These grilled BBQ chicken drumsticks are out of this world! They’re easy to make and jam packed with bbq flavor, plus super juicy and perfectly sticky. Make them on a busy weeknight or for your next backyard bbq or cookout. And guess what? They’re Whole30 compatible and Keto friendly!

This Grilled BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe is easy to make, plus jam packed with bbq flavor, and super juicy with absolutely perfect caramelization. Make them on a busy weeknight or for your next backyard bbq or cookout.

Prep Time: 15mins

Cook Time: 30mins

Total Time: 45mins

Course: Dinner, Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4 servings


Chicken Drumsticks

2 lb. chicken drumsticks (legs)

1/2 cup bbq sauce choose a bbq sauce that aligns with your dietary restrictions.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

BBQ Spice Blend

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional


Make the bbq seasoning spice blend by measuring out the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne powder (if using), and adding each to a small dish. Stir with a spoon.

Pat each chicken drumstick with a few paper towels to fully dry the skin. Drizzle the chicken with oil and season with the spice blend. Mix well to coat each piece of chicken thoroughly.

Gas grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F). Add the chicken drumsticks to clean, well-oiled grates, and cook. Turn each piece after a few minutes, until the skin is browned and crispy on all sides.

Lower the heat to medium low (about 300°F), and close the grill. Cook for about 25 minutes, stopping halfway through to turn the chicken once.

Charcoal grill: Create two heat zones (one with medium high heat and one with medium-low heat) by moving most of the charcoal to one side of the grill.

Begin by placing the pieces of chicken directly over the heat source, turning every few minutes as the skin browns.

Once the skin is browned and crispy, move the chicken away from the heat source, to the indirect (medium-low) heat zone. Cover and cook for about 25 more minutes, stopping halfway through to turn the chicken.

Last, brush each piece of chicken with the bbq sauce.

Check the internal temperature to ensure the chicken is cooked to 165°F (~74°C), then serve immediately!


To prepare in advance: Mix the chicken, oil, and spices. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to an airtight container, and store the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours, until you’re ready to cook it.

Air Fryer Adaptation: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with oil, then set the chicken drumsticks inside, with a little space between each one. Depending on the size of your basket, you may need to cook it in two or three batches. Cook for 18-22 minutes, turning once halfway through. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached at least 165°F (~74°C), per USDA.

Oven Adaptation: Preheat your oven to 400°F (~204°C). Set the chicken on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Cook 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached 165°F (~74°C), per USDA.

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 368IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

1 Comment

  1. Antoinette Gambardella says:

    I will be making these drumsticks this weekend. I’ve made something similar before, but these look spectacular.

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