Tantalizingly Tender Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

I’m a big fan of smoked chicken, and these easy smoked chicken drumsticks are one of my absolute favorites. They’re simple to make, and the smoky flavor combined with the juicy, succulent texture is always a hit. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience of having them cooked in the smoker in just a few hours.

Easy Smoked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Prep Time

10 mins

Cook Time

150 mins

Total Time

160 mins


10 servings

Easy Smoked Chicken Drumsticks


  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed


  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, ground mustard, and celery seed.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the drumsticks, making sure to coat them evenly.
  • Place the drumsticks in the smoker and cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • After 2 hours and 30 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F.
  • When the chicken is done, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 drumstick
  • Calories: 129
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 19.8 g
  • Sodium: 539 mg
  • Cholesterol: 41 mg

Techniques for creating the perfect smoked chicken drumstick every time

Creating the perfect smoked chicken drumstick every time takes practice and patience, but there are a few techniques that can help ensure success.

The first step is to choose the right type of chicken. For the best flavor and texture, select free-range, organic chicken that has not been injected with any solutions. Ensure that the drumsticks are similar in size, as this will help the cooking process.

Second, prepare the chicken for smoking. Brining or marinating the chicken overnight can help infuse the flavors and tenderize the meat. If you choose to brine the chicken, mix together a solution of one part salt to one part water. This will help the chicken absorb more flavor and stay juicy while smoking.

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Third, create the perfect smoking environment. It is important to keep the temperature of the smoker between 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Too low and the meat will take too long to cook, while too high and it will dry out. Make sure to keep the smoke going consistently over the chicken drumsticks.

Fourth, use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the chicken. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Finally, allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the meat and give you the perfect smoked chicken drumstick every time.

Benefits of smoking chicken drumsticks vs. grilling or baking

Smoking chicken drumsticks has a few key advantages over grilling or baking.

  • The smoky flavor imparted to the chicken can’t be achieved with other cooking methods, and it adds an extra dimension of flavor that is unmatched.
  • Smoking also helps to keep the chicken moist, as the smoke seals in the juices during the cooking process.
  • Additionally, smoking chicken drumsticks can cook the meat more evenly and more quickly than grilling or baking.
  • The indirect heat of the smoker helps to slowly cook the chicken, while the heat is also able to penetrate the entire drumstick.
  • The end result is a drumstick that is juicy, tender, and flavorful – without the need to constantly monitor the temperature or turn the chicken drumsticks during cooking.
  • Finally, smoking allows you to use various types of woods to impart unique flavors to the chicken.
  • Hickory, apple, and mesquite are just a few of the many types of wood that can be used to give the chicken a unique flavor that can’t be achieved with other cooking methods.

How to choose the best chicken drumsticks for smoking

Consider the size of the drumsticks. The larger the drumstick, the longer it will take to smoke. For a quick and easy meal, look for smaller drumsticks.

  • Choose chicken drumsticks with skin on. Removing the skin before smoking the drumsticks will cause the meat to dry out.
  • Look for organic, free-range chicken drumsticks. Organic, free-range chickens are healthier and provide a better flavor.
  • Purchase drumsticks that are not precooked. Precooked drumsticks will not absorb the smokey flavor and will not be as flavorful when smoked.
  • Select drumsticks that are of similar size. Drumsticks of different sizes will cook unevenly, meaning some will be overcooked and some will be undercooked.
  • Select drumsticks that are not frozen. Frozen chicken will not absorb the smokey flavor and will not be as flavorful when smoked.
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Tips and tricks to enhance the flavor of your smoked chicken drumsticks

Brine the drumsticks before smoking: To make the drumsticks juicier and add flavor, brine them for at least an hour in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and herbs.

  • Marinate the drumsticks before smoking: To add more flavor, marinate the drumsticks in a marinade of your choice overnight.
  • Add a rub to the drumsticks before smoking: Rub a mixture of your favorite herbs and spices onto the chicken before smoking to add a flavorful crust.
  • Use a dry rub: If you don’t want to use a marinade, try a dry rub. Mix your favorite herbs and spices, and sprinkle it onto the chicken before smoking.
  • Use a smoker box: If you don’t have a smoker, use a smoker box. Fill the box with wood chips and place it over direct heat.
  • Use flavorful wood chips: To add more flavor, use wood chips that have been soaked in beer, wine, or apple juice.
  • Experiment with different woods: Try different types of wood such as apple, cherry, hickory, mesquite, or oak. Each type of wood will impart its own unique flavor.
  • Baste the drumsticks while smoking: Baste the chicken with a mixture of your favorite ingredients while smoking to keep it moist and add more flavor.
  • Use a thermometer: Use a digital thermometer to make sure the drumsticks are cooked to the proper temperature.
  • Let the chicken rest: After smoking, let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and enhance the flavor.

The ultimate guide to creating delicious smoked chicken drumsticks

Smoked chicken drumsticks are an easy and delicious way to enjoy a classic barbecue favorite. With this guide, you’ll learn how to create the perfect smoked chicken drumsticks that are sure to be a hit at your next gathering. By following the simple steps outlined here, you’ll be able to create juicy, flavorful drumsticks that your family and friends will love.

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The first step to creating delicious smoked chicken drumsticks is to choose the right drumsticks. Look for drumsticks that are plump, with a deep red color and a nice amount of fat. Avoid drumsticks that are too thin or too fatty. Once you’ve chosen the perfect drumsticks, it’s time to start the smoking process.

To ensure that your drumsticks cook evenly, you’ll want to marinate them before beginning the smoking process. A simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and lemon juice can give your drumsticks a nice flavor and help to keep them moist. Let the drumsticks marinate for at least an hour before moving on to the next step.

Now it’s time to move the drumsticks to your smoker. For best results, you’ll want to use a smoker that is set to 225°F. Place the drumsticks directly on the rack and close the lid. Let the drumsticks smoke for about 45 minutes, or until they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.

Once the drumsticks have finished smoking, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Brush the drumsticks with a mixture of melted butter, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. This will give the drumsticks a nice smoky flavor and a beautiful golden-brown color. Let the drumsticks rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Smoked chicken drumsticks are an easy and delicious way to enjoy a classic barbecue favorite. With this guide, you’ll have all the tips and tricks you need to create the perfect smoked drumsticks that are sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Follow the steps outlined here, and you’ll be sure to impress your family and friends with your delicious smoked chicken drumsticks.

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