Barbeque Chicken Drumsticks

I hate when a picture doesn’t do the food justice. I almost didn’t post these drumsticks. In fact, its been ready to post for 2 days now. But really, these are too good not share. But these pictures have inspired to get better at taking pictures, although I am dragging my feet a little.

I have two main recipes that are on regular rotation in the summer. The first is a big, juicy, grilled burger. The second is Barbeque Chicken Drumsticks.

Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks
This chicken recipe is the second recipe my husband tried on the grill. We loved it from the start and have tweaked it every time until we found perfection. Sometimes it was a little too spicy, sometimes it was not flavorful enough. Even on an “off day” we’d still serve these chicken drumsticks to guests and we’d be dang proud, but this time we got it. AND I wrote the recipe down for once.  This never happens!

The trick to this is the rub. That rub adds so much flavor! Ever since we’ve rubbed up our chicken drumsticks, we rub everything. Rubs have been a total game changer and totally worth getting a little messy. Trust me, nothing grosses me out more than getting my hands all over raw meat. That’s saying something because I’m a mom to children with weak stomachs.

Heating up the grill is way better than heating up the house during these hot summer months. It’s been so hot, I’m dreaming of October already. The only thing that keeps me hanging on is drumsticks.

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken drumsticks, thawed
    For the rub
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    For the sauce
  • 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Sprite or 7-Up
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP whole-grain mustard


    For the rub
  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the rub. Rub evenly all over the drumsticks. Place the drumsticks in a bowl of pan, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.
    For the sauce
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ketchup, sprite, lemon juice, brown sugar, and mustard. Bring to a simmer and let and turn heat to low. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir constantly.
  1. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down, over medium heat (350-450 degrees). Cook for 8-10 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 8-10 more minutes. Brush the chicken with the sauce on all sides. Continue to cook until juices run clear and the beat around the bone is no longer pink, about 15 more minutes, occasionally turning and brushing with sauce. Serve warm.

Recipe inspired and adapted from Way to Grill, Jamie Purviance

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