Smoked Chicken Legs are a summer favorite around here! Packed with flavor this smoked chicken leg recipe is going to become a staple on your summer menu plan!
Nothing beat that crispy chicken skin on the outside of a smoked chicken, right?! These chicken legs are cooked to absolutely perfection with a dry rub that will knock your socks off! Learn how to achieve that perfect combo of crispy skin on the outside and juicy meat on the inside.
What You Will Need
- Batch of our homemade smoked chicken dry rub.
- Chicken legs.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke Chicken Legs at 225
It take approximately 60 minutes to smoke chicken legs at 225 degrees F. with an additional 10 minutes on high heat to sear at the end.
How do You get Smoked Chicken Skin Crispy
The secrete to getting smoked chicken skin crispy is to smoke it low and then end with a sear at the end. For this recipe, we smoke the legs for 60 minutes at 225 (or until they reach about 160 degrees internal temp) and then crank the heat up to 400-500 and sear them, rotating every few minutes. The result, crispy chicken skin and juicy meat!
How do You Reheat Smoked Chicken Legs
The best way to reheat them is to actually turn your grill or smoker on high heat and sear them for a few minutes. That way the skin doesn’t get all soggy and gross.
Tips for Smoking Chicken
- Pat Dry: pat dry with a paper towel to soak up any extra moisture.
- Dry Rub: using a dry rub on smoked chicken is a great way to amp up that flavor!
- Don’t Over Cook: chicken is fully cooked when it hits 165 degrees F. at it’s thickest point. I usually take my chicken off right before it hits 165 as it will continue to raise a couple degrees as it rests.
- 225 degrees: 225 is a great temperature to smoke chicken at – most of your recipes use this temp and then sear at the end to get the best of both worlds; that smokey flavor, but also that crispy skin.
- Sear: a lot of people forget or skip (or don’t know) this step. It isn’t required, but it is a great way to elevate your smoked chicken.
- Let Rest: Don’t skip this step! So important for those juices to redistribute.
What to Serve With Chicken Legs
- Smoked Asparagus
- Herbed Potatoes
- Smoked Baked Beans
- Lemon Pasta
- Crab Pasta Salad
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Watermelon Mint Salad
How to Smoke Chicken Legs
Step One: grab your chicken legs.
Step Two: Pat them dry.
Step Three: Cover them in smoked chicken dry rub and let them sit anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours.
Step Four: Get your smoker ready and preheat it to 225 degrees F.
Step Five: Get those chicken legs on the smoker! Let them cook for about a hour or until they hit 160 degrees internal temp. Chicken is fully cooked when it is 165 degrees F. internal temp, but we will finish these off on high heat.
Step Six: This is what they chicken legs look like after smoking at 225 degrees F. for about an hour. If you want to keep smoking them at 225 degrees F. until they hit an internal temp of 165 degrees F, you can. Otherwise, pull them off when they hit 160 degrees and then turn your smoker way up to 400-500 degrees (you can also do this on the grill if you choose). Sear them on all sides, rotating every minute or two until the skin is nice and charred and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Step Seven: After you are done searing them, pull them off and let them rest for 5 minutes.
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Smoked Chicken Legs – crispy skin on the outside, juicy and delicious on the outside! This smoked chicken leg recipe is perfection!
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground dried ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Smoked Chicken Legs:
- 12 chicken legs
- Ensure grates are clean and preheat smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Pat chicken legs dry with clean paper towel.
- Combine dry rub ingredients in small bowl.
- Cover chicken legs in dry rub, ensuring you get it into every nook and cranny.
- Place chicken legs on smoker and close lid.
- Let smoke for approximately 1 hour or until chicken legs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Remove chicken legs from smoker and turn heat up to 500 degrees.
- Place chicken back on the smoker, searing each side for 1-2 minutes. Keep rotating until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from smoker and let rest 5 minutes.
- Searing Optional: If you want to keep smoking the legs at 225 degrees F until they hit an internal temp of 165 degrees F, you can. Otherwise, pull them off when they hit 160 degrees and then turn your smoker way up to 400-500 degrees (you can also do this on the grill if you choose). Sear them on all sides, rotating every minute or two until the skin is nice and charred and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Dry Rub Alternative: this all-purpose chicken dry rub is more herby than this one if you want another option.
- When is Chicken Fully Cooked: chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F. Remember, chicken will also keep cooking as it rests so don’t overcook your chicken or it will dry out.
Keywords: smoked chicken legs