Smoked Chicken Legs make the best meal idea. The chicken legs cook tender, delicious and full of flavor. Enjoy the chicken legs dry or top with BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Chicken Legs on a white platter
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As a mom of 8 kids, I enjoy making chicken drumsticks for a kid friendly meal idea. We have enjoyed making Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Grilled BBQ Chicken Drumsticks and Blackstone BBQ Drumsticks Recipe for an easy weeknight dinner.

But these smoked chicken recipes have become a family favorite because of how moist they turn out. Make this smoker recipe or Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe for a crowd or just to enjoy with your favorite side dish recipes.

Why We Love This Recipe

Smoked chicken legs is a delicious smoke flavor recipe with the best crispy chicken skin and juicy center. We love that this recipe is so simple and made with easy seasoning.

You can easily make this with a variety of seasoning for a delicious variation. This smoked chicken drumsticks recipe is perfect for a crowd because you can smoke so many at once.

If you are new to using your smoker, start with this recipe. See more Smoker Recipes for Beginners to impress your family this summer.

Ingredients

Smoked Chicken Legs ingredients - chicken drumsticks, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, BBQ Sauce
  • Chicken Drumsticks – Make this recipe with chicken thighs or chicken wings.
  • BBQ Sauce – Try making Homemade BBQ Sauce or use your favorite BBQ Sauce

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

Change the seasoning to what you prefer. Here are some delicious options:

  • Cayenne Pepper – Start with ¼ teaspoon adds a hint of spice
  • Brown Sugar – Adds a hint of sweetness to the seasoning blend.
  • Paprika – Add in ¼ teaspoon for a smoky flavor.

How to Make Smoked Chicken Legs

  • Step 1 – Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Seasoning in a bowl

Step 2 – Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl.

Chicken legs in a bowl covered in dry rub seasoning

Step 3 – Place the drumsticks in a large bowl, pour the oil on top and sprinkle the dry rub over the drumsticks. Toss and pat to make sure that the drumsticks are thoroughly coated in the olive and the seasoning mixture.

Seasoning smoked chicken legs on a white platter

Step 4 – Place the chicken legs in the smoker rack and close the lid.  Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the smoker.

BBQ Sauce covered on smoked chicken legs on a platter

Step 5 – Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce.  Tint with foil and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Then the chicken legs are ready to serve and enjoy! 

Expert Tips

  • Cooking Chicken – Use an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure  that the chicken is cooked to the current temperature.  
  • Prepare Smoker – Before placing the chicken drumsticks on the grill grates, make sure the smoker has preheated to 225 degrees. This helps to get the wood chips smoking for the best flavor.
  • Rest Chicken – To ensure the juiciest chicken, allow the chicken for about 5 minutes before serving.
BBQ Chicken legs on a platter

What to Serve with Smoked Chicken Legs

Smoked chicken legs can be served with many different side dish recipes. Smoked Green Beans, Smoked Corn on the Cob and Smoked Baked Potatoes are always on the menu.

Making everything in the smoker makes cleanup a breeze and the entire meal is full of smoky flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs?

Cooking time will vary depending on your smoker. But we usually smoke the chicken for about 2 hours and then insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the drumstick to check internal temperature. The chicken should reach 165 degrees when the chicken is finished cooking.

What is the Best Wood Chips to Use?

Feel free to use what you prefer. Choose from hickory, pecan, maple, or cherry. You can also use a combination of two for a delicious variation.

Do you need to Brine chicken before Smoking?

There is no need to bring the chicken drumsticks before smoking.

How to Make a Crispier Texture

If you prefer a crispy skin, place the chicken legs on a baking sheet or pan and broil in the oven for a few minutes. Watch closely as it will not take long.

Storing and Reheat Instructions

  • Storing – Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing – Place the cooked chicken legs in a freezer safe container or zip lock bag and place in the freezer. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating – When ready to serve, reheat the leftover chicken legs in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
BBQ covered chicken legs on a platter

More Easy Smoker Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this Smoked Chicken Legs Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

Smoked Chicken Legs

5 from 1 vote
Smoked Chicken Legs make the best meal idea. The chicken legs cook tender, delicious and full of flavor. Enjoy the chicken legs dry or top with BBQ Sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Let Chicken Rest 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 359

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl.
  • Place the drumsticks in a large bowl, pour the oil on top and sprinkle the seasonings over the drumsticks. Toss to make sure that the drumsticks are thoroughly coated in the olive and the seasoning mixture.
  • Place the chicken legs in the smoker and close the lid.  Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the chicken from the smoker.  Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce.  Tint with foil and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Then the chicken legs are ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Use an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure  that the chicken is cooked to the current temperature.  
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 359kcal, Carbohydrates 11g, Protein 29g, Fat 21g, Saturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4g, Monounsaturated Fat 11g, Trans Fat 0.1g, Cholesterol 140mg, Sodium 1307mg, Potassium 382mg, Fiber 0.4g, Sugar 8g, Vitamin A 220IU, Vitamin C 0.1mg, Calcium 21mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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Comments

  1. Kasey Harris says:

    5 stars
    The chicken legs were cooked to the perfect smoky flavor!