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Best Grilled Chicken Legs (with Dry Rub Recipe)

Everyone needs an easy, but great, recipe for Grilled Chicken Legs, especially once summer barbecue season begins.  These chicken leg quarters are seasoned with a savory blend of herbs and spices and grilled until the skin is perfectly charred and the meat is juicy, tender and falling off the bone!  You can count on this being on repeat all summer long because the whole family is going to love this chicken leg recipe!

A white platter with 4 grilled chicken legs and some parsley..

Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken, so having a recipe that I know everyone loves makes planning dinner so much easier.  Chicken Spiedini and Smoked Chicken Legs are other easy go to recipes that you will want to try.

There are really two things that you need to make the ultimate grilled chicken.  First is a delicious spice rub and the second is a good meat thermometer!  Grilling chicken to the proper temperature will allow you to cook it all the way through without drying it out.  

Making perfectly grilled chicken is not hard, you just need some basic ingredients and you have a follow a few simple steps.  So don’t worry we have your covered!

Why You Will Love These Grilled Chicken Legs 

  • This is an easy recipe and uses basic ingredients from your pantry.  No need to run to the grocery store!
  • The chicken is done in about 30 minutes, so this works even for a busy weeknight.
  • This chicken is packed with flavor and is incredibly juicy. I am partial to the dark meat of chicken legs because they are less likely to dry out.
Ingredients for Grilled chicken leg quarters and seasoning rub, all with labels.

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Chicken legs with the skin on.  Just pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  
  • Simple Dry Rub Seasonings: Brown Sugar, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Cumin, Oregano, Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes, Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Simple Instructions for Making Grilled Chicken Legs

  1. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates.

2. Combine all of the seasoning ingredients in a bowl or jar and mix well.

3. Sprinkle the chicken legs with the spice mix.  Season chicken generously on both sides and under the skin.

4. Place the chicken legs on an oiled grill and close the lid.  Allow the chicken to cook for 7-9 minutes.

5. Turn the chicken over and cook for 7-9 minutes longer.  Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.  It is done when it reaches 170F-175F.

6. Remove the chicken from the grill and tent it with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before serving. 

Tips for the Home Chef

  • You can adjust the spiciness of the chicken by adding more or less of the red pepper flakes.  Make the flavor profile to suit your needs. 
  • Place the seasoned chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet and allow it to come to room temperature before placing it on the grill.  This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Remember to season under the skin for maximum flavor.
  • On an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, medium high heat is between 375F-400F degrees. To check the grill temperature you can use an oven thermometer or hold your hand about 5 inches from the grate.  You should only be able to hold your hand there for 4-5 seconds.
  • Oil the grates of the grill before placing the chicken on it so that it doesn’t stick.  You can use vegetable oil or any other oil that has a high smoke point.
  • Dark Chicken meat is much more forgiving then the white meat so it is safe to cook the chicken legs to a higher temperature.  The higher temperature breaks down the connective tissue in the chicken legs making them super tender. So, although 165F degrees is a safe internal temperature for consuming chicken, the dark meat is perfectly juicy and tender when it is allowed to cook a little bit longer.  I like to cook legs until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches between 170F-175F degrees and then let it rest for 10 minutes.  The internal temperature will continue to climb about 5-10 degrees more during the resting period. 
4 grilled chicken legs on a white plate.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use this recipe for breasts, thighs, drumsticks or wings.  The cooking time will need to be adjusted depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
  • Add your favorite herbs or spices to the seasoning mix.
  • Mix honey with a little lemon juice and brush it on the chicken during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  You will want to move this chicken legs to a portion of the grill with indirect heat so that the honey does not burn.
  • Serve the chicken legs with your favorite BBQ sauce or even ranch dressing.  

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Legs

These chicken legs are perfect for a summer dinner or backyard barbecue.  Some of our favorite sides to serve with this recipe are Zesty Italian Pasta Salad, a refreshing Watermelon and Tomato Salad, or my mom’s Italian Green Bean and Potato Salad.  I also can’t resist my sweet and moist classic Cornbread or sweet potato cornbread!  This chicken really pairs very easily with so many recipes that it is easy to plan a delicious dinner that everyone will rave about.

More Grilling Recipes to Try

Smoked Turkey Legs

Lemon, Garlic and Herb Chicken Marinade

Marinated Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breast

Smoked Prime Rib

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Grilled Chicken Leg recipe, or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

Four perfectly charred chicken legs on a white plate.

Grilled Chicken Legs

These Grilled chicken Legs are perfectly seasoned and incredibly juicy. These chicken legs are seasoned with a savory blend of herbs and spices and grilled until the skin is perfectly charred and the meat is juicy, tender and falling off the bone!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 pieces
Calories 295 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken Legs quarters
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried
  • 1 tsp Thyme dried
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates.
  • Combine all of the seasoning ingredients in a bowl or jar and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the chicken legs with the spice mix.  Season chicken generously on both sides and under the skin.
  • Place the chicken legs on an oiled grill and close the lid.  Allow the chicken to cook for 7-9 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and cook for 7-9 minutes longer.  Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.  It is done when it reaches 170F-175F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and tent it with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Cooking Tips
  • You can adjust the spiciness of the chicken by adding more or less of the red pepper flakes.  Make the flavor profile to suit your needs. 
  • Place the seasoned chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet and allow it to come to room temperature before placing it on the grill.  This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Remember to season under the skin for maximum flavor.
  • On an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, medium high heat is between 375F-400F degrees. To check the grill temperature you can use an oven thermometer or hold your hand about 5 inches from the grate.  You should only be able to hold your hand there for 4-5 seconds.
  • Oil the grates of the grill before placing the chicken on it so that it doesn’t stick.  You can use vegetable oil or any other oil that has a high smoke point.
  • Dark Chicken meat is much more forgiving then the white meat so it is safe to cook the chicken legs to a higher temperature.  The higher temperature breaks down the connective tissue in the chicken legs making them super tender. So, although 165F degrees is a safe internal temperature for consuming chicken, the dark meat is perfectly juicy and tender when it is allowed to cook a little bit longer.  I like to cook legs until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches between 170F-175F degrees and then let it rest for 10 minutes.  The internal temperature will continue to climb about 5-10 degrees more during the resting period. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4piecesCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 21gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 3603mgPotassium: 302mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 229IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword barbecue,, chicken leg quarters, dry rub, grilled chicken, chicken with skin, July 4th, Father’s day, Memorial Day, cook out
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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3 Comments

    1. That is wonderful Nina! Thank you for letting me know. It is one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes too!

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