EASY grilled chicken drumsticks recipe (aka grilled drumsticks) takes just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time! Make these grilled chicken legs. Read on to learn how to grill chicken drumsticks AND how long to grill chicken legs. All of the details are below.
This easy grilled chicken drumstick recipe is a family favorite of ours and we make it all summer long! There are so many reasons to love this recipe:
- Simple – I mentioned this already, but when I say this grilled drumstick recipe is simple, I mean it! Just four ingredients are needed for the marinade and you probably have them already.
- Kid-Friendly – Everyone likes food on a stick, and cooking chicken legs on the grill has quickly become a favorite at our house. Who doesn’t love a good chicken leg?!
- Affordable – Chicken legs/drumsticks are an incredibly inexpensive cut of meat, which makes it perfect for weeknight meals or whenever you need to feed a crowd!
I’ve learned a new skill! And I’m pretty proud. (And shhhhh, it’s pretty easy to grill – especially these easy grilled drumsticks!) And you know what? I think YOU should learn how to grill too.
This grilled drumsticks recipe was originally published in June 2018 and updated in July 2020 to include helpful tips.
If you’re anything like me, grilling has always been a bit intimidating. Mostly because I’ve never really done it myself. We haven’t had our own grill in many, many years but even when we did, I always just sent Richie outside to grill whatever was on the menu.
And I get it! You might want some help with dinner. (Don’t we all?!) But can I let you in on a little grilling secret? You get to go outside (maybe/probably/hopefully by yourself) and sip a beverage while dinner cooks. WHAT?! That literally sounds like vacation. So I decided to jump into the grilling world with one of my favorite cuts of meat – chicken drumsticks! I’ve found that when you buy high-quality meat, you can keep things really simple, which truly is my favorite way to cook – and eat. So buy the highest-quality you can afford, it really makes a difference.
Ok, it’s time for my grilled chicken drumsticks recipe.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Legs:
I told you this grilled drumstick recipe easy, let me show you juuuuuuuust how easy.
First we make our quick little marinade. This marinade for chicken drumsticks is great because it’s super-easy to make, and while the addition of soy sauce might make you think that it’s going in an Asian chicken direction, it really just imparts a salty, umami flavor and gives the skin great color. The oil helps ensure that your meat won’t stick to the grill.
Mix it up in a plastic bag or stasher bag and then add your chicken legs. Mix the chicken legs in the bag a bit so they are all covered with the marinade. Let the drumsticks marinate for at least 20 minutes, or overnight.
When it’s time to grill, take the meat of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help it cook evenly on the grill.
Then we grill!
How Long to Grill Chicken Legs:
Are you wondering how long to grill chicken drumsticks? This is a really common question! If you’re looking for chicken drumstick grill times, know that they will vary a bit depending on grill temperature and drumstick size.
A general guideline is to cook them for about 25-30 minutes in a grill that’s between 300-400 degrees F. I always recommend using a meat thermometer to get it just right. Grill the drumsticks to an internal temperature of 175 degrees F.
Don’t forget to let your grilled drumsticks rest for at least 5 minutes.
Grilled Chicken Legs Nutrition + Substitutes:
How many calories are in a grilled chicken drumstick?
The number of calories in grilled chicken drumsticks will vary a bit, but an average, 4 oz. drumstick with this marinade has 204 calories. The full nutrition stats can be found below in the recipe card.
Can I make this grilled chicken drumsticks recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this is a super easy swap! Simply swap the soy sauce for a gluten-free tamari.
Three Tips for Grilled Chicken Leg Recipes:
- Let the meat come to temperature. Remove meat from the fridge about a half-hour before you plan on grilling. This ensures that it cooks at the proper rate.
- Don’t futz with the food! (Futz may not be a technical term, but…)You don’t want to be constantly flipping and turning, put the meat on the grill, and flip it when it’s about half-way done. This will also help make sure the meat doesn’t stick to the grill.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer. Seriously, it’s hard to know when food on the grill is done, and often times we over-cook because we don’t want foods to be under-cooked. Using a meat thermometer will ensure your grilled meats and fish are done, but not OVER done. (By the way, Moink sends a digital one your way with your first order. Just sayin!)
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Drumsticks:
With an easy grilled chicken drumsticks recipe like this one, I like to keep the sides just as easy! Grilled veggies and grilled bread are our other favorites along with the recipes below:
- Simple Green Salad – I call this our house salad, because it’s our favorite!
- Summer Quinoa Salad – Full of summer produce and flavors, this quinoa salad is always a hit.
- Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad – If you’re from the Twin Cities, you probably know this popular pasta salad!
- Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad – This sweet and savory pasta salad pairs perfectly with this grilled chicken drumsticks recipe.
- Best Tomato Toast – When tomatoes reach their peak, serve your grilled drumsticks with this toast for the perfect summer meal.
Helpful Tools to Make Grilled Drumsticks:
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer – The best way to tell when your grilled drumsticks are perfectly cooked. And it’s less than $15!
- Stasher Bag – If you’re trying to reduce single-use plastic, you’ve got to get stasher bags. They are the best and last for years without showing wear-and-tear.
My grilled chicken legs (drumsticks) recipe is SO EASY! Try the BEST 4-ingredient marinade made with pantry staples + learn how long to grill chicken legs.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 6 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
- Mince garlic and add all ingredients except for chicken to a plastic zip-topped bag.
- Add chicken to bag and marinate for at least 20 minutes, or overnight. Flip bag to distribute marinade occasionally.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and preheat grill to medium high, about 375 degrees.
- Place chicken legs on hot grill and cook for 15 minutes, flip over and cook for another 10 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 175 degrees.
- Let rest for at least 5-10 minutes and dig in!
Serve chicken with grilled bread and a veggie slaw or one of the recipes above.
Keywords: grilled chicken drumsticks, how to grill, grilled drumsticks, grilled chicken