• Master the art of grilling chicken legs and drumsticks with this ultimate guide.
  • Understanding the difference between chicken legs and drumsticks is key to achieving evenly cooked, juicy meat.
  • Properly cleaning, marinating, and prepping your chicken is essential for a delicious grilled result.
  • Manage your grill heat, arrange your chicken parts properly, and use flavorful marinades and rubs for a perfect grilling experience.

Welcome to the Ultimate Grilling Guide: Chicken Legs & Drumsticks Edition

Ever wondered what separates the grill masters from the novices when it comes to grilling chicken perfectly? It's all in the technique, my friend. And that's exactly what this ultimate grilling guide is all about. It's your one-way ticket to mastering the art of grilling chicken legs and drumsticks, transforming you from a backyard beginner to a grill guru.

Imagine this: it's the weekend, and you're pondering what to grill for dinner tonight. You've got a pack of chicken legs and drumsticks in the fridge, but you're tired of the same old recipes. You want that golden, crispy skin, juicy meat, and flavor that sings. You're in the right place.

This guide will reveal the best way to grill drumsticks, share grill cooking tips you've never heard before, and even inspire you with what to grill this weekend. Ready to boost your grill game? Let's dive in.

Deliciously grilled chicken legs and drumsticks on a BBQ grill

Chicken Legs vs Drumsticks: What's the Difference?

Ever looked at a chicken and wondered, "What part am I actually grilling?" Well, let's clear the air. The term 'chicken leg' is often used interchangeably with 'drumstick', but there's a subtle difference. A chicken leg consists of two parts - the drumstick and the thigh. The drumstick is the lower part of the leg, the bit youā€™d hold onto if you were to eat the chicken with your hands, like a pirate gnawing on a meaty treasure. The thigh, on the other hand, is the upper part of the leg, located just below the chicken's hip.

Ever wondered why understanding the anatomy of your chicken is crucial to your quest for perfect grilling? Well, it's because knowing your chicken parts aids in achieving the ultimate goal of a grilling guide - evenly cooked, succulent meat. Different parts, like drumsticks and thighs, vary in cooking times due to their size and meat density. Hence, on your next grilling adventure, remember this; a guide to grilling chicken legs isn't just about the drumsticks, but it's also about mastering the technique of grilling both the drumstick and the thigh.

With this knowledge in your arsenal, you're one notch closer to acing the art of grilling. Set to venture into the realm of marinades and grilling hacks? Off we go!

Labeled chicken legs and drumsticks for identification

From Kitchen to Grill: Prepping Your Chicken Like a Pro

Having familiarised ourselves with the chicken parts, it's time we turn our attention to the preparation process. Here's a comprehensive guide to cleaning, marinating, and getting your chicken legs and drumsticks ready for the grill.

From Cleaning to Marinating: Preparing Your Chicken

Hands rinsing chicken under a faucet and patting it dry with a paper towel
Step 1: Cleaning the Chicken
Start by thoroughly rinsing your chicken legs and drumsticks under cold water. This helps to remove any residue or loose skin. Pat them dry using a paper towel. Remember, a dry surface will help the marinade stick better.
Hands using a knife to trim excess fat from chicken
Step 2: Trimming Excess Fat
Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat or skin from the chicken. This step is optional but can help to reduce flare-ups when grilling.
Chicken being marinated in a bowl
Step 3: Marinating the Chicken
Place your chicken in a large bowl or zip-top bag. Pour your chosen marinade over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours for deeper flavor.
Marinated chicken resting on a kitchen counter with a preheating grill in the background
Step 4: Prepping for the Grill
Remove your chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. This allows it to come to room temperature, which helps it cook evenly. While waiting, you can preheat your grill to medium heat.

Learn more about šŸ”„ Grill Matey: Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Your Chicken šŸ”„ or discover other guides.

With your chicken properly cleaned, marinated, and prepped, you're ready to move on to the grilling process. But before we do that, let's talk about choosing the right marinades and rubs to maximize the flavor of your chicken.

