Smoked chicken legs are a summer favorite to make on your pellet smoker. They are slightly sweet with a hint of heat and have a delicious crispy skin with juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken. Whether you’re a seasoned BBQ enthusiast or just starting out, this recipe guarantees tender, juicy chicken drumsticks with a delectable smokiness, thanks to a perfect dry seasoning rub.
In the summertime, using my Traeger is one of my favorite ways to cook. I find learning to use it is an exciting and enjoyable challenge—it’s an entirely new way of cooking for me.
Making homemade smoked salmon on the Traeger is one of my go-to dishes. But salmon tends to be pricey, so adding a more affordable cut to your smoker repertoire will help manage your grocery budget.
Chicken drumsticks are one of those ingredients that are often on sale and are so delicious no matter how you cook them! I like to make drumsticks in my slow cooker, tender, fall-off-the-bone drumsticks in my Instant Pot, or simply roast chicken legs at high temperature in your oven.
📋 Ingredients you’ll need
The ingredients for these smoked chicken legs couldn’t be easier. You’ll make a dry rub to add flavor and a crispy skin.
- Chicken drumsticks are the star of the show here. If they have an excess amount of fat overhang, you can trim this off.
- Olive oil is used to coat the chicken and help the spice rub adhere to it. The olive oil also helps with the browning and crisping of the skin.
- For the dry rub you’ll use a combination of spices. In this rub, I’m using salt, paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, thyme, cayenne pepper and onion powder.
🔪 Step by step instructions
The simple steps for this recipe mean that it’s easy to assemble and then you can just let your pellet grill cook the chicken legs.
Combine all spices for the dry rub in a small bowl.
Toss drumsticks with olive oil.
Season drumsticks all over with the dry rub, tossing to coat. Try and make sure they are all evenly coated.
The chicken should be well coated with the dry rub.
Once you’ve coated the chicken legs in the spice rub, you’ll cook them on your pellet grill at 350 for about 1 hour. Flipping the chicken legs halfway through.
You can swap up the ingredients in your spice rub to experiment with flavor variations.
- Spicy – Increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add chili flakes to the spice rub.
- Saucy – These are not a saucy barbecue recipe, but you could absolutely add your favorite bbq sauce. Simply remove the chicken when it hits 155F and brush with barbecue sauce, return to the smoker and allow it to cook until 165F.
- Buffalo style – Swap out the spice rub, and use my buffalo chicken drumsticks spice rub and sauce.
The chicken will take about an hour to be fully cooked and juicy with crispy skin.
Yes, you flip the chicken halfway through to ensure even cooking and crispness on both sides of the chicken.