Smoked Chicken Legs Rub Step by Step

Smoked chicken legs rub or smoked drumsticks are so delicious, easy to make, and full of flavor. Adding smoked flavor to chicken legs with a charcoal smoker or electric smoker, and amazing dry rub, then you get perfection. It only takes a few hours, approximately 2 ½ hours to smoke chicken legs. In this article, you’d get to learn all you need to know about smoked chicken legs recipe. This simple and classic technique we would be looking at in this article will ensure you get crispy skin, juicy meat, and lots of flavor on your smoked chicken legs.

How to Smoke Chicken Legs Rub?

Smoking chicken legs are some of the easiest things to smoke. More so, smoked chicken legs are relatively cheap. As a beginner in the world of grilling, we recommend you start learning how to smoke with chicken legs, before typing other cuts, like smoked wings, and so on. Here are a few things you should know about this smoked chicken leg recipe:

  • Preheat: Turn on your smoker and set it to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, drizzle the chicken legs with olive oil. The oil and temperature work together to prevent leathery skin.
  • Season: Season the chicken leg with olive oil and season on all sides. Prepare your sweet rub and apply it with a basting brush.
  • Smoke: Arrange the chicken legs on your electric smoker or charcoal smoker grates and smoke directly for about 1 ½ hour. Try to keep the temperature of the chicken leg as close to 175 degrees Fahrenheit as much as you can.
  • Enjoy: Before digging into the smoked chicken legs, allow them to cool for a few minutes.

How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs?

Approximately, it would take about 90 minutes to fully smoke chicken leg, however, this time can vary. Have a good and reliable thermometer at hand as the smoking time approaches 90 minutes. If you are smoking your chicken legs dry (without the sauce), keep the temperature of the chicken at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for the whole 90 minutes. But if you want to add sauce to the chicken legs, brush the chicken with sauce then drop the temperature to 165 degrees Fahrenheit towards the end of the smoking time. The 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature allows the sauce to caramelize and thicken.

The Smoker

There are two main types of chicken legs smoker we would recommend you use:

1. Charcoal Smoker

Charcoal smokers are the best type of smoker to use to smoke chicken legs. Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain 22-inch charcoal smoker is the best charcoal smoker we can recommend you buy because it is budget-friendly. Additionally, a charcoal smoker will truly add real smoke flavor to your food. The best part is that charcoal smokers can be used to smoke at a low temperature for a prolonged period, giving you a perfectly smoked chicken leg. However, the downside of a charcoal smoker is that they can be pretty challenging to use. Igniting a charcoal smoker takes a lot of time and patience. And trying to keep a charcoal temperature constant can also be very challenging.

2. Electric Smoker

To overcome the challenge of regulating temperature you can use an electric smoker. Also, an electric smoker is easier to ignite and use. Check out the Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Smoker, one of the best electric smokers you should buy. The best electric smoker is the best for beginners, and they offer you long-term value for your money. An electric smoker also proves to be useful in areas with a fire ban. The only downside of an electric smoker is that to add smoke flavor to your food, you need to use a chip box, which is not as effective as the smoke produced from a charcoal smoker.

Recipe Guide Step by Step

This recipe of smoked chicken legs is a delicious way to enjoy chicken legs.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Calories: 318.94 kcal

Serving: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb. chicken legs
  • 1 tbsp sweet rub


Preparing the Chicken

  • Use a paper towel to pat each drumstick and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the drumstick in the bowl and toss to ensure the olive oil is evenly coated all over the
  • Generously baste the drumstick with the sweet rub, and mix until each drumstick is evenly coated.

Smoking the Drumstick

  • First, preheat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to kill any microorganism in your smoker and to ensure your smoker is warm enough to prevent leathery skin.
  • Place the coated drumstick on the grate and ensure there is at least an inch between each drumstick.
  • Close the lid and maintain the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Smoke for 1 ½ hour or until the internal temperature of the drumstick reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • At 165 degrees Fahrenheit, baste the chicken leg with your favorite sauce.
  • Remove the drumstick and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Smoked chicken legs rub is a fantastic recipe, delicious, and very easy to prepare. When smoking chicken legs, don’t forget to add a pan of water to your smoker. The pan of water keeps your smoker moist and prevents your chicken leg from becoming hard and tough. Rubbing olive oil on the chicken leg before smoking also helps to make the skin soft.

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