Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

1 reviews

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

These Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are delicious, quick to make, and are total crowd-pleasers. Ready in less than an hour, and with only 4 ingredients, these drumsticks can feed your whole family without breaking the bank.

Pile of grilled chicken drumsticks with text overlay - Grilled Chicken Drumsticks.

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks/chicken legs are awesome grilled on the BBQ hot and fast using two-zone grilling. They’re also crazy easy to make! Simply place them on direct heat until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce, then move them to the indirect side of the grill until the internal temp reaches 175 degrees F.

This grilled chicken drumsticks recipe is extremely versatile, and you can play around with different rubs and seasonings as well as different BBQ sauces each time you make it. (If you’re looking for a smoked version, check out my Smoked Chicken Legs recipe!)

Word to the wise: When seasoning your chicken, do not use a sugar-based rub because the chicken will be on high heat for a good amount of time, and you don’t want the sugar to burn. Other than that, get creative with your seasonings and sauces. The Hey Grill Hey Store is stocked full with signature rubs and sauces so you can enjoy Susie’s awesome flavors delivered straight to your door.

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Legs

These chicken drumsticks on the grill only require a few simple ingredients for the easiest and best chicken legs you’ll ever have.

  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Teriyaki BBQ Sauce. This recipe can be made from scratch using the one here on the site, or you can pick up your favorite teriyaki BBQ sauce from the store. Go with whatever works best for you.

That’s seriously it! You really can’t beat 4 ingredients for these chicken legs on the grill.

seasoned chicken drumsticks on the grill.

How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

Remember how I said these drumsticks were a breeze to make? I wasn’t lying. Here’s how to get amazingly juicy drumsticks that are ready in less than an hour:

  1. Preheat and season. Get your favorite grill up and running for two-zone grilling. Aim for between 375-400 degrees F for the direct side of heat. Season your drumsticks on all sides with garlic salt and pepper. If you’re wanting a bigger punch of flavor, my Signature Chicken Seasoning is amazing with just a kiss of heat.
  2. Grill on direct heat. Place your chicken drumsticks on the direct heat side of your grill and cook them for 30-35 minutes. Flip them every 5-7 minutes until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  3. Get saucy! Move the drumsticks to the indirect side of the grill, and baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce (I love these with my Teriyaki BBQ Sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and perfect on chicken).
  4. Set the sauce. Grill for an additional 5-10 minutes until the sauce sets and begins caramelize and the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.

Give your drumsticks a moment to rest, and then dig in! My kids love how tasty these drumsticks are, and they love that these are good and messy finger food. Keep some paper towels on hand, and you’re good to go!

How Long to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

These chicken drumsticks take approximately 35-45 minutes to grill. They need 30-35 minutes over direct heat and an additional 5-10 minutes over indirect heat to set the BBQ sauce and reach 175 degrees F internal temperature.

My recommendation whenever you’re grilling or smoking meat? Cook to temperature and not to time. Invest in a good, reliable meat thermometer and check the thermometer more than watching the clock. It’s especially important to cook chicken to 165 degrees F as this is the safe internal temperature for cooked chicken. I always aim for 175 degrees F when grilling drumsticks because they have more connective tissue and the meat will fall off the bone if you cook them to this higher temperature.

chicken drumsticks on a grill being basted with BBQ sauce by a basting brush.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

There’s nothing quite as delicious as juicy chicken cooked on the grill. If you’re looking for more great grilled chicken recipes, I have a few you’ll love on the site:

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own grilled chicken drumsticks at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Here’s hoping you loved this chicken legs recipe. It’s kid-friendly and makes for the easiest weekday dinner. They were a huge hit in our family and I’m sure they’ll do the same for yours.

Quick note: This post was originally published in July 2019. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

By: Susie Bulloch (
5 from 1 votes
These Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are delicious, quick to make, and are total crowd-pleasers. Ready in less than an hour, and with only 4 ingredients, these drumsticks can feed your whole family without breaking the bank.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings4 people


Save this recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you'll get the latest from Hey Grill Hey every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Teriyaki BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat. Preheat your grill for two-zone grilling, with the temp on the grill to medium-high heat (375-400 degrees F).
  • Season. Season the chicken drumsticks on all sides with garlic salt and black pepper.
  • Grill. Place the chicken legs on the grill. Grill over direct heat for 30-35 minutes, flipping every 5-7 minutes. Grill until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F with an internal thermometer.
  • Sauce. Move the grilled drumsticks to the indirect side of the grill, and baste them with the Teriyaki BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce). Grill for an additional 5-10 minutes on indirect heat until the sauce sets and begins to caramelize and the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.
  • Enjoy. Remove the grilled drumsticks from the grill. Rest for a few minutes before serving with additional teriyaki BBQ sauce on the side for extra dipping. Enjoy!


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1321mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Like this? Leave a comment below!



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

16 Reviews

  1. Bernie Fallert says:

    I’ve been making chicken on the grill for 50 years similar to your recipe. Dowse it good with garlic salt and put on the grill on low heat. Rotate about every 15 minutes and the last rotation bast with Italian dressing from the bottle. My father-in-law showed me how to do it. I’ll have to try the Teriyaki sauce version. Good with whole potatoes cut in half lengthwise and rubbed with crisco. Do on the grill face down until browned and then put on the warmer rack, face up. They will finish when the chicken is done.

  2. Mary S. says:

    These were a hit. I made for a crowd, along with the teriyaki sauce – which makes A LOT and is VERY KID FRIENDLY. I have a green egg, so I made a few adjustments to the technique and I have some ideas to try next time. I cooked the drumsticks directly on the grill, then tossed in the sauce and returned them for 5 minutes in a roasting pan before serving. If I do these for a large crowd again, I think I may consider brining the drumsticks and then cooking them before right guests arrive and letting them marinate in the sauce. I think you could easily do the last stage of indirect cooking in a disposable roasting tin right before you are ready to eat.

  3. E. Cowing says:

    I dry-rubbed with Adobo and finished with Swineheart’s Honey Barbecue sauce. My drums came out awesome!!

  4. Alex Smith says:

    Wow! You are right this recipe is very delicious. I love grilled chicken. I love BBQ.

  5. Samuel says:

    Very delicious recipe. I love this grilled chicken drumsticks. I will try this at my home. Thank you.

  6. Stella says:

    If using a RECTEC bull 700, what is indirect heat? Is it the warming rack.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      That is a pellet grill so the entire grill is indirect heat. Pellet grills are designed as indirect cookers.

      1. Stella says:

        So if my recipe calls for direct heat, how would I do this? I do have the sear grates.

        1. Hey Grill Hey says:

          The sear grates would be direct heat.

    2. Scott Marrington says:

      Indirect heat is where there are no flames touching food. Rec-Tec grilling or smoking is with indirect heat. Great grills and smokers.