Simply made grilled chicken drumsticks with a glistening glaze and a saturated savory flavor. These drumsticks are finger-licking good and they are made in less than 30 minutes with minimal ingredients.
For my family and I, the grilling season is never over! While outdoor grilling is pure pleasure on warmer days, no one canceled indoor grills.
Like grilled chicken thighs and grilled chicken livers, this grilled drumsticks recipe is a family favorite that we keep making year-round whenever we have a celebration dinner or are just looking to have a hearty meal.
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love these juicy grilled chicken drumsticks
- Ingredients needed
- How to grill chicken drumsticks
- Tips to make the best recipe
- Flavor variations
- What to serve with this dish
- Storage instructions
- Recommended tools to make this recipe
- More grilling recipes to try
- Frequently asked questions
- Grilled Chicken Drumsticks (Recipe Card)
Why you’ll love these juicy grilled chicken drumsticks
- Simple seasonings, big flavor. Like my chicken lollipops or grilled chicken wings, this is one of those recipes that call for the simplest pantry ingredients but never fail to provide amazingly delicious results.
- Takes less than 25 minutes to cook. It takes a couple of minutes to lather the drumsticks in the seasoning mix and around 20 minutes to cook them. What’s good about this recipe is that you can make the side dish along with grilling the chicken. These bacon wrapped asparagus and grilled sweet potatoes are perfect for cutting down the cooking time.
- Perfect for any occasion. Like grilled tenderloin, this recipe requires minimal prep work and will work for family gatherings, holidays, or weeknight dinners.
As noted above, you need a few simple ingredients to pull this dish together.
- Chicken drumsticks. Use skin-on drumsticks for a nice crispy finish.
- Brown sugar. When it hits the hot grill, the sugar in the marinade melts, creating a sweet shiny glaze on the chicken and giving it a hint of caramel-like flavor.
- Oregano. One of the best herbs to pair with chicken. If you don’t have oregano, rosemary is also a great option.
- Spices. You’ll need a mix of garlic, onion powders, black pepper, and chili.
- Salt. Add to taste.
How to grill chicken drumsticks
You don’t need to be a pro at grilling to succeed at this recipe. Everything is very straightforward.
- Marinate the chicken. Combine oregano, sugar, spices, and salt. Dredge the chicken drumsticks in the dry rub until fully coated.
2. Grill. Place the drumsticks on the heated and oiled grill. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping the drumsticks every five minutes to get them evenly cooked and charred.
3. Rest and serve. Once cooked, rest the drumsticks for a few minutes and serve warm with your favorite side dish.
Tips to make the best recipe
- If you have had the drumsticks in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before you place them on the grill. This helps cook the chicken evenly without the risk of it remaining raw in the very middle.
- No matter what type of grill you are using, be it an electric, gas, or charcoal grill, make sure to preheat it really well. Otherwise, the chicken may stick to the grill surface causing you to lose that beautiful crust when trying to flip it.
- Don’t forget to flip the chicken multiple times as it cooks. Doing this leaves appetizing grill marks on the drumsticks. Most importantly, it helps cook the chicken evenly.
The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it shine. But it is also what allows you to play with it and change things up without ruining the dish. Here are some variations to try.
- Customize the dry rub. Use any spices and herbs of your choice to create the flavor you like for your chicken drumsticks.
- Add lemon juice. In case you have time to let the drumsticks marinate a bit, it would be a good idea to add some lemon juice to the spices. Lemon juice will tenderize the chicken and add a note of zingy freshness to it.
- Use BBQ sauce to baste. Applying BBQ sauce on the drumsticks 5-10 minutes before they are ready is another easy way to create a deeper flavor and a tasty coating for the chicken.
- Use a marinade. A chicken drumstick marinade is perfect for this!
What to serve with this dish
Making a side dish to go with grilled chicken is not a challenge at all. It will pair nicely with almost anything. Here are some ideas.
- Salads. Try a wedge, 7 layer, green goddess, or simple mixed greens.
- Sauteed vegetables. Keep things light and healthy with some broccolini, eggplant, or carrots.
- Potatoes. We adore either a Japanese or German potato salad, but classic French fries or a baked potato are also winners.
- Pasta. Any simple pasta works, or something more elaborate like a pesto pasta bake, low calorie or protein pasta.
To store. Place the grilled chicken in an airtight container or ziplock bag as soon as it cools. Refrigerate for 3-4 days.
To reheat. The oven is an easy and efficient way to reheat leftover grilled drumsticks. Wrap the drumsticks loosely in foil and cook them in the oven preheated to 325F degrees. Reheat for 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165-170F degrees.
To freeze. To freeze leftover grilled drumsticks, remove the meat from the bones, shred the meat, and freeze it using ziplock bags.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Silicone brush. It comes in handy when you want to baste the chicken as it grills.
- Tongs. You will be constantly flipping the drumsticks to get them cooked evenly on all sides. A pair of long tongs will keep your hands safe when working with the hot grill.
- Indoor grill. If you don’t have the luxury of an outdoor grill, don’t worry. There are great indoor grills on the market for an amazing grilling experience.
More grilling recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
Grill the drumsticks for 25 to 30 minutes until they reach a safe internal temperature of 165F degrees. Cooking the drumsticks longer will dry them out.
You don’t have to boil chicken drumsticks before grilling them. The pre-boiling technique is helpful when you are grilling larger cuts of chicken or a whole chicken. Boiling the chicken before grilling ensures that the meat is evenly and safely cooked.
You can marinate chicken drumsticks for up to 4 hours. Whether you are using a dry rub or a liquid marinade, marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes if you have time.
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- While the grill is heating up, combine the seasonings in a bowl and dredge the chicken with them.
- Once the grill is hot, brush some oil then arrange the chicken drumsticks over it and grill for 20-25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes until cooked through.
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