If you know how to do them justice, economical chicken drumsticks can be a delicious choice for the grill. We started by soaking them in a saltwater brine to season them and help them retain their juices during cooking, and then we coated them with a flavorful spice rub. We cooked them all the way to between 185 and 190 degrees over indirect heat, which provided plenty of time for their connective tissue to soften and allowed the skin to render gently without the risk of flare-ups. We finished by cooking the drumsticks briefly over the coals to capture some char and crispiness.
Source: America's Test Kitchen
Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container.
Submerge drumsticks in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Place spice rub on plate. Remove drumsticks from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Holding 1 drumstick by bone end, press lightly into rub on all sides.
Pat gently to remove excess rub. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner [or, if using three-burner grill, primary burner and second burner] as needed to maintain grill temperature between 325 and 350 degrees.)
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place drumsticks, skin side down, on cooler side of grill. Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Rearrange pieces so that drumsticks that were closest to edge are now closer to heat source and vice versa. Cover and cook until drumsticks register 185 to 190 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes.
Move all drumsticks to hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Use our recipes for Barbecue Spice Rub or Jerk-Style Spice Rub here. Before applying the spice rub, smooth the skin over the drumsticks so it is covering as much surface area as possible. This will help the skin render evenly and prevent the meat from drying out.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (525g)|
|Recipe Makes: 6 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 440 (48%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 48.9g||65 %|
|Saturated Fat 13.5g||68 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 19.2g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 10.9g|
|Cholesterol 414.6mg||128 %|
|Sodium 428.1mg||15 %|
|Potassium 1108mg||29 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 15.3g||5 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.8g||3 %|
|Sugars, other 14.5g|
|Protein 97g||139 %|
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Calories per serving: 914
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