These smoked drunken drumsticks are brined in beer then seasoned with Jeff’s Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) for a flavor that will please the most persnickety taste buds.

The chicken legs are then smoked at higher than normal temperatures to help crisp them up and finished perfectly by brushing on a beer barbecue sauce using my very own barbecue sauce recipe as the base.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Feed

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


recipe-ad-rub

I normally use my original rub recipe on poultry but I decided to bring out the Texas style rub on this chicken and it was just what the doctor ordered and seasoned them up perfectly!

promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!

Reasons to buy: Support the newsletter and the website | Own “the recipes” | Get the email newsletter 100% AD FREE from now on | Includes the Texas style rub recipe | Immediate delivery via email

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  •  Brine Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 275-300°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry
What You’ll Need

*If you do not want to use beer in the brine or in the barbecue sauce below, I have tried this with root beer (and various other soft drinks) as an alternative and it works very well.

Make the Brine

IMG_9510-250x167

Fill a large container such as a pitcher or bowl with 40 ounces (1 quart + 1 cup) cold water.

Add two 12-0z bottles of beer

Stir in ½ cup of kosher salt and continue to stir until salt is diluted into the water and the water becomes clear.

Stir in ½ cup brown sugar making sure it is melted into the water.

I usually use a 1-gallon pitcher for this but it was in use for something else so I used a large mixing bowl with a pour spout.

IMG_9514-250x167

Brine the Chicken Drumsticks

Add the drumsticks to a lidded container for brining.

If you see any large clumps of fat or extra skin, now is a great time to go ahead and remove it with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.

IMG_9516-250x167

Once all of the chicken is in the container, pour the brine over the chicken to cover.

IMG_9517-250x167

Cover with the lid, plastic wrap, etc. and place the brining chicken into the fridge for 3 hours.

IMG_9518-250x167

At the end of the brining time, discard the liquid brine and rinse each piece of chicken to remove any residual salt.

Lay the chicken on several layers of paper towels to drain before proceeding to the next step.

Season the Chicken

I rinsed the brining container and used it for the seasoning process to contain the mess.

IMG_9520-250x167

Drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil onto the chicken and use a basting brush to spread it out.

IMG_9521-250x167

Move the chicken around to make sure it is well coated.

Season generously with Jeff's Texas style rub (purchase recipes here) then roll each piece over and season the other side.

Make sure the Texas style rub recipe is on all sides of the chicken.

IMG_9524-250x167

Add Some Herbs

This is optional but I highly recommend it.

I chopped 2-3 tablespoons of parsley and chives and sprinkled it all over the chicken making sure it was well represented.

IMG_9525-250x167

IMG_9527-250x167

These are not strong tasting herbs so don't be afraid of it. It will add great color and another layer of subtle flavor.

Place the chicken legs/drumsticks on a Bradley rack or Weber grill pan for easy transport to and from the smoker.

IMG_9531-250x167

IMG_9534-250x167

Smoke the  Drumsticks

Setup your smoker or grill for cooking at 275-300°F with indirect heat. You can cook them lower at around 225°F (I do this sometimes) but the skin will not have a good bite through.

I used the Traeger Lil Texas on these so higher temperatures was no problem.

IMG_9537-250x167

A few other units that would work particularly well on these are the Weber Smoky Mountain, Almost any Kamado type cooker including, but not limited to, the Big Green Egg, Landmann propane smokers, and even  your gas grill with some wood chips wrapped in foil placed over the burner.

If you normally use a water pan, I recommend leaving it dry. When cooking chicken legs, thighs or quarters, I seem to get better results in a smoking environment with lower humidity.

Keep the smoke going for the entire time for great flavor. I recommend cherry, apple or pecan if you have any of these.

Use a quick read thermometer to check the temperature after about 1 hour or you can use a thermometer with a leave-in probe to keep you aware of the temperature throughout the entire process.


Readers are always asking me for personal recommendations so here's a couple:

The Best Wireless Digital Probe Meat Thermometer

The digital probe meat thermometer that I use most is the Maverick ET-733. It is around $69 on Amazon and should last you for many years if you take care of it properly.

This model comes with dual probes (one for the meat and one that clips to the grate to tell you the smoker temperature) and is wireless and has a range of up to 300 feet or so.

The Best Instant Read Digital Thermometer

Thermapen, made by Thermoworks, is by far the fastest reading and highest quality in quick read thermometers on the market. The Thermopop is made by the same company, reads very quickly (around 5 seconds)  and is on sale for a limited time for only $20.30 (normally $29) so this is a great time to grab one if you want one.

You really can't go wrong with a Thermapen or a Thermopop if fast and accurate is what you're after.


When the drumsticks reach 160°F, spoon some beer barbecue sauce onto the drumsticks.

IMG_9544-250x167

Beer barbecue sauce is simply about a cup of my barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) mixed with equal parts of beer or until it gets to the consistency that you like.

I say “spoon it” simply because we do not want to disturb or brush off the seasoning that we applied.

A turkey baster would also work well to pick up some of the sauce and apply it to the drumsticks in a way that does not wash away the seasoning.

The chicken is done at 165°F and takes about 1.5 hours at 275-300°F.

A few words on skin crispiness..

Outside of a frying pan, chicken skin is never going to truly be crispy. You are going for various levels of bite-through and anti-chewiness but, not really crispy. I say this so you won't be disappointed when it doesn't snap, crackle and pop when you bite into it.

It's all about heat and if you cook chicken with high enough heat, it will get really good bite-through. The problem for us is that most smokers are not designed for high heat and therefore leaves chicken lovers wanting a little more.

