How to Cook Drumsticks on A Charcoal Grill?

17 minutes read

To cook drumsticks on a charcoal grill, you'll need the following ingredients and equipment:


Ingredients:

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Your choice of seasonings or marinade


Equipment:

  • Charcoal grill
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Lighter fluid or chimney starter
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer


Here's how to cook drumsticks on a charcoal grill:

  1. Preparing the grill: Start by cleaning the grill grates with a wire brush to remove any debris or residue. Then, light the charcoal briquettes using either lighter fluid or a chimney starter, following the instructions on the packaging. Allow the coals to burn until they are covered with a light layer of ash.
  2. Seasoning the drumsticks: While the charcoal is preheating, prepare the drumsticks by patting them dry with paper towels. Drizzle olive oil over the drumsticks, ensuring they are coated evenly. Season with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or marinade. Massage the seasonings into the drumsticks to ensure proper coverage.
  3. Direct heat method: Once the charcoal is ready, distribute it evenly across one side of the grill, creating a hot zone and a cooler zone. Place the drumsticks directly over the hot coals, positioning them with enough space between each piece. Close the grill lid.
  4. Cooking the drumsticks: Cook the drumsticks for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them occasionally with tongs. The high heat will help achieve a crispy skin while keeping the meat tender and juicy. Regularly check the color and internal temperature of the drumsticks using a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be safe for consumption.
  5. Indirect heat method (optional): If you prefer a slower cooking method, you can use the indirect heat method. In this case, after seasoning the drumsticks, place them on the cooler zone of the grill, away from the hot coals. Cover the grill with the lid and cook for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  6. Resting and serving: Once the drumsticks are fully cooked, remove them from the grill and allow them to rest for a few minutes. This rest period helps the juices distribute back into the meat, keeping it moist. Serve the drumsticks hot as a delicious main dish alongside your favorite sides.


Remember to exercise caution when using a charcoal grill and follow proper safety procedures. Enjoy your flavorful grilled drumsticks!

Best Charcoal Grills of May 2024

1
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

Rating is 5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
  • Grill Cover Included: Made of heavy-duty fabric, the cover protects your grill from elements and withstands the harshest weather.
  • Ample Space: Front and side tables offer workspace for seasonings and grilling tools. The bottom shelf provides extra storage space and holds up to only 20 lb. accessories when they are evenly distributed.
2
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

  • Stay true to the modern version of the kettle that started it all—the Original Kettle, invented by Weber’s founder, and loved around the world. Its ultra-durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, while the damperseasily adjust for precise temperature control. With a One-Touch cleaning system for easy cleanup after a long day of grilling, the Original Kettle will always be the grill built for everyone
  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup.Removable, aluminum ash catcher
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl Retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • 3D interactive assembly instructions for this product are available through the free BILT app.
3
Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

  • CHARCOAL GRILL - Barrel style BBQ Grill with heavy duty steel construction and powder coating finish, the perfect grilling solution for small decks, backyards, and patios
  • LARGE COOKING AREA - 250 square inch total cooking area delivers exceptional taste and charcoal flavor
  • BARBECUE GRILL FEATURES - Thick Cast Iron Cooking Grates, Bottom Storage Rack, Heavy-Duty Steel Construction, Side Air Vent, Stay Cool Wood Handle, Wheels for Easy Mobility, and Side Shelf Workstation with Barbecue Tool Storage Hooks
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE & CLEAN - Assembles easily and quickly cleans up after use with the Easy Dump Ash Pan
4
Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • 627 Smoking Space: 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates with 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack offer enough space to cook.
  • Heat Control: Close the side air vent completely that cuts off the oxygen flow to help extinguish coals and adjust the smoke stack for extra heat control.
  • Adjustable Fire Grates: 2-level height-adjustable fire pan ensures more controlled cooking and holds up to 6 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check heat fluctuations for confident grilling.
5
Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

  • Spacious Cooking Area: 384 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and 106 sq. in. stainless steel warming rack provide a total of 490 sq. in. cooking space respectively, serving up to 10 people.
  • Height-adjustable Charcoal Pan: The crank handle controls the distance between the charcoal pan and food for fine-tuning temperature and regulating heat. The charcoal pan holds charcoal up to 4.5 lb. for each use.
  • Convenient Access Door: Front charcoal access door with heat-resistant spring handle provides more convenience for adding charcoal and controls heat loss to a minimum during cooking.
  • Built-in Thermometer Gauge: The lid-mounted thermometer indicates the temperature changes precisely in real-time.
  • Air Flow: Two adjustable air vents control air circulation to enhance sufficient burning of charcoal for efficient smoking.
6
Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

  • Additional Cooking Options: The charcoal grill can meet your versatile cooking demands by slow smoking or grilling ribs, veggies, lobster tails, or other preferred ingredients.
  • Ample Cooking Area: To accommodate 23 hamburgers at once, there are 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and a 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack as a secondary heating area.
  • Impressive Storage: Store seasonings in the front basket, hang some cooking utensils on the integrated hooks, place plates and other food on the side tables, and meanwhile put your charcoal on the bottom storage shelf.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: Easily control the distance between food and fire with the lifting handle to regulate cooking temperature, which also saves fuel in the meantime.
  • Heat Control: Customize your desired temperature by twisting the air damper and smoke stack, thus getting the best cooking results.
7
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer. Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
  • One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling
8
Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
9
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

  • Removable firebox divider for single or dual cooking zone
  • Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
  • Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches
10
Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • Spacious Cooking Area: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack, and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Offset Smoker: Use the side fire box to get tasty and authentic smoky flavors in the main chamber. Smoking, grilling, or searing all will be your choices.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan ensures better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lb. of coal.


Should I oil the grill grates before adding drumsticks?

It can be beneficial to oil the grill grates before adding drumsticks to prevent sticking and promote even cooking. Oiling the grates helps create a non-stick surface and can also add flavor to the food. However, be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil, and apply it lightly to avoid flare-ups.


How can I ensure the meat stays moist while grilling drumsticks?

There are several ways you can ensure that drumsticks stay moist while grilling:

  1. Marinade: Marinating the drumsticks beforehand can help to lock in moisture and add flavor. Use a mixture of oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), herbs, and spices to marinate the drumsticks for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Brining: Another option is to brine the drumsticks prior to grilling. This involves soaking them in a salty solution for a few hours or overnight. The salt in the brine helps the meat retain moisture during cooking.
  3. Pre-cooking or Parboiling: Pre-cooking or parboiling the drumsticks for a few minutes before grilling can help to partially cook the meat and lock in moisture. This can be done by boiling the drumsticks for about 10 minutes or until they are just cooked through, and then transferring them to the grill to finish cooking and get that nice charred flavor.
  4. Indirect Heat: When grilling the drumsticks, it is best to use indirect heat. This means placing the drumsticks on the cooler side of a two-zone fire, away from direct flames. This slower and more gentle cooking method helps to prevent the meat from drying out.
  5. Basting: Basting the drumsticks with a flavorful sauce or marinade during grilling can help to keep the meat moist. Brush the drumsticks with the basting sauce every few minutes to add moisture and enhance the flavor.
  6. Using a Meat Thermometer: Ensure your drumsticks are cooked thoroughly but not overcooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. Cook the drumsticks until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Overcooking can cause the meat to dry out, so it's important not to exceed this temperature.


Remember to let the drumsticks rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and further enhance the moistness of the meat.


What is the ideal internal temperature for fully cooked drumsticks?

The internal temperature for fully cooked drumsticks should reach at least 165°F (74°C).

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