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There’s nothing quite like sweet, sticky homemade BBQ sauce slathered over juicy grilled chicken legs! This quick and easy-to-master recipe makes the best, most flavorful chicken you’ll ever sink your teeth into. Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs are the ultimate in summer cookout food and perfect for picnics, parties, and family gatherings.
This recipe has been in the Southern Soul recipe files for years. I originally came up with this homemade BBQ sauce recipe over 10 years ago, and it was actually kind of an afterthought when I put it on my site. Little did I know that it would become a fan favorite!
With all the love that folks have shared over these grill chicken legs and grilled BBQ chicken thighs, I decided it was time to give this post a makeover. After all, it deserves it!
Why You Should Make These Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs…
- They are easy to make and don’t need any extra time to prepare since there’s no marinating required.
- Chicken legs are inexpensive, so feeding your family or a crowd won’t break your budget.
- The homemade BBQ sauce is made with just a few simple ingredients and produces an amped-up flavor that’s so crazy delicious.
- They are juicy, smokey, sweet, and sticky. All you need is a stack of napkins!
Ingredients For This Recipe
- Chicken Legs
- Brown Sugar
- Worchestershire Sauce
- Dijon Mustard
- Hot Sauce
- Southern Soul House Seasoning or your favorite rub
Helpful Tools To Make Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs
Using the right tools when cooking makes things easy, safe, and efficient. That goes for grilling, too. For this recipe, here are my tried and true grilling tools:
Are BBQ Chicken Drumsticks The Same As Chicken Legs
Yes, chicken legs and chicken drumsticks generally refer to the same part of the chicken. The chicken leg consists of two parts: the thigh and the drumstick. The thigh is the upper portion, while the drumstick is the lower portion that includes the leg bone.
How To Make Homemade BBQ Sauce
Making homemade BBQ sauce is super simple! All the ingredients are pantry and fridge staples, and when simmered together, they make an incredible sauce that will become a family favorite.
All that’s needed to make BBQ Sauce is one pot and about 10 minutes of time. Add all the ingredients to the pot and whisk them together. Bring the sauce up to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the sauce cool, and you are ready to serve.
How To Grill Chicken Legs
- Preheat the grill, either gas or charcoal, for 2-zone (direct and indirect) grilling. The grill should be around 400 degrees.
- Season the chicken legs with my homemade House Seasoning. You can also use your favorite rub or salt and pepper. The key here is to ensure you season all sides of the chicken.
- Place the chicken legs on the direct heat side of the grill. Cook them, turning about every 5 minutes, for about 30 minutes until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees.
- Move the chicken legs to the indirect heat side of the grill and slather on the BBQ sauce. Turn and baste the chicken until the sauce gets thick, sticky, and caramelized.
Cooking Times and Temperatures For Grilled Chicken Legs
These chicken legs take about 30 to 35 minutes to cook over direct heat and an additional 10 minutes over indirect while you are basing them with the BBQ Sauce. The chicken will be fully cooked when the internal temp reaches 165 degrees.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving with your favorite side dishes.
Commonly Asked Questions
How Long To Grill Chicken Legs?
- Place the chicken legs on the preheated grill. Close the lid and cook for about 6-8 minutes per side.
- After the first 6-8 minutes, flip the chicken legs using tongs. Close the lid and continue grilling for another 6-8 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken legs using a meat thermometer. The chicken is considered safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.
How can I get crispy skin on BBQ chicken thighs?
To achieve crispy skin on BBQ chicken thighs, start by patting the chicken dry with paper towels. Then, season the thighs with salt, pepper, and any desired spices, such as garlic powder or chili powder. Grill them over medium-high heat, and avoid moving them too frequently to allow the skin to crisp up.
How can I continue to cook BBQ chicken without burning the sauce?
To prevent BBQ sauce from burning, you can apply it during the last few minutes of cooking or after the chicken is cooked through. This allows the sauce to caramelize slightly without burning.
What To Serve With Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Pineapple Slaw
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Macaroni Salad
- Instant Pot Pepper Jack Macaroni & Cheese
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- 8 – 10 chicken legs
- 1 tablespoon House Seasoning or your favorite barbecue rub
- Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and bring up to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly then transfer to a clean jar. Will keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks.