Grilled Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 30 min.


18 servings

Updated: Sep. 27, 2023
When Mom makes grilled chicken thighs and drumsticks, 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
Grilled Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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 shallow dishes; add equal amounts of chicken to each dish; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt. Grill chicken, covered, over indirect medium heat until a thermometer reads 170°-175°, 15-20 minutes on each side.

Grilled Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks Tips

How else can you cook chicken thighs and drumsticks?

If your cookout gets rained out, you can easily prepare this recipe by broiling or baking the chicken instead. Check out our guide on all the ways to cook chicken.

How does using a different type of grill affect how you cook chicken thighs and drumsticks?

Using a charcoal grill as opposed to a gas grill just calls for a closer eye on the meat. Because charcoal grills typically run a bit hotter, your chicken may cook more quickly than on a gas grill.

How can you make sure your grilled chicken thighs stay juicy?

This recipe uses a brine marinade to help your chicken stay nice and juicy already, but once your chicken is cooked, make sure you let it rest before digging in. Here are some more grilling facts you should know!

Shannon Norris, Taste of Home Senior Food Stylist

Nutrition Facts

5 ounces cooked chicken: 384 calories, 19g fat (4g saturated fat), 128mg cholesterol, 970mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 36g protein.

Recommended Video

More from Taste of Home