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Better BBQ Chicken Legs


Better BBQ Chicken Legs
John Liu/Flickr
Remember those chicken drumsticks your Dad used to cook up on Saturday afternoons in the summer? Well these are an improvement on those. Brined to be moist and tender and slow grilled with a classic BBQ sauce to give them flavor and leave sticky sauce on your fingers.

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • For Brine:
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • For BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne


To make brine combine salt, white sugar and hot water in a large plastic or glass container that you can cover. Stir to mix. Add to 2 quarts cold water. Add cayenne. Continue stirring to dissolve. Add chicken drumsticks, cover and refrigerator for 4 hours. Meanwhile makes sauce by combining all BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

After 4 hours remove chicken legs from brine and discard brine. Rinse chicken thoroughly to remove all traces of the brine from the surface. Place on preheated grill over a medium low heat (around 275 degrees F.) Grill for about 20 minutes turning occasionally. As the chicken nears doneness begin brushing sauce over the surface every 5 minutes until chicken is done and sauce has cooked down to a sticky consistency. Remember, chicken is done when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can typically tell because the internal juices are clear and watery.

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