This recipe for Smoked Chicken Drumsticks is an easy smoker recipe for beginners. This fail-proof recipe is ready in just 70 minutes.

This recipe costs about $4.83 to make eight servings. That is approximately $0.60 per serving.

A bite taken out of a smoked chicken drumstick or chicken leg.

You will love this Smoked Drumstick Recipe

Cooking your meat on a smoker grill takes grilled meats to the next level, but can be intimidating if you are not familiar with how to smoke meats properly.

If you are new to a smoker grill, these Smoked Chicken Drumsticks are a great recipe to start with. With a simple dry rub and sixty minutes of cooking time, these drumsticks are a fool-proof, classic recipe to master quickly. I am sharing with you my top tips for getting the best results.

If you are a master at the Traeger, this is a great recipe to throw on the smoker grill when you are short on time, have a last-minute BBQ, or want an easy weekend dinner.

Follow my step-by-step directions to impress your friends and family with these perfectly seasoned and smoked Chicken Drumsticks.

The finished Smoke Chicken Drunsicks on the smoker.

Smoked Drumsticks ingredients and cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.60

Recipe Cost: $4.83

  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks – $2.99
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil – $0.24
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar – $0.14
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt – $0.36
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika – $0.71
  • ½ Tablespoons cracked black pepper – $0.17
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin – $0.06
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder – $0.06
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder – $0.08
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper – $0.02

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

An overhead picture of all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

Smoked Drumsticks Recipe variations

  • Instead of dark brown sugar, you can use light brown sugar.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

How to make Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

  1. First, preheat the smoker to 180 degrees F. 
  2. Next, mix together the brown sugar, sea salt, paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl. 
  3. Then, pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels and coat them with olive oil. 
  4. Then coat them in the chicken rub. 
  5. Place the drumsticks on the grill grates and smoke for thirty minutes. 
  6. Finally, increase the grill temperature to 375 degrees F and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F before serving.

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

 

How long to smoke chicken drumsticks?

It will take about one hour to smoke these chicken drumsticks. First, cook the drumsticks at a temperature of 180 degrees F for thirty minutes. Then, increase the temperature to 375 degrees F and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes.

Tips for Smoking Drumsticks

  1. Evenly rub the drumsticks with the dry rub to add flavor to the drumsticks.
  2. Choose wood pellets for the traeger that complement the drumsticks. I recommend using a sweet variety such as apple, cherry, or hickory.
  3. Smoke the drumsticks on a lower heat initially. This gives the chicken time to absorb the smoky flavor and cook evenly without drying out. Then increase the temperature to cook for a little longer to give the skin a delicious crispy layer.

Storing Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

SERVE: You can keep the drumsticks at room temperature for about 2 hours before they will need to be refrigerated.

STORE: The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

FREEZE: You can freeze these drumsticks. Once cooled, store them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months.

The finished Smoked Chicken Legs on a serving lasted with BBQ sauce.

Smoking Chicken Drumsticks FAQs

How long does it take to smoke drumsticks?

It will take about one hour to smoke these chicken drumsticks. First, cook the drumsticks at a temperature of 180 degrees F for thirty minutes. Then, increase the temperature to 375 degrees F and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes.

What temperature is chicken done when smoked?

The USDA states that chicken is safe to eat when cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

The finished Smoked Chicken legs on a wooden serving tray with Alabama White Sauce and Texas BBQ Sauce with it.

More Grilling Recipes

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks getting flipped with tongs.
4.42 from 12 votes

Smoking Drumsticks

Recipe Cost $ $4.83
Serving Cost $ $0.60
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
8 people
Smoked Chicken Drumsticks or chicken legs are an easy, economical smoker recipe perfect for beginners. They’re tasty, ready in 70 minutes, and always a crowd pleaser.

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Smoker grill

Ingredients
 
 

CHICKEN RUB: **see notes

Instructions

PREHEAT SMOKER:

  • Preheat smoker to 180°F.

MAKE RUB:

  • Combine the chicken rub in a small bowl.

PREP CHICKEN:

  • Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels.
  • Coat the drumsticks with olive oil and season generously with the chicken rub.

SMOKE THE CHICKEN:

  • Lay the drumsticks directly on the grill grates and smoke for 30 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Increase the grill temperature to 375° F and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the drumsticks reaches 165° F.
  • Serve immediately.
  • The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Smoked Chicken Rub: this recipe will make enough for 2 chicken recipes. Reserve remaining rub in an airtight container.
  • Wood Pellet Choices: Signature Blend, Apple, Pecan, Cherry

Nutrition

Serving: 1drumstick | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1827mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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4.42 from 12 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. We really like this recipe. Never knew it was this easy to make. Will be trying without further delay!

  2. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says:

    I love smoked chicken and I love all the flavours in this rub. Perfect for summer eating.

  3. Katherine says:

    Mmmm I loved smoked chicken. This is perfect!

  4. Jacqueline Debono says:

    We don’t have a smoker yet, but I’ve been researching buying one and saving recipes to make with it. This smoked chicken drumsticks sounds like a winner, easy and delicious!

  5. The spice rub looks delicious. We haven’t tried smoking on our grill yet but the season is really just starting here! I will bookmark this recipe to give it a try 🙂