10 faq how long to smoke chicken legs at 275 Ideas

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icken Drumsticks

Grab a hold of these Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with crispy skin, juicy meat, and classic barbecue flavors. These are simple to prepare, easily customizable, and incredibly affordable – it’s no wonder they are a huge hit for the crowd!

Do you prefer naked or sauced chicken?

If you’re looking for one of the simplest meats to cook on your smoker, you’re in the right place. Smoked chicken drums are very straightforward, consistent, and relatively cheap. Not to mention, generally a huge hit with kids – which you know is a plus if you’re also a parent.

Don’t forget to check out Smoked Chicken Halves, Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, or Butterflied Chicken Drumsticks for some different options!

Why This Recipe Works

Packed with flavor. Juicy dark meat, insulated with a blanket of crispy skin on the outside is hard to beat. Add in wood-fired smoke flavor to take it over the edge.

Affordable. When it comes to purchasing meat, this is something important to consider. Chicken drums are the least desired cut in general, making them an ideal replacement for chicken wings on the smoker.

Simple to prepare. Season, smoke, glaze if you want, and you’re done. Smoked chicken drumsticks have minimal preparation and the process is reliable.

Easy to time. Unlike smoked chuck roast, brisket, or pork shoulder, there’s no cooking stall with smoking drumsticks. You can count on them to be done within the same 15-minute window, every time.

Everything You Need for Smoked Chicken Drumsticks:

Smoked drumsticks with a side of maple chipotle sauce

Seasoning Choices

Chicken is one of the easiest meats to season, and it can take any type of flavor you can throw at it. Unlike beef, it’s easy to switch from sweet, spicy, sour, salty, or any combination in between.

  • Signature Sweet & Smoky Rub – This rub was originally designed for chicken, a combination of brown sugar and smoky chiles to create a mild heat with a well-rounded profile. It also gives the chicken a great color.
  • Smoky Southwest Dry Rub – If you’re looking for a flavor that leans more towards Mexican food, this is the one. The profile is darker, earthy, savory, and much less sweet than other rubs.
  • Spicy Pastrami Rub – Yes, chicken pastrami. Don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean the chicken is cured pink! We’re borrowing the aromatics from a classic pastrami rub and adding a few twists, made to boost the savory flavors of poultry.
  • Pumpkin Spice BBQ Rub – Look past the latte crazy and focus on the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Toss in some smoky chipotle with a few other ingredients and you have a warm, savory rub that’s perfect on smoked chicken drumsticks.

BBQ Sauce Choices

Choosing a BBQ seasoning is half of the fun, but there is another way to layer flavor. Glazing, tossing, or dunking the drumsticks in a homemade sauce adds a third layer of delicious flavor (after seasoning and smoke) which you can mix and match. Try out one of these:

  • Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce – This mustard-based golden sauce is tangy, spicy, and sweet. It’s designed for both basting during the cook as well as dunking.
  • Buffalo BBQ Sauce – Take the classic buffalo flavors and fortify them with ketchup, sugars, and aromatics to make a full-bodies BBQ sauce that kicks.
  • Korean Honey Mustard – Looking for heat? Thin out this sauce with a little apple cider vinegar and you’ll have glowing red drumsticks ready to wake up your tastebuds.
  • Teriyaki BBQ Sauce – Sweet and thick, this sauce comes together quickly and is one of my favorite ways to glaze chicken drumsticks.
Chicken drumsticks seasoned with the Signature Sweet & Smoky rub

Prepping the Drumsticks

Remember how I said this was easy? Yeah, there’s not much to do here, but there are a few tips to consider.

  • Season your chicken generously. Don’t worry, the sugars won’t burn as we are smoking the drums, not grilling them directly. Feel free to season to your preferences.
  • Dry-brine for crispier skin. This is a great strategy regardless, but if you’re not planning on saucing the drumsticks then it’s a must. Allowing the salt to draw out excess moisture while drying out the skin in the fridge will give you much crispier skin compared to seasoning right before. I recommend seasoning the drumsticks and allowing them to sit on a wire rack with a baking sheet for at least a few hours, up to overnight.
  • Binder is optional. You can use Worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, mustard, or any flavored liquid sauce as a binder for the rub before you apply it. It adds another layer of flavor, but it does prevent the skin from getting as crispy if you’re going to dry-brine.
Dry-rubbed chicken drumsticks are smoking at 275°F

Smoking the Drumsticks

This process is simple, all you need is a smoker or indirect setup for your charcoal grill to pull this off.

STEP 1: Preheat the Grill

Warm up your smoker to 275°F. If you’re using a charcoal grill, build a 2-zone setup with a warm and cool zone. You’ll be placing the chicken drumsticks on the cool side and cooking them indirectly.

Think about your choices for wood flavor and how it would pair with your seasonings. My favorite types for smoked chicken drums would be apple, mesquite, hickory, or maple. Use what you love!

STEP 2: Smoke the Chicken Drumsticks

Smoke the wings for about 80-90 minutes. Don’t mess with them! They will be just fine on their own, I promise.

Typically chicken is cooked til 165°F for safety, however, with wings and drumsticks I’ve found it’s best to push that higher. Cook them until about 180-185° and the skin will be crispier, and the meat will no longer be chewy.

Sauced the smoked chicken drumsticks at 165°F to finish them off in the smoker.

STEP 3: Sauce Them to Finish

Glazing the smoked chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce is an optional step, but if you’re going to do it now is the time. When the chicken reads 165°F internal temperature, go ahead and add your sauce.

If the BBQ sauce you’re using is too thick, add a splash of apple cider vinegar to thin it out. It should be a nice glaze, not a thick gloopy mess.

Cook the wings for another 15-20 minutes until they are at the desired temperature.

