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BBQ Traeger Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Smoked chicken drumsticks on Traeger with BBQ sauce are great. Chicken legs are a healthy dinner and easy to eat with a smoky flavor. A protein packed low fat healthy meal that can be paired with just about any side dish.

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

My girls love Traeger chicken legs for dinner. I love how inexpensive they are, low in fat and packed with protein too. You don’t need a sauce but adding barbecue or teriyaki sauce to the top makes them extra yummy. Just one easy smoker recipe on our site. (affiliate links present)

Smoked Chicken Legs

Here we are sharing whole drumsticks and the timing for them. If you want altered versions like lollipop drumsticks there would only be a few minutes difference. Possibly the same if they are large or you enjoy a deeper smoke or browning on the outside. These are fun for kiddos because the shape is a bit different.

Another tweak to this one is if you wanted to butterfly chicken legs first. These are sliced so the meat lays flatter, are a bit thinner, so you will get a more smoky flavor all the way around them. If I have the time to prep them this way I will. The texture when done is out of this world, try them all!

To get your meats absolutely perfect we have this printable meat smoking chart to refer to so each and every time it will be fork tender.

  • Recently we upgraded to this Traeger pellet smoker and grill and love it.
    • We started with an electric smoker that was a Charbroil which worked well to start with.
  • I like applewood pellets, we always have those on hand and make almost everything.
  • This smoker cookbook has some more great ideas if you want to cook outside more regularly.
traeger

Traeger Chicken Drumsticks

Legs and drumsticks are the same thing, you may call them one more than the other. There is quite a big difference in the size you might find. We always buy organic poultry for the health benefits and they are always of small to medium sizes. I always suggest no bigger than medium or the timing will be much longer and the texture isn’t great.

Depending on how large your grill is you could make quite a few at a time. It really doesn’t matter how many you make as long as the heat is even and they aren’t overlapping on the grate. You want the smoke flavor to really soak into each piece the whole time.

  • 8-10 chicken legs defrosted
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 c barbecue sauce optional

We love teriyaki chicken legs too so choose your favorite or just enjoy as is right when they are done. You can wait until they are done to sauce or brush some on during the last 30 minutes or so so it kinda’ bakes on and gets thicker. I share two methods below, low and slow vs. quick. Lower temperatures are always best.

Chicken Legs in Smoker

How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs

I would leave 2 hours aside to get this done ideally. You can do it a bit faster if you increase from 250 to 350 degrees but honestly when it comes to Traeger recipes it is best to take your time. Up to you but that is my 2 cents and we have been doing this a really long time so that should count for something. 😉

  • Salt and pepper chicken legs, rub on and under skin. Set aside. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
  • Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of heating element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup.
    • Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke.
  • Longer Smoke: Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 250°. Place chicken legs on smoker. Smoke for 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours.
    • Spread BBQ sauce onto chicken legs during the last 30 minutes. When chicken reaches temperature, 165°, remove from smoker, and allow to rest 3-5 minutes.
  • Quicker Smoke: Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°.
    • Place chicken legs on smoker.◦ Spread BBQ Sauce onto chicken legs, flip and rub on other side.◦ Smoke for 30 minutes.
  • Always check internal temperature reaches 165 degrees for perfectly juicy meat, no higher. For dark meat insert into thickest part for an accurate read.

Now if you found chicken leg quarters on sale and just can’t pass them up, by all means you can use these same instructions. Since they are larger with the thigh attached of course you will need to increase the timing. Closer to 3 hours vs. 2 at the lower temp. would be more accurate but still an amazing meal.

Smoked Chicken Legs

Chicken Legs in Smoker

Let’s talk about variations to smoking drumsticks. We already talked about different sauces. You could make your own blend with brown sugar, ketchup, smoked paprika, etc….or just use bottled. Another great option is to use our chicken dry rub! You can make it spicy with red pepper flakes or leave mild. A sweet and savory choice.

For the latter you will want to make sure that you dry the outside with paper towels well. Then rub with olive oil and roll into your rub allowing the excess to fall off. You can come up with your own blend, use ours, or buy a bottled bbq rub online. Any of these will create a killer flavor but you won’t get super crispy skin when smoked.

How do I get my smoked chicken skin crispy on the Traeger?

If you just have to have it crispy skin and don’t want to move it you will have to increase the temp to 350, if it isn’t there already. This will essentially barbecue it since smoking is 250 degrees or less. If you want it REALLY crunchy you might want to just throw drumsticks in air fryer at 400 for 2-3 minutes at the very end instead.

Traeger Chicken Drumsticks

Smoked Chicken Legs Recipe

Once you fall in love with these you might want another idea in regards to dark meat. We have also made Traeger chicken thighs that were marinated first and out of this world. My family typically just peels the skin back so we don’t care about crisping, rather we want as tender as possible.

If y’all are the same I would leave the skin on for cooking, and keeping moist, use lower temps for longer and enjoy the tenderest meat you’ll ever try.

If you don’t finish all the meat save it in the fridge once it has cooled. There are tons of great Leftover Smoked Chicken Recipes to make the next day with it. Give it a whirl and let us know if you add a sauce we hadn’t thought of that we might enjoy. 😉

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Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
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5 from 5 votes

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Smoked chicken drumsticks on Traeger with BBQ sauce are great. Chicken legs are a healthy dinner and easy to eat with a smoky flavor.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq, chicken drumsticks, chicken legs, smoked, smoker, traeger
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 4
Calories 674kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Salt and pepper chicken legs, rub on and under skin. Set aside. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
  • Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of heating element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup. Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke.
  • Longer Smoke: Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 250°. Place chicken legs on smoker. Smoke for 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours. Spread BBQ sauce onto chicken legs during the last 30 minutes. When chicken reaches temperature, 165°, remove from smoker, and allow to rest 3-5 minutes.
  • Quicker Smoke: Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°.◦ Place chicken legs on smoker.◦ Spread BBQ Sauce onto chicken legs, flip and rub on other side.◦ Smoke for 30 minutes.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 674 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 240mg80%
Sodium 1534mg67%
Potassium 689mg20%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 397IU8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Lima Ekram

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Oh I loved smoked food and these drumsticks look delicious! Cant wait to try it!

Gianne

Thursday 25th of January 2024

The meat was juicy and tender, with a perfect smoky flavor. The Traeger grill made the cooking process so easy and the end result was a hit with everyone! Can't wait to make them again!

Cathleen

Thursday 25th of January 2024

I love drumsticks, and this recipe was a big hit at my house! Definitely making again, thank you so much for sharing this recipe :)

dina and bruce

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Wow did these have flavor! So smoky!!

Sharon

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Yes!! I so agree that chicken drumsticks are the best (low fat, high protein, economical) and oh so tasty. Looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks!!

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