BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks

BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – the BEST chicken drumsticks! SO simple! Marinate drumsticks in Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce. Grill and baste in a mixture of BBQ sauce and pepper jelly. A little sweet and a little spicy and a whole lotta good! Perfect for your next cookout and tailgating! 

grilled chicken drumsticks with baked beans and slaw on a table

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Easy Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

I can’t believe summer is almost over. School has started and college football is starting next week! While I am excited about football, I am still trying to hang on to every last bit of summer. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to put up the grill just yet. These BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks are perfect for your next cookout and tailgating this season. They are super easy to make and they taste AMAZING!!! Marinated chicken drumsticks grilled and basted in a combination of pepper jelly and BBQ sauce. A little sweet, a little spicy and a whole lotta delicious!

How to Make Chicken Drumsticks on the Grill

These BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks are super simple to make. The drumsticks are marinated in a combination of Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce overnight. I put the drumsticks and marinade in a plastic storage bag and let it hang out in the refrigerator until we were ready to grill the chicken. We finished off the cooked drumsticks with a combination of pepper jelly and BBQ sauce. I just whisked the pepper jelly and BBQ sauce together and brushed that mixture over the chicken during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. Serve any leftover sauce with the cooked chicken. I like to dunk my drumsticks in the extra sauce. YUM!

Tips for Cooking Chicken Drumsticks

  • I used a garlic pepper jelly that I found at a local store. Any type of pepper jelly will work fine. My grocery store carries several types of pepper jelly. Save the leftover pepper jelly to serve over a block of cream cheese as an appetizer at your cookout. Double duty!
  • I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce. I also like Stubb’s BBQ sauce.
  • We cooked these drumsticks on a charcoal grill. It took about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Cook the chicken over direct and indirect heat. Start the drumsticks over the charcoal and move to the other side once the skin starts to char. Rotate the chicken about every 5 minutes to prevent the skin from burning. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185ºF, brush the drumsticks liberally with the BBQ pepper jelly mixture.
  • While chicken is safe to eat at 165ºF, we found that these chicken drumsticks tasted better at 185ºF. Unlike white meat chicken, dark meat chicken pieces can cook a little longer and not dry out. Cooking these drumsticks to an internal temperature of 185ºF breaks down all the connective tissue in the drumsticks and made them super tender and juicy.
  • If you are cooking these chicken legs on a gas grill, follow the same method. Cook over direct and indirect heat for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Can I cook these chicken drumsticks in the air fryer? Yes! Here are instructions on how to cook chicken legs in the air fryer: https://www.plainchicken.com/air-fryer-spicy-chicken-drumsticks/
plate of grilled chicken drumsticks

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

These chicken drumsticks are great for all your end of summer cookouts, tailgating parties, and Labor Day. They are so easy to make and taste delicious! I loved the BBQ pepper jelly sauce. SO good! We love to serve these chicken drumsticks with some coleslaw and baked beans. They are also great with a yummy potato salad or pasta salad. Here are a few of our favorite side dishes to serve with this yummy bbq chicken:

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plate of grilled chicken drumsticks

BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
BBQ Pepper Jelly Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – the BEST chicken drumsticks! SO simple! Marinate drumsticks in Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce. Grill and baste in a mixture of BBQ sauce and pepper jelly. A little sweet and a little spicy and a whole lotta good! Perfect for your next cookout and tailgating! #chicken #grilling #laborday #bbq #drumsticks #tailgating

Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • cups Italian dressing
  • cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup pepper jelly
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce

Instructions:

  • Place chicken drumsticks in a resealable plastic bag. Pour Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce in the bag. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight.
  • Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking by placing charcoal on half of the grill. Remove chicken from marinade and cook alternating between direct and indirect heat until internal temperature reaches 185ºF, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Whisk together pepper jelly and BBQ sauce. Brush over chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used a garlic pepper jelly that I found at a local store. Any type of pepper jelly will work fine. My grocery store carries several types of pepper jelly. Save the leftover pepper jelly to serve over a block of cream cheese as an appetizer at your cookout. Double duty!
  • I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce. I also like Stubb’s BBQ sauce.
  • We cooked these drumsticks on a charcoal grill. It took about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Cook the chicken over direct and indirect heat. Start the drumsticks over the charcoal and move to the other side once the skin starts to char. Rotate the chicken about every 5 minutes to prevent the skin from burning. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185ºF, brush the drumsticks liberally with the BBQ pepper jelly mixture.
  • If you are cooking these chicken legs on a gas grill, follow the same method. Cook over direct and indirect heat for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • While chicken is safe to eat at 165ºF, we found that these chicken drumsticks tasted better at 185ºF. Unlike white meat chicken, dark meat chicken pieces can cook a little longer and not dry out. Cooking these drumsticks to an internal temperature of 185ºF breaks down all the connective tissue in the drumsticks and made them super tender and juicy.
  • Here are instructions on how to cook chicken legs in the air fryer: https://www.plainchicken.com/air-fryer-spicy-chicken-drumsticks/

Steph

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Comments

  1. I assume this would work with thighs or spatchcock chicken? Im confused. Do you char on direct and move to indirect continue to cook and turn till done? Or move back and forth over direct and indirect, cook and turn till done? Im have pineapple/habanero jelly I’m going to try this with.

  2. This sounds amazing. I just bought drumsticks yesterday! Do you use green or red pepper jelly? (I will remove at 165 degrees though)

  3. I agree on the lighter fluid – yuck! this looks yummy and easy! i love pepper jelly on cream cheese too – leftovers!! 🙂

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