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5 from 4 votes

Smoked Chicken Legs

Tender, juicy smoked chicken legs with a homemade seasoning that are basted with BBQ Sauce for a sweet and sticky finish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chicken Drumsticks, Smoked Chicken Legs
Servings: 4
Calories: 334kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 2 lb chicken legs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ Chicken Rub or your favorite seasoning/rub
  • ¼ c. BBQ sauce


  • Preheat your smoker to 275 degree F according to manufacture's directions.
  • Drizzle the chicken legs with olive oil and then sprinkle BBQ Chicken rub on top. Work the rub into the chicken legs so they are completely covered.
  • Place drumsticks on preheated smoker, close lid and smoke for 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken legs is 175 degrees. This will really vary depending on how big your drumstick is and how much meat is on it.
  • Then baste chicken legs with BBQ sauce. Close lid and smoke an additional ten minutes. You can skip the BBQ sauce if you'd like. We like our chicken legs about 180-190 degrees F. This will prevent you from having any bloody meat around the bone.
  • Remove from smoker, let rest 5-10 minute and then enjoy!


How long does it take to smoke chicken legs?
This will vary depending on how big of a chicken leg you have and how thick it is. It will take from one hour to one hour and 30 minutes.
What does the internal temperature of a chicken thigh need to be?
You want to cook this to 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the drumstick. Make sure you have a digital meat thermometer or your smoker has a probe with built in thermometer to monitor this. We actually cook them to 175-180 degrees F. They are still super tender and juicy, but it they don’t have some of those bloody spots around the bone that way.
Do I need to put BBQ Sauce on them?
No, you don’t need the BBQ sauce. The rub will give them enough flavor, but we love that sticky, sweet finish on them.
How should I store leftovers?
Store any cooled leftover chicken drumsticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How do I reheat chicken legs?
You can microwave them to reheat them, but the skin will be rubbery and they might dry out. Another option is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place thicken legs on a wire rack with baking sheet under it. Bake for about 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Another option is to preheat an Air Fryer to 400 degrees then bake the chicken legs for around 5 minutes or until heated through.
What wood pellets or chips should I use to smoke chicken?
If you want to achieve a heavy smoke flavor a Mesquite Hardwood would be great. If your goal is a lighter flavor then an Apple Hardwood would be your best option. Our go-to when in doubt is a competition blend wood chip.


Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg