Fire up the grill and get ready for a finger-licking feast with these Grilled Chicken Drumsticks! Made with less than 10 ingredients.

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More easy grilling dishes! Try our grilled chicken tenders or grilled chicken sliders –these family meals come together with ease.

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks: Flavorful, Affordable, and Easy-to-Cook

We’re no strangers to chicken drumsticks, everything from our herb baked chicken to easy chicken cacciatore is made with drumsticks. There are several reasons why chicken drumsticks hold a special place in our hearts. 

  • First, their juicy and flavorful nature is irresistible – each bite offers a moist and tender experience, thanks to the smoky char that locks in the succulent juices.
  • Secondly, they’re a wallet-friendly choice. Chicken drumsticks are often more affordable than other cuts of chicken – so you’ll be able to feed the family without breaking the bank. 
  • Finally, grilled chicken recipes are easy to make. Throw them in a bag of marinade the night before, and then quickly cook them on the grill or in the oven the next day. In just 30 minutes, you have a delicious and satisfying meal.


Find all the ingredients to make these easy grilled chicken drumsticks in your local grocery store:

ingredients for grilled chicken legs recipe.
  • Chicken drumsticks: These are the star of our dish, providing a meaty base that’s juicy, flavorful, and perfect for grilling.
  • Olive oil: Adds a smooth, rich flavor, locks in moisture, and helps in achieving that crispy exterior.
  • Dijon mustard: Creamy and slightly tangy, it’s the secret ingredient that binds everything together, creating a velvety marinade with a hint of sharpness.
  • Oregano: A classic herb in Mediterranean cuisine, it imparts a touch of earthy, peppery flavor, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Garlic: Lends a savory kick to the marinade, further adding to our chicken’s savory goodness.
  • Lemon: Provides a zesty note, cutting through the richness and brightening the overall flavor. Use freshly squeezed for the best results. 

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make This Recipe

Follow these quick steps for this easy grilled chicken recipe. For more detailed step-by-step instructions, check the recipe card below.

  • In a bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, zest, oregano, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper to make the marinade.
two glass bowl photos showing ingredients for marinade in one, and whisked ingredients in second.
  • Place drumsticks in a large Ziploc bag, then pour the marinade over. Close, then massage the bag to coat them evenly. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
two photos showing chicken legs in ziploc bag in one, and chicken legs with marinade in second.
  • Remove the drumsticks from your marinade bag and place them on the hot gas grill. Brush the tops with more marinade. Grill for about 30 minutes or until internal temperature registers 165F.
two photos showing chicken legs on a grill in one, and chicken legs being brushed with marinade in second.
  • Remove from the grill and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Oven Instructions

No grill, no problem! For even easier cooking, use the oven:

  1. Preheat to 400 F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Take the chicken legs out of the marinade and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Brush with any remaining marinade.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the chicken legs over.
  5. Brush with more marinade and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Expert Tips

These expert tips will help take your grilled chicken drumsticks recipe to the next level. Get ready for juicy, finger-licking goodness that’ll have everyone back for seconds!

  • Dry it out: Before marinating, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This helps the marinade stick better, plus you’ll get that irresistibly crispy skin.
  • Let it soak: For maximum flavor, give your drumsticks plenty of time to marinate. Aim for at least 6 hours, but if you can swing it, let them soak overnight. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
  • The perfect temp: Invest in a good meat thermometer so your chicken is cooked perfectly every time. The internal temperature should reach 165 F (74°C).
  • Rest and relax: Once your drumsticks are done grilling, let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to settle, so you get more tender and flavorful chicken.

Serving Sides

Looking for the best companions for this classic chicken dish? You’ll find these delicious chicken side dishes work well:

  1. Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges: Crispy on the outside and nice and creamy on the inside – giving your meal a nice contrast of textures. 
  2. Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Add a touch of sophistication. The natural sweetness from the maple syrup works well with the savory, smoky notes of the grilled chicken.
  3. Sour Cream Dill Potato Salad: When it comes to comfort and heartiness, nothing beats potato salad. This version, with its dreamy sour cream and dill dressing, is the perfect sidekick to those juicy grilled chicken drumsticks.
  4. Summer Squash Salad: This chilled salad, packed with fresh herbs and raw squash, serves as a delightful gluten-free option. Not only does it bring a burst of freshness, but also helps balance out the richness of the chicken.

Recipe FAQs

How do you stop the chicken from sticking to the grill?

To avoid sticky situations on the grill, start by making sure your grill grates are clean and well-oiled. This creates a non-stick surface for your chicken.

Second, preheat your grill until it’s hot before introducing the chicken. A hot grill ensures quick searing, which reduces sticking.

Thirdly, allow your grill to create a sear on the chicken before you attempt to flip it. The sear not only adds flavor but also creates a natural non-stick layer between the meat and the grates.

Finally, if the chicken still sticks a bit, a gentle nudge with a spatula should do the trick. A little patience and a delicate hand goes a long way. 

Do you take the skin off drumsticks before grilling?

No, we generally recommend grilling drumsticks with the skin on. It helps the meat stay moist and adds a delightful flavor when it crisps up.

How do you know when the chicken is cooked?

To know when chicken drumsticks are done on the grill, the secret weapon is a meat thermometer.

Insert it into the thickest part of the drumstick, making sure not to touch the bone. A reading of 165 F (74°C) means that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Additionally, the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced, and the flesh should appear opaque and not pink.

close up grilled chicken legs on a platter.

If you try Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, please leave a star rating and let us know how you like the recipe in the comments below.

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grilled chicken drumsticks on a white platter garnished with parsley and lemons.

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


Fire up the grill and get ready for a finger-licking feast with these Grilled Chicken Drumsticks! Made with less than 10-ingredients, marinated to perfection, and cooked until juicy and charred.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 8 chicken drumsticks


  1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, oregano, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pat dry the drumsticks with a paper towel and place into a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the drumsticks, lock the bag, and massage the marinade into the chicken to ensure that it’s evenly coated. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours up to overnight.
  3. When ready to grill, preheat an outdoor gas grill to 400 degrees F or medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grill grates if necessary.
  4. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bag, and place in a single layer on a hot grill. Brush the chicken with the extra marinade left in the bag.
  5. Grill for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the drumsticks. Flip every 10 minutes and brush with the marinade one more time. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Lemons: You’ll need about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons zest.
  • Oven Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bag, and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with leftover marinade. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the drumsticks over. Brush with more marinade and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature registers at 165F. Rest 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1 drumstick
  • Calories: 335
  • Sugar: 0.1 g
  • Sodium: 719.7 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 23.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 119.6 mg

Recipe originally published May 2016 but has since been updated.