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Most of us have heard of Alabama white sauce.. which is a really tasty sauce created with mayonnaise, black pepper and any number of other ingredients. The variations are endless and it's most often used on chicken but I've also seen it used on pork and seafood.
In this recipe, I use a very basic Alabama white sauce recipe on smoked chicken drumsticks. This particular variation was sent to me by a reader a few years ago. It is simple and delicious.. just the way I like it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Smoker Temp: 250-275°F (121-135°C)
- Meat Finish Temp: 180°F (82°C)
- Recommended Wood: Maple, Hickory, Cherry Blend (pellets)
- 12-18 chicken drumsticks (thighs and even quarters also work well)
- Alabama white sauce (recipe below)
- ~1 cup Jeff's original rub
Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken in a pan and into the fridge uncovered to dry for several hours to help the skin to end up with a better, more edible texture.
Alabama White Sauce
- 2 cups of mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup fine ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
This recipe makes enough for about 12-18 chicken legs with a little left over for dipping.
This Alabama white sauce recipe can also be found HERE.
It is best if the chicken legs are in a pan to help contain the mess.
Brush some of the Alabama white sauce onto the chicken.
Coat it generously with about ½ cup of my original rub .
Turn the chicken pieces over and do the same thing on the other side with the sauce and about ½ cup of the original rub .
It is ok to add the sauce and rub the night before so it's ready to go onto the smoker the next morning.
About the Smoker
I used the Camp Chef Woodwind for this recipe and it was a wonderful choice! I have used a few other brands of pellet smokers and, in general, they all work similarly but the Woodwind by Camp Chef has added a few features that many of the others are missing.
- An ash cup on the bottom of the unit to catch the ashes and make cleanup easy.
- A chute that opens so you can dump the hopper when you want to replace the pellets with a different flavor.
- A 2nd cooking shelf comes standard.
- The ability to pull a lever from the outside of the unit which moves the heat deflector to the side and allows the flames to come up through the grates to the meat you are cooking!
- Available propane powered SearBox (grill) or SideKick (griddle) attaches to the right side of the unit. This allows you to sear steaks, chicken, etc. once they are done cooking. You could also just use it to cook steaks or other meats at very high heat. This is a one of a kind feature that is going to be very handy!
- 3 year warranty and free shipping ain't a bad feature either!
In case you can't tell, I really like this machine and I think if you are in the market for a smoker that is easy to use, introduces a ton of smoke flavor to your food and has the ability to cook from 160°F all the way up to about 500°F, with smoke, then this might be something you need to look at very closely.
If you are using a pellet smoker, set it up for cooking at about 225°F (107°C) for at least the first 30 minutes. After this, you can crank up the heat to about 275-300°F to try and get a good bite thru on the chicken skin.
All other smokers can be set to 250-275°F (121-135°C) to cook the chicken and get a good bite-thru on the skin.
It is best to keep the heat on the dry side so, if your smoker has a water pan or you normally add a water pan, leave it dry this time.
The heat should be indirect.
Once the smoker is ready to go, place the chicken directly on the smoker grate. Be sure to leave a little space between the pieces to give the heat and smoke plenty of access.
Let the chicken cook with smoke until done.
After 30 minutes of cooking, brush the chicken generously with the Alabama white sauce and continue to cook.
Brush the chicken with the Alabama white sauce every 15 minutes until the chicken is finished cooking. Because you are opening the door or lid more often, the cooking time will probably be longer than usual.
Chicken drumsticks and thighs are safe to eat at 165°F (74°C) but have a better texture and are more tender if you let them cook until they reach an internal temperature of 180°F (82°C).
Continue to add smoke throughout the cooking process if possible.
When the smoked chicken drumsticks have reached 180°F (82°C) as determined by an accurate digital meat thermometer such as the Thermapen, they can be removed from the smoker grate and placed into a pan.
Serve and eat right away.
I recommend removing about half of the Alabama white sauce into a separate container for dipping later. This leaves you plenty for brushing on the chicken while it cooks and you don't have to worry about cross contamination.
You'll notice that as you brush the chicken, some of the original rub is transferred into the white sauce. This is ok and just adds to the amazing flavor.
Alabama White Sauce on Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
- 12-18 chicken drumsticks (thighs also work well)
- 1 cup Jeff's Original rub
Alabama White Sauce
- 2 cups Mayonnaise
- ½ cup Apple cider vinegar (j)
- ¼ cup Black pepper (finely ground)
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Rinse chicken drumsticks with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place chicken on a wire rack or sheet pan and place in fridge for several hours to help dry the skin. This helps to ensure a better texture in the finished skin.
- While the chicken is drying, mix up the Alabama white sauce. Mix until smooth and refrigerate until needed.
- Once you are ready to season the chicken, brush some of the Alabama white sauce onto the chicken then coat the outside of the chicken with Jeff's original rub. This can be done the night before or 8-10 hours in advance if desired.
- Setup your smoker for cooking at 250-275°F (121-135°C) using indirect heat. If your smoker has a water pan, leave it dry if possible to reduce humidity and help the chicken skin to end up with a better texture.
- Place the chicken on the smoker grate and let it smoke with a mix of maple, cherry and hickory or whatever smoking wood you have available. Leave the chicken alone for about 30 minutes.
- Now we will begin brushing the Alabama white sauce on the chicken every 15 minutes until it is finished cooking.
- When the chicken reaches 180°F (82°C) as measured by an accurate meat thermometer, it is finished and should be removed from the smoker.
- Serve immediately with more white sauce for dipping.