Grilled Thighs and Drumsticks Recipe
Grilled Thighs and Drumsticks Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Grilled Thighs and Drumsticks Recipe

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When Mom makes chicken, this is the way we like it prepared. It's juicy, has great barbecue flavor and makes a big batch, so it's perfect for a summer picnic and family reunions. -Brenda Beachy Belvidere, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 30 min.
MAKES:12-14 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 30 min.
MAKES: 12-14 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional
  • 10 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Pour into two large resealable plastic bags; add equal amounts of chicken to each bag. Seal bags and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt. Grill chicken skin side down, covered, over indirect medium heat for 15-20 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°-175°. Yield: 12-14 servings.
Originally published as Grilled Thighs and Drumsticks in Taste of Home August/September 2004, p36

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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Reviewed Sep. 8, 2015

"This was a great marinade. I cut it in half and used about 5 boneless chicken breasts (still had way too much marinade!). I reserved some of the marinade to use for basting during grilling, and it came out very moist and flavorful."

Reviewed Jun. 28, 2014

"This is sooooo good! The flavor is out of this world! We had it with TOH's Old Fashioned Potato Salad and Country Baked Beans. Oh my gosh, the flavors compliment each other so well. Try it all together!!!"

Reviewed Jun. 8, 2013

"This chicken marinade is the best. It's like having the barbecue sauce infused into the meat. It's great for a large crowd and very kid friendly. I've made this for several cookouts and always to rave reviews. You won't be disappointed!"

Reviewed Sep. 13, 2011

"I made only half of this recipe and it turned out great. The marinade gives the chicken a great flavor when it is first cooked, but when I reheated the leftovers it helped to brush it with a little barbecue sauce."

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2010

"I used this recipe for some legs and wings I took camping with me. It kept in the cooler very well, and was very tasty!!"

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