I can tell you that I have played around with smoking and then frying chicken for great results but I have have also grown to love smoked chicken even if the skin is not crisp.

When cooking chicken, go high with the heat if you can or smoke it for half the time and then use the oven or grill to finish if that's what you have to do.

Serve it Up

Once the chicken is done, serve it up right away while it's still hot!

IMG_9558-250x167

Get the Digital Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce
**Instant Download!**
jeffs-rub-recipe jeffs-sauce-recipe

***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:

  • You decide you don't like the recipes.. you don't pay!
  • The recipes are absolutely amazing!
  • Once you order, there'll be no more recipe ads in the email version of the newsletter

Well.. what are you waiting for.. click on the big orange button below to order the recipes now.

Order the Digital Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.

Jeff's Smoking Meat Book

smoking-meat-book-cover-275x289The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that "no smoker should be without this book"!

With more than 800 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended.

It is a Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | German Edition

Digital versions available via Nook | iTunes | Kindle

Get Almost Anything at Amazon

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we'll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon

Printable Recipe

Smoked Drunken Drumsticks
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
My smoked drunken drumsticks are brined in beer then smoked at higher than normal temperatures to crisp the skin. Finished perfectly with beer barbecue sauce.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a large container such as a pitcher or bowl with 40 ounces (1 quart + 1 cup) cold water.
  2. Add two 12-0z bottles of beer
  3. Stir in ½ cup of kosher salt and continue to stir until salt is diluted into the water and the water becomes clear.
  4. Stir in ½ cup brown sugar making sure it is melted into the water.
  5. Add the drumsticks to a lidded container for brining.
  6. If you see any large clumps of fat or extra skin, now is a great time to go ahead and remove it with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
  7. Once all of the chicken is in the container, pour the brine over the chicken to cover.
  8. Cover with the lid, plastic wrap, etc. and place the brining chicken into the fridge for 3 hours.
  9. At the end of the brining time, discard the liquid brine and rinse each piece of chicken to remove any residual salt.
  10. Lay the chicken on several layers of paper towels to drain before proceeding to the next step.
  11. Drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil onto the chicken and use a basting brush to spread it out.
  12. Move the chicken around to make sure it is well coated.
  13. Season generously with Jeff's Texas style rub then roll each piece over and season the other side.
  14. Make sure the Texas style rub recipe is on all sides of the chicken.
  15. Chop 2-3 tablespoons of parsley and chives and sprinkle it all over the chicken.
  16. Setup your smoker or grill for cooking at 275-300°F with indirect heat. You can cook them lower at around 225°F but the skin will not have a good bite through.
  17. If you normally use a water pan, I recommend leaving it dry. When cooking chicken legs, thighs or quarters, I seem to get better results in a smoking environment with lower humidity.
  18. Keep the smoke going for the entire time for great flavor. I recommend cherry, apple or pecan if you have any of these.
  19. Use a quick read thermometer to check the temperature after about 45 minutes or you can use a thermometer with a leave-in probe to keep you aware of the temperature throughout the entire process.
  20. When the drumsticks reach 160°F, spoon some beer barbecue sauce onto the drumsticks.
  21. Beer barbecue sauce is simply about a cup of my barbecue sauce mixed with equal parts of beer or until it gets to the consistency that you like.
  22. I say “spoon it” simply because we do not want to disturb or brush off the seasoning that we applied. A turkey baster would also work well to pick up some of the sauce and apply it to the drumsticks in a way that does not wash away the seasoning.
  23. The chicken is done at 165°F.
  24. When cooking chicken, go high with the heat if you can or smoke it for half the time and then use the oven or grill to finish if that's what you have to do.
  25. Once the chicken is done, serve it up right away while it's still hot!

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

8 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. HunterSmoker May 28, 2017 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Can this recipe be used in an electric smoker? Mine will usually get up to 250-260.

  2. Erin Garner March 31, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Do you think it would be ok to brine the chicken over night in the fridge? or would the 3 hoUrsula be your recommendation?

    • Jeff Phillips April 4, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Erin,

      Thank you for your patience.. it is not a good idea (in my opinion) to brine chicken any longer than you have to. Brining changes the texture of the meat and if you leave it in too long, it can get an odd texture that is not desired. It would be fine to brine the chicken, rinse it then place it back in the fridge to hold it till the next morning if that would be helpful.

  3. Erin Garner March 31, 2017 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    would it be ok if I brine them over night??

  4. Kelly Price January 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I just thought everyone should know this makes the most amazing chicken you’ve ever had. Tried it twice and both times we were blown away.

  5. Jthomas May 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Made these on my Pitt Boss pellet smoker, wow!! Awesome recipe, everybody was blown away by how delicious these were! Made no changes to the recipe and am doing this recipe again for a Mother’s Day cookout!

  6. lre March 31, 2016 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Jeff: Another great sounding recipe!! I have 2 questions on it.
    1. Have you tried or any recommendation on adjustments to do Chicken breasts with it, my family are not into drumsticks.
    2. Any type or style of beer you recommend? IPA, amber, lager, Stout, red…..

    • Jeff Phillips April 1, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

      1. I have not tried chicken breasts with this recipe but it would work just fine. If you get the boneless/skinless variety, you may want to lay a few short slices of bacon over the top to keep the outside of the chicken from drying out while it cooks. Chicken breasts are not as forgiving to over cooking due to having less fat so the brining is important. Be sure to watch the temperature carefully and remove the chicken when it hits about 165°F.

      2. I normally use Shiner Bock but any dark lager will work great in my opinion.

Leave A Response