Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

Nothing beats this simple Grilled Chicken Drumsticks recipe. Classic flavor, crispy skin and tender, fall of the bone chicken drumsticks that will steal the show. Only 5 minutes to prep and easy to cook, but all the delicious flavor everyone at the BBQ will love!

Grilled chicken legs on plate with chopped parsley.
Save this recipe!
Enter your email and I’ll send it to you, plus get new recipes from me regularly!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

This is my summer of the grill. Aside from this Spinach and Feta Turkey Burger and some Steak Kebabs, I am lacking in grilling skills since my husband is the grill master.

No more! These simple and delicious Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are the kickoff of grilling season and I could not be happier to be firing up the grill on my own. Get ready for lots more!

Try this Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken too!

Why You Will Love These Chicken Drumsticks:

  • They only require 5 minutes of prep. Add some oil, rub in the spices and you are set for the grill. Making these grilled chicken drumsticks will not take much of your time at all.
  • Super simple to make and so flavorful. The only requirement when making these is to flip every 5 minutes or so. That is it. For that little amount of work, the tender, delicious chicken is so worth it!
  • Chicken legs are a great source of iron and zinc and other essential nutrients. Dark chicken meat is often deemed unhealthy, but it is not at all. Chicken legs contain higher quantities of B vitamins, iron and zinc. The fat content is slightly higher, but fat is not the enemy it once was and the fats are healthier than other fat sources.
  • Great for meal prep. You can season and prep the chicken drumsticks up to 24 hours in advance and then toss them on the grill when ready. You can then set it aside wrapped in the fridge for a great protein for much of the week!

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!
Chicken drumsticks, olive oil, and spices labeled on counter.

How to Make These Grilled Chicken Drumsticks:

Start by preparing the chicken drumsticks. Pat them dry to start. Add the oil by brushing evenly over all of the drumsticks, on all sides. Mix the salt, pepper and spices together and then rub all over the chicken, including under the skin for optimal flavor.

Preheat your grill while the chicken sits allowing it to come to room temperature if you allow it to sit in the fridge until ready to cook.

Chicken drumsticks in pan with oil and spices smothered on top.

Once grill is preheated to around 400°F to 450°F, clean and oil it so the chicken drumsticks don’t stick.

Place the chicken on the oiled grill and allow to cook for about 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. Cook to internal temperature of about 185°F.

Set the grilled drumsticks on a warm plate and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving with all of your favorite sides.

Recipe Tips:

  • Let chicken legs come to room temperature before grilling. For even cooking, allow your meat to come to room temperature before throwing it on the grill.
  • Add the spices under the skin as well as on top for optimal flavor. Don’t skip under the skin when adding seasoning to your grilled chicken legs. Not everyone eats the skin, so you want flavor under the skin as well.
  • Cook your drumsticks to 185°F. While chicken is safe to eat at 165°F, it is ideal to cook your drumsticks to 185°F. Cooking them to 185°F actually makes the meat more tender and keeps it from getting stringy.
  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning. If your drumsticks are dry before oiling and seasoning, the skin will cook up nice and crispy. Don’t skip this part as it is simple, but very necessary to avoid mushy chicken skin.
  • Oil your grill to prevent sticking. The chicken tends to stick to the grill fairly easily. You can use the onion method to help make your grill non-stick or spread some oil over the grill. I prefer the oil, but some people swear by using an onion.

Grilled Chicken Leg Variations:

These grilled drumsticks are my absolute favorite for a simple, classic chicken dish. If you want some fun ways to vary it, try the following:

  • Smother with your favorite BBQ sauce in the last 10 minutes of grilling.
  • Glaze the chicken with honey. Want a kick? Use everyone’s new favorite, hot honey.
  • Bring out the dips: ranch dressing, honey mustard, and more.
  • Add a touch of another herb or spice. I like to add some oregano or Italian seasoning sometimes to vary the flavor. If doing so, I skip the smoked paprika and use regular paprika instead.
Grilled chicken legs on white dish with tongs and chopped parsley on top.

What To Serve with These Grilled Drumsticks:

When grilling season hits, I am all about the sides. These are some of my very favorites:

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for all the latest!

Tap stars to rate!
5 from 19 votes

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Nothing beats this simple Grilled Chicken Legs recipe. Classic flavor, crispy skin and tender, fall of the bone chicken drumsticks that will steal the show. Only 5 minutes to prep and easy to cook, but all the delicious flavor everyone at the BBQ will love!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 drumsticks

Ingredients 

Save this recipe!
Enter your email and I’ll send it to you, plus get new recipes from me regularly!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Preheat grill. You will want the grill heated to medium-high heat, a temperature of 400°F- 450°F.
  • While the grill preheats, pat the chicken drumsticks dry. Brush all sides evenly with olive oil. Mix all the spices, salt and pepper together. Gently rub the spice mix into all sides of the drumsticks, including under the skin.
  • Once grill is preheated, clean and oil it to make it nonstick. Arrange the chicken drumsticks over the grill, spacing out. Cook for about 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 185°F.
  • Remove from the grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Store leftovers tightly wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

Notes

  • Let chicken legs come to room temperature before grilling. For even cooking, allow your meat to come to room temperature before throwing it on the grill.
  • Add the spices under the skin as well as on top for optimal flavor. Don’t skip under the skin when adding seasoning to your grilled chicken legs. Not everyone eats the skin, so you want flavor under the skin as well.
  • Cook your drumsticks to 185°F. While chicken is safe to eat at 165°F, it is ideal to cook your drumsticks to 185°F. Cooking them to 185°F actually makes the meat more tender and keeps it from getting stringy.
  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning. If your drumsticks are dry before oiling and seasoning, the skin will cook up nice and crispy. Don’t skip this part as it is simple, but very necessary to avoid mushy chicken skin.
  • Oil your grill to prevent sticking. The chicken tends to stick to the grill fairly easily. You can use the onion method to help make your grill non-stick or spread some oil over the grill. I prefer the oil, but some people swear by using an onion.
Nutrition info is based on chicken drumsticks with skin on. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Lemons + Zest makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 275mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 172IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question?Leave a comment below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. Tami says:

    5 stars
    Very Good!
    I pulled some drumsticks from the freezer the other day. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to make them, so I started looking for a new recipe. I saw the five star reviews for this one and happened to have all ingredients, so we went with it.
    We made it exactly as the directions said, except… the drumsticks were actually thighs!!! Made it anyway and it turned out great!
    Thank you!!

    1. Lorie says:

      Amazing to hear! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. April says:

    5 stars
    Great job my drumsticks turned out perfectly because of the temperature setting you mentioned thank you!! And even though the person mentioned foodborne illness from having it sit to room temperature I think it helped immensely..

    1. Lorie says:

      Thanks so much for sharing, April–so happy you loved them!

  3. Silam F says:

    5 stars
    These drumsticks turned out great! Awesome flavor and didn’t dry out on the grill. I’m saving this recipe for next time, highly recommend!

    1. Lorie says:

      So happy to hear this!

  4. James says:

    Avoid the “bring to room temperature step” as it is unsafe and unnecessary especially for smaller poultry cuts (e.g., drumsticks).

    Foodborne-illness causing bacteria (think Salmonella) quickly multiply between 40 – 140 degrees F.

    Good recipe though!