The dry rub on these Smoked Chicken Drumsticks is awesome! When you smoke them low and slow, the smoky flavor penetrates the chicken, adding so much to every bite. They are tender, juicy, and perfect for lunch, dinner, a picnic, or a snack any time of the day!
This smoked chicken drumsticks recipe is similar to these tasty, snackable chicken drumettes! The difference is that these babies are more of a meal. Once you have a couple of these drumsticks, you are going to be very satisfied, trust me.
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When you cook the chicken low and slow it comes out juicy and tender. Finishing the drumsticks off on a high-temperature grill allows the skin to crisp up beautifully. You are never going to want to eat chicken drumsticks any other way after you taste these!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE Dry rub SMOKED chicken drumsticks?
It doesn’t take long to get these tender chicken drumsticks ready for the smoker. A quick rub, and they are ready to go! Then on to making the amazing Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce that goes so awesome with these thighs.
Dry Rub Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken drumsticks
- Cracked peppercorn
- Fresh ground pepper
- Kosher salt
- Onion powder
- Onion, minced
- Parsley for garnish
Chipotle Dipping Sauce
- Chipotle sauce
- Sour cream
- Lemon Juice
- Garlic, minced
- Fresh ground pepper
How to make dry rub smoked chicken drumsticks
In a small bowl, you want to start by combining the spices for the dry rub. Mix the paprika, crushed peppercorns, fresh ground pepper, oregano, cumin, Kosher salt, onion powder, minced onion, and basil in a small bowl.
Preheat your smoker to 215-225 degrees F. Place the drumsticks into a large sealable plastic bag and pour in the dry rub mixture. Give the bag a good shake to coat all the drumsticks and set aside until your smoker is heated.
Next, it’s time to make the chipotle aioli dipping sauce. You want to do this now, so the flavors have time to meld together.
To make the chipotle aioli dip whisk together the chipotle sauce, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, and fresh ground pepper in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
The heat from the chipotle aioli is perfect for the smoked dry-rub chicken drumsticks. It is creamy, with a slight kick from the chipotle sauce, but the sour cream softens the heat, which allows it to marry well with the dry rub on the chicken.
Once your smoker is preheated, remove the coated drumsticks from the plastic bag and place them directly on the grates of your smoker. Smoke for about 1 1/2 hours. I like to use hickory or applewood to smoke chicken; sometimes I will even mix the 2 wood chips together.
You want to continue to smoke the drumsticks until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. I like to use my trusty Thermoworks Thermapen instant-read thermometer. It is quick, easy to use, and gives me an exact temperature in seconds every time!
Finishing them off
Once you have them smoked and up to temp, it’s time to finish them off. Smoking chicken at a low temperature creates very juicy and tender chicken, but it makes the skin of the chicken a little rubbery.
In order to solve this problem, you will want to remove the drumsticks from your smoker and get them on a hot grill for a few minutes. If you have a pellet smoker, you can likely heat it to 450 degrees F. Some electric smokers and others will not heat to that temperature. But never fear, you can use your gas grill to finish them off.
Just 4 minutes a side on the 450 degrees F. grill will do it. You will have crispy skin, and the meat of the drumsticks will be perfectly tender and juicy.
After you try these, you are not going to want to have fried chicken drumsticks ever again!
How long does it take to smoke drumsticks?
The time it takes to smoke your chicken drumsticks depends on the temperature you smoke them at. Smoking them at a lower temperature like 200 F will obviously take longer than smoking them at 275 or 300 F degrees.
But as I always say, you have to smoke to a temperature, not a time. Your meat must be cooked to the right internal temperature. It is important to note, the longer the meat is in the smoker, the more smoky flavor it will have. So yes, you can smoke your meat quickly at a high temperature, but it will have less smoke flavor than if you smoke it at a lower temp.
The chipotle dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment for the dry rub drumsticks. A little spicy, creamy, and a little tangy from the lemon juice.
You might even want to keep this chipotle aioli recipe handy for all your other chicken recipes, smoked, BBQ’ed, or grilled. Yes, it really is that good!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 lbs chicken drumsticks (about 12 drumsticks)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cracked peppercorn
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp minced onion
- 2 tsp dried basil
- Parsley, chopped, as garnish
Chipotle Aioli Dip
- 1 tbsp chipotle sauce
- ¼ cup mayo
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 215 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine paprika, peppercorn, pepper, oregano, cumin, salt, onion powder, minced onion, and basil.
- Place drumsticks into a large ziplock bag. Pour seasoning inside and shake to coat.
- While your smoker preheats, prepare the chipotle aioli. Combine all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk well to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Once your smoker is preheated, remove the drumsticks from the bag and place them directly onto the smoker grill grate and smoke for 1 ½ hour.
- Check to make sure the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F. Remove from the smoker as it preheats in the next step.
- Turn the smoker up to 450 degrees F or preheat your grill to 450 F.
- Return the drumsticks to the smoker or place them on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Grill only until the skin is crispy; remember, the chicken is already cooked.
- Serve with chipotle aioli dip and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!
I like to smoke my chicken with apple or hickory wood chips. But you can use whatever wood you like or play around with different combinations.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 601mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 37g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.