Next, we venture into the land of marinades and rubs, which are your secret allies for grilling. Have you ever wondered why your neighbor's chicken always tastes impeccable, while yours seems to lack that extra something? The answer often lies in these flavor-infused mixtures.

Marinades, a blend of acid, oil, and spices, tenderize and infuse your chicken legs and drumsticks with flavor. The acid breaks down tough proteins while the oil carries flavor into the meat. For a quick flavor boost, a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs can work wonders. If you're wondering what to grill this weekend, why not experiment with a spicy, Asian-inspired marinade?

On the other hand, rubs are a blend of spices and seasonings that create a delicious, crispy crust on your grilled chicken. A basic rub could include brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. But don't stop there! The best way to grill drumsticks is to get creative with your rubs. Ever tried adding some ground coffee or cocoa powder? Trust us, it's a game-changer!

Keep in mind, your rub or marinade isn't just about enhancing the taste. It's about crafting an experience, a lasting impression. What's going on your grill for tonight's dinner?

Grill Cooking Tips: Turning Up the Heat on Your Chicken Grilling Techniques

As the saying goes, "playing with fire is dangerous," but we're about to do just that - safely, of course. Mastering the grill starts with understanding fire safety, so let's make sure we're all on the same page. First, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and never leave your grill unattended. Sounds simple, right? But you'd be surprised how often these rules are overlooked!

Now, let's talk about heat. Ever wondered why your chicken grilling techniques leave you with charred drumsticks or undercooked chicken legs? It's all about heat management, my friend. Your grill isn't a one-trick pony; it can do more than just scorch. Learn to use the zones: high heat for searing and low heat for cooking through. It's like a dance, and your grill is your partner, leading the way to that perfect golden-brown finish.

Placing your chicken on the grill marks the final step of this guide. Imagine this: your chicken parts are dancers, and the grill is their stage. They can't all be huddled up in one corner, can they? Spread them out, allow them space to perform. This guarantees even roasting and trust me, your palate will appreciate it. So, what's on the menu for tonight's grill?

Having discussed fire safety and controlling grill heat, it's time to put theory into practice. Here's a video that shows you the process of setting up the grill and how to place the chicken.

The video tutorial above offers an easy-to-follow visual guide on grilling your chicken to perfection. Having seen it in action, we'll now focus on the specifics of the recipe guide for grilling chicken legs and drumsticks, covering ideal grilling temperatures, cooking durations, and the right time to apply sauces.

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Legs and Drumsticks

You will need:

  • chicken legs and drumsticks6 chicken legs and drumsticks
  • BBQ sauce1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • olive oil1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepperSalt and pepper to taste
  • BBQ grillGrill
  • grill brushGrill brush
  • grill tongsTongs
  • meat thermometerThermometer


  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat (350-450Ā°F).
  2. Clean the grill grates with a grill brush.
  3. Coat chicken legs and drumsticks with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down.
  5. Grill for about 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  6. Apply BBQ sauce during the last 5-7 minutes of grilling.
  7. Check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165Ā°F.
  8. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.


Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and sauces to make this recipe your own. Just remember, the key to perfectly grilled chicken is managing your grill heat and cooking the chicken to the right internal temperature.

Learn more about šŸ— Perfectly Grilled Chicken Legs and Drumsticks Recipe šŸ— or discover other recipes.

Serving Up Perfection: How to Present Your Grilled Chicken Masterpiece

Your chicken legs and drumsticks have achieved a tempting golden hue, but are they cooked well within? Are they safe for your dinner plate? Your handy grilling guide can help you ensure that your grilled delights are not only eye-catching but sumptuously safe to devour.

First, let's talk about the magic number: 165Ā°F. This is the safe internal temperature for chicken, as recommended by the USDA. A reliable meat thermometer is your best friend here. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, without hitting the bone, and if it reads 165Ā°F, you're good to go. No thermometer? No problem. Another way to check is by cutting into the meat. If the juices run clear and the meat is opaque all the way through, your chicken is ready.

Hold on! Here comes the tricky part. Resist the temptation to tuck in at once. Let the chicken rest a little post-grilling as this allows the juices to settle back into the meat, making each bite moist and packed with flavor. Perfection in grilling chicken is not just about the cooking; it's also about the waiting. Ready to master the art of grilling chicken legs and drumsticks this weekend?