STEP 4: Rest and Serve

Yes, even chicken needs a little rest after cooking. Thankfully only about 5-10 minutes and you’re good to go. By the time you’ve pulled them off and taken them into the house to set the table, they are practically ready to grab.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you reheat chicken drumsticks?

Yes, and the best way to do that is actually over the grill. Preheat your grill to medium heat and cook them indirectly to warm them up, and then sear them off to crisp them up.

Does this work for chicken thighs?

Actually yes it can. I do use similar temperatures for smoked bone-in chicken thighs as well. Competition-style chicken thighs are another discussion, which I am not referring to.

How long does it take to smoke chicken legs?

The drumsticks should take about 90 minutes at 275°F, give or take a few depending on their size.

Sauces to Try with Smoked Chicken

  • Sweet Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Spicy Buffalo BBQ Sauce
  • Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce
  • Hatch Chile Chimichurri Sauce


Smoked chicken drumsticks served with different kinds of Bbq sauce and pickles

  1. Pat the drumsticks dry, and apply a generous amount of seasoning to each. Place them on a wire rack with a baking sheet in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the smoker to 275°F. Remove the drumsticks from the fridge and allow them to come to room temp while the smoker warms up.
  3. Place them in the smoker when preheated, allowing them to cook for about 80-90 minutes undisturbed.
  4. If glazing, brush on the BBQ sauce when the drumsticks are about 165°F. Allow them to continue to smoke for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove the drumsticks when they reach about 180-185°F. They tend to be a little more crispy, falling off the bone and easier at this higher temperature.
  6. Allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Dry Brine: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: smoked chicken, chicken drumsticks, smoked chicken drumsticks, smoked chicken drums, chicken legs

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Frequently Asked Questions About faq how long to smoke chicken legs at 275

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic faq how long to smoke chicken legs at 275, then this section may help you solve it.

How long should you smoke chicken legs?

Close the lid and place the chicken legs on the smoker grates over indirect heat. Smoke the chicken legs for approximately 90 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

At what temperature should chicken legs be smoked?

Most of your recipes use this temperature and then sear the chicken at the end to achieve the best of both worlds: that smokey flavor and that crispy skin.

How long does it take a pellet smoker to smoke chicken legs?

How to use a pellet grill to smoke chicken legs

  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F. …
  • Evenly season the chicken legs with poultry seasoning.
  • Place a digital probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken leg without touching bone. …
  • Smoke the chicken legs at 225°F for one hour.

How long should chicken legs be smoked at 250?

The chicken legs should be smoked at 250? (121?) until the internal temperature reaches 175? (79? ), which usually takes b>around 2 hours/b>. Be sure to clean the grill grates before beginning.

When does smoked chicken’s bone start to fall off?

Use your best judgment. Check the temperature: Smoke for about 30 more minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), without touching the bone. Remove and Baste: When the chicken is finished, remove it from the smoker and baste it with the preferred barbecue sauce right away.

How can smoked drumsticks be cooked to perfection?

Use an instant read internal thermometer to test the doneness of the chicken by inserting it into the thickest part of the drumstick, toward the center, but not touching the bone; if you do, pull back a little bit. Cook the chicken until it reaches 175°–180°.

Is a fast or slow smoke better for chicken?

In general, smoking Low and Slow is preferred to hot and fast cooking because: The meat stays juicy; the finished product is more tender and flavorful; and the food gets kissed with just the right amount of smoke flavors.

How hot should a pellet grill be to cook chicken legs?

The legs should cook for 15 minutes at 375F on your pellet grill before being turned over and continuing to cook for another 15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 180-185F.

How do I use a pellet smoker to get crispy chicken skin?

Cook at the proper temperature: Smoke chicken between 275°F and 350°F in your pellet smoker until the internal temperature reaches 170°F. When you roast chicken at higher temperatures, the fat in the skin renders faster and nicer—and that means lightly crispy, crunchy, brown chicken skins fresh off your pellet grill.

How long does smoking chicken at 275 take?

The final internal temperature of the breast should be between 160-165 degrees F, and the final internal temperature of the thighs should be between 170-175 degrees F. A whole chicken can be fully smoked at 275 degrees F for approximately 2.5-3 hours.

How long does a chicken take to smoke on 275?

Overall, it should take about 2.5 to 3 hours to smoke a whole chicken when cooking a 5-pound bird at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, but since grill temperatures can vary, it is preferable for you to use a probe thermometer to determine the appropriate cooking time.

Am I able to smoke meat at 275?

Planning for the meat to cook at a rate of about 80-90 minutes per pound means that a 10-pound pork shoulder will take approximately 15 hours if the smoker is set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

How can you smoke chicken while keeping it moist?

To achieve the best results when smoking or grilling chicken, soak it in a seasoned brine for 3 to 4 hours prior to cooking. This helps to impart flavor and prevents the meat from drying out too easily when smoking it.

How long should chicken thighs be smoked at 275?

Place skin-side-up chicken thighs on the smoker, insert a temperature probe into the thickest part of the thigh, close the lid of the pellet grill, and smoke the food at 275 degrees for one to one and a half hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

Should I smoke while spraying chicken?

Since smoked chicken cooks relatively quickly, many people don’t think it needs a spritz, but I disagree. I believe that adding moisture, acid, and flavor is a good thing. I use the same spritz spray as I do in my recipe for smoked St. Lous ribs.

At 275 degrees, how long does a chicken cook?

If chicken is smaller, cook on the low end of the time frame and vice-versa; bake, uncovered, at 275 degrees F for 3-4 hours; but really, if you keep the chicken in a half hour longer than intended, it will still taste great!

How long do chicken leg quarters need to smoke at 275 degrees?

You should plan to smoke your chicken quarters for 1.5–2 hours at 275–300 degrees Fahrenheit.

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