healthy Keto Chicken Drumsticks
If youre following the Keto diet or trying to eat low carb with more healthy fats, these grilled chicken drumsticks are for you! Drumsticks are the perfect Keto protein, as the dark meat has more fat than other parts of the chicken.
In addition, the fat helps to keep the chicken from drying out on the grill. You get perfectly grilled and charred chicken skin with tender and juicy meat grilling perfection!
Best Homemade Dry Rub For Chicken Legs
Weve paired our favorite dry rub from Fit Foodie Finds with this recipe to create the ultimate crunchy, flavorful, and delicious grilled chicken leg recipe and we highly suggest following the recipe to a tee! Heres what youll need for the dry rub:
Want to add more heat? Add in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
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What Amount Of Time Does It Require To Cook Chicken Drumsticks
Temperature and time control are the two main constituents while grilling the chicken leg pieces. A barbecuing time within 25to30 minutes is excellent for practically any formula for completely delicious chicken drumsticks. But sometimes, people overcook the drumsticks because they have less information.
Overcooking can scorch and dehydrate your chicken, yet you need to ensure you dont half-cook poultry, all things considered. Keep your barbecue around 300-400°F and provide the interior warmth of the drumsticks is, in any event, 165-degree Fahrenheit.
Why This Recipe Works
- This is one of my go-to easy dinner recipes that my kids love. They are so easy to make, they are off the grill in 30 minutes.
- They are an inexpensive recipe to make thats always a hit!
- Perfectly crispy skin! Dont forget to pat the legs to dry them before putting the rub on. This gets you that crispy skin.
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Grilled Chcicken Legs Faq
How long to grill chicken legs?
The number one question we see about chicken legs is: how long should I grill chicken legs on the grill? While it will take around 15-20 minutes, the magic number is actually in the temperature of the chicken.You know your grilled chicken drumsticks are fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
What temperature should I grill chicken legs?
Set your grill to around 425ºF. If your grill goes up or down a few degrees, dont worry! Thats just the nature of grilling. We like to grill our chicken a little hotter than what wed bake it at so that it gets nice and charred. There really isnt anything better than grill marks!Just make sure that you watch your chicken legs and rotate them every 5 minutes so that they dont burn. You are cooking them on direct flames, after all.
Are chicken drumsticks healthy?
Long story short, yes chicken drumsticks are healthy, especially when you pair them with a homemade dry rub!
Should I use a gas grill or charcoal grill for chicken legs?
Both types of grill will work for chicken legs. A gas grill is easier for managing heat, but a charcoal grill adds great grilling flavor.
How do you grill chicken legs without drying them out?
We found that by grilling your chicken legs over direct heat and a medium/high temperature will get them nice and crispy on the outside and super moist on the inside.
Time For Grilled Chicken
Grill Chicken leg pieces require roughly 35to45 minutes to barbecue. They demand 30to35 minutes over immediate warmth and an extra 5to10 minutes beyond backhanded heat to set the BBQ seasoning and arrive at 175° Fahrenheit inside warmth.
Whatever youre barbecuing or smoking meat, remember that Cook to temperature and not to duration. Put resources into a decent, solid meat thermometer and check the internal temperature more than watching the timer. Its critical to cook the chicken to 165 ° Fahrenheit because this is the secure inner warmth for grilled drumsticks.
I generally focus on 175 ° Fahrenheit when barbecuing chicken leg pieces since they have more vital connective tissue, and the meat will tumble off the bone if you cook them to more crucial warmth.
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What Kind Of Chicken Legs Should I Buy
We always recommend going organic/all-natural and free-range when possible. Yes, they cost a little bit more, but I promise you the flavor and texture will make up for it! Plus, in general, chicken legs are one of the more inexpensive parts of the chicken , so going organic isnt actually that bad cost-wise.
