My trick for perfectly cooked, grilled bbq chicken drumsticks is baking them. Yes, baking them first. If you've ever grilled chicken drumsticks before, you know they take a long time and take up a lot of real estate on the grill. Maybe it is just me, but I am usually slinging burgers, hot dogs, and corn too, so I don't usually have a ton of room to spare. Chicken drumsticks take about 30-40 minutes of indirect heat to cook thoroughly on the grill. My oven baked chicken drumsticks are perfect for barbecues because they cook in the oven and take as much time on the grill as cooking hot dogs.
How to Season Chicken Drumsticks
For these drumsticks, I am using The Best Chicken Seasoning Blend on my blog. It is a versatile and easy to use seasoning for this, and it won't overpower the sauce. If you are looking for a store bought blend, my favorites are the Trader Joe's BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic or McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning. I have plenty of other marinades in my How to Cook Chicken Breast tutorial that would make great seasonings, but maybe not paired well with a sauce.
For the sauce, I like serving two types of chicken drumsticks: barbecue and sweet chili drumsticks. Everyone has had barbecue drumsticks, but sweet chili sauce adds a sweet heat that will really up your barbecue game.
Baked Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks
These drumsticks can be cooked completely in the oven if you are not grilling. I prefer the grill, but it is not for everyone. After your second coating of barbecue sauce (recipe), finish the drumsticks with a high broil for 1-2 minutes each side. The broiler will mimic the flames of the grill and get them caramelized and ready. If you are afraid of your broiler, just crank the heat to 450 for about 5 minutes. Remember, every broiler is different so keep an eye on it.
Make Ahead Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks
Can these be made ahead? Absolutely. This is another reason why I love these drumsticks. You can bake them ahead of time and heat them up directly on the grill. I reheat them on low and then crisp them on medium high heat. You can also reheat these, covered, in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes before grilling.
Weight Watchers Chicken Drumsticks
While it is hard to fully track something like grilled chicken drumsticks, here is a helpful guide with three different barbecue sauce varieties--typical store bought, sugar free, and dry. All three are delicious, but they have different calorie and point differences. Typically, even with the three layers of sauce, I use only about 2 tbsp. of barbecue sauce per drumstick. If you are looking for some low calorie of Weight Watchers friendly barbecue sauces, here is a guide I made.
- Sweet Baby Rays - 503 calories, 40 g Protein, 31 g Sugar, 22 g Fat - All WW PLANS: 13 SP for 2 drumsticks
- g Hughes - 381 calories, 40 g Protein, 0 g Sugar, 22 g Fat - All WW PLANS: 6 SP for 2 drumsticks
- No Sauce - 361 calories, 40 g Protein, 0 g Sugar, 22 g Fat - All WW PLANS: 5 SP for 2 drumsticks
- 10 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 cups preferred sauce (my recommendations are bbq or sweet chili)
- Coat chicken in seasoning and oil and let vibe out on your counter, covered, for about 20-30 minutes.
- BAKE on a wire rack in a sheet pan at 350 for 40 minutes (give or take 5 depending on size). The wire rack helps circulate the air and get it crispy.
- With five minutes left to go, thinly coat in your favorite sauce.
- After the five minutes of baking with sauce on it, remove from oven and coat with sauce again.
- If grilling, grill chicken for 2 minutes on each side on medium heat to get them nice and CRISPY. If finishing in the oven, broil for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Once you're ready to serve, give it a final coating of that sauce before you gobble them up.
If you prefer store bought seasoning mixes, the Trader Joes BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic and the McCormick No Salt Added Monterey Chicken Seasoning work great here.
Nutritional Information and WW points do not include sauce because there are so many variations. See blog post for recommendations.
Serving Size:2 drumsticks
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 40g
Want some healthy summer side dishes to go with this? I got you.
Check out my favorite Weight Watchers summer side dishes below!