Delicious grilled chicken legs and drumsticks served on a plate, ready to eat

Having mastered the art of grilling chicken to perfection, let's shift focus to the unsung heroes of your grill fest - the side dishes. What good is a hero without a faithful sidekick? Be it tangy coleslaw, hearty potato salad, or vibrant grilled corn on the cob, these sidekicks have the power to turn your grilled chicken into a gourmet delight. And yes, presentation matters ā€“ first impressions last long!

Imagine this: Your guests are gathered around, the air filled with the irresistible aroma of your grilled masterpiece. You unveil a platter, the grilled chicken legs and drumsticks glistening under a light brush of BBQ sauce, nestled against a backdrop of colorful sides. The collective gasps of appreciation? That's your cue to bask in your well-deserved glory.

What will you be grilling this weekend? With our ultimate grilling guide within reach, you're ready to whip out a feast that goes beyond mere dinner ā€“ an unforgettable gastronomic adventure. It's time to level up your grilling skills.

Grill Guru Q&A: Solving Your Chicken Grilling Dilemmas

Before we wrap up, let's address some common questions and dilemmas you might face while grilling chicken legs and drumsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grilling Chicken

Why is my chicken burning on the outside but not cooked inside?
This usually happens when the grill is too hot. The outside of the chicken cooks quickly and burns while the inside remains raw. To avoid this, maintain a consistent medium heat on your grill. You can also try using indirect grilling, where you heat one side of the grill and cook on the other. This allows the chicken to cook more evenly without burning. Remember, the key to perfect grilling is patience and control over your heat.
How long should I marinate my chicken?
The ideal marination time for chicken is between 2 to 24 hours. However, the exact time can vary based on the type of marinade you're using. Acidic marinades can actually start to cook the chicken, so it's best to limit their use to 2 hours. For non-acidic marinades, you can marinate the chicken overnight to enhance the flavor. Note: Always marinate in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.
What do I do if flare-ups occur on my grill?
Flare-ups are caused by fat dripping onto the heat source. They can burn your food and create a safety hazard. If a flare-up happens, move your food to a cooler part of the grill. Do not use water to douse the flames as it can cause the fire to spread. Instead, close the lid of the grill to cut off the oxygen supply. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling for safety.

With these common questions sorted out, you're ready for any grilling hurdle. Remember, the key to perfection is practice. Get creative with different flavors and techniques. Here's to happy grilling!

Time to Fire Up the Grill: Your Chicken Grilling Adventure Awaits

Now, you've twirled through the dance of flames, dipped into the orchestra of flavors, and mastered the rhythm of grilling chicken legs and drumsticks. But, my dear Grill Mateys, the journey doesn't end here. This is just the beginning of your culinary waltz.

Think about the new flavors waiting to be discovered. How will you up your grilling skills? Never forget, the grill is your stage for a culinary performance. As you shut the grill lid tonight, let the scent of your perfectly grilled chicken be your well-deserved round of applause.

Our ultimate grilling guide has armed you with the secrets to grilling chicken perfectly. But dare to be bold, dare to experiment. Discover what to grill for dinner tonight, or try out new chicken grilling techniques this weekend. Your grill is waiting, and the world is your oyster...or should we say, your chicken drumstick?

It's time to light the coals, put on your apron, and declare every day a Grill Day!

What part of our 'Boost Your Grill Game' guide did you find most helpful or would like to learn more about?

We hope you found our guide useful! Let us know which part you found most helpful or what you'd like to learn next. Your feedback helps us create content that suits your grilling needs.

Jillian Hamill
Culinary Arts, Grilling, Recipe Development, Food Photography

Jillian Hamill, a culinary savant with a deep passion for grilling and barbecuing, holds an esteemed degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Prior to her decision to divulge her unique grilling methods to the world, she honed her skills in multiple Michelin-starred establishments. Jillian's expertise, now available through Grill Matey, embodies the perfect blend of professional training and practical experience.

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