Some of our favorite humane chicken brands include
This grilled chicken leg recipe calls for 1 lb. of chicken legs and you will likely get around 6 medium/large chicken legs per pound. As always, you can double or even triple this recipe easily by multiplying it by 2 or 3.
Delicious Chicken Legs On The Grill
Grilling chicken legs is one of our go-to summer meals becuase theyre easy and delicious. Seriously, these scrumptious grilled chicken legs are full of so much flavor all thanks to our homemade chicken dry rub.
We love how inexpensive chicken legs are and how easy they are to flavor up. The bone makes them super moist and flavorful. Plus, a little bit of char from the grill makes these the ultimate Spring/Summer meal that the entire family will love.
Pair your grilled chicken drumsticks with our foil pack grilled potatoes, Caprese quinoa salad, and a homemade honey lavender lemonade for the ultimate summer meal.
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Bbq Chicken Legs Recipe
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BBQ chicken legs bring back memories of my childhood for sure. They were the star attraction in one of my Granddaddys favorite meals. So, you know my Grandmother prepared them fairly often for him. And even more recently, Ive learned that they are one of my husbands favorites, too.
I knew grilled chicken legs were my one of my sons favorites, but I didnt know they were my husbands, too.
Although Im still wondering how I could have been married to my husband nearly 19 years and not have known how much he loved BBQ chicken legs.
How is that possible?
It truly makes me wonder what else I dont know about his likes and dislikes.
For instance, just last summer after we had a bumper crop of cilantro that I put in just about every dish possible and then some, my husband casually mentioned to me that he doesnt like cilantro.
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Here Id thought he absolutely loved cilantro since he didnt say a word when I planted five cilantro plants during the spring and then filled his plate with it all summer long.
I guess he loves me more than he hates cilantro.
Anyway, these BBQ chicken legs really couldnt be simpler to make.
They should also be done when the juices run clear when the chicken has been pierced with a sharp knife.
Heres my recipe for BBQ Chicken Legs that I hope you love as much as my husband does.
Sauces For Grilled Chicken Legs
When grilling chicken drumsticks, marinade isnt necessary, but these are great if you wanna get saucy. Brush your sauce on chicken legs in the last 5 minutes of grilling with the lid open coat both sides right before and after the final turn. Go bold with our famous Buffalo sauce or make bbq chicken drumsticks with our tangy summertime strawberry bbq sauce .
These naked grilled chicken legs are flavorful as-is, if youd rather take a dip, either the sauces mentioned above will work. Or whip up homemade ranch, a family favorite. Im also partial to combining local honey with my favorite mustard or even hot sauce for hot honey to dip or drizzle on your grilled drumsticks.
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How Long To Bake
There are three variables: the chicken leg size, oven temperature, and the desired internal temperature. I’m aiming for 185° , so at 425° for about 35 minutes.
ALWAYS COOK TO A FINAL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE. PLEASE, NEVER BY TIME ALONE.
- Chicken legs at 350°F convection or 375°F conventional about 45-50 minutes
- Chicken legs at 375°F convection or 400°F conventional about 40-45 minutes
- Chicken legs at 400°F convection or 425°F conventional about 35-40 minutes
- Chicken legs at 425°F convection about 35 minutes
Remember, all these numbers vary by your oven, also.
The lower the temperature you use, the less crispy your chicken legs will be.
Baked Bbq Chicken Tips
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Bbq Chicken Drumsticks Recipe Ingredients
Be sure to check the printable recipe card below for full ingredients and their exact quantities.
- Chicken Legs: When grilling chicken legs or drumsticks, I prefer skin-on chicken. The skin protects the chicken resulting in tasty and moist meat Im also a big fan of dark meat chicken pieces. They are flavorful, succulent and juicy. For this recipe you can use chicken thighs, chicken quarters or chicken wings.
- Dry Rub: Instead of a marinade, this recipe uses simple spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Ground cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt or Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Oil: I use olive oil but you can use avocado or vegetable oil.
- Barbecue Sauce: You can use your favorite bbq sauce .