How long to smoke chicken legs at 225?

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225?

How can you create flavorful, succulent smoked chicken legs? Smoking is one of the best techniques for infusing intense flavor into your meats, and it can be a great way to enjoy a tasty meal with friends and family. Smoking at low temperatures over an extended period helps tenderize and create that well-loved smoky taste. If you’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for how long to smoke chicken legs at 225, look no further!

This post discusses how long it takes to smoke chicken legs at 225 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. You’ll be amazed by the amazing results as your family and friends enjoy what will surely be one of your signature dishes!

Why smoke chicken legs at 225 degrees?

Smoking chicken legs at 225 degrees Fahrenheit is a widely used technique in barbecue and smoking, renowned for producing tender, flavorful, and juicy results.

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225

Let’s explore why this temperature is the preferred choice:

1)Low and Slow Cooking: By smoking at 225 degrees, the chicken legs gradually cook over an extended period. This deliberate approach breaks down tough connective tissues and collagen within the meat, resulting in irresistibly tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken.

2)Enhanced Flavor: Smoking at lower temperatures allows the chicken to gracefully embrace the smoky essence emanating from the wood chips or chunks used in the smoker. The leisurely cooking time permits the smoke to generously infuse the meat, imbuing it with a rich, smoky taste.

3)Moisture Retention: Cooking at a lower temperature beautifully preserves the moisture locked within the chicken legs. The gentle cooking ensures the meat remains succulent and never dries out, offering you the pleasure of relishing moist and delectable chicken legs.

4)Smoke Ring Formation: When indulging in smoking meat, a captivating pinkish-red ring, known as the smoke ring, emerges below the surface. This mesmerizing phenomenon results from the smoke gracefully reacting with the meat’s myoglobin, serving as a desirable visual testament to exquisitely smoked and flavor-packed chicken.

5)Safety: Smoking chicken at a lower temperature prioritizes safety, guaranteeing the meat reaches a sufficient internal temperature to eliminate harmful bacteria. Moreover, the gentle cooking method diminishes the risks of unevenly cooked chicken.

Allow yourself to savor the tender, flavorful delight of smoking chicken legs at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a slow and steady journey toward barbecue excellence.

Quick Fact: Smoking meats at a lower temperature helps break down the proteins and fats, making them more tender and flavorful. Smoking chicken legs at 225 degrees also helps preserve their juiciness, and you’ll be left with incredibly flavorful meat that’s moist inside.

What’s the Best Wood for Smoking Chicken Legs?

Hickory wood chips are the preferred choice for smoking chicken legs, imparting a traditional BBQ flavor with subtle tangy notes that perfectly complement the savory and sweet elements of the BBQ rub.

Although not commonly used for chicken, Mesquite wood can also provide a rich tangy flavor. Mesquite can be blended with other woods like hickory or applewood for a milder taste.

Additionally, apple, maple, or pecan woods are wonderful alternatives, offering a light smoky essence with hints of fruit. While hickory and applewood are typically my top choices, any sweet wood will enhance the chicken with a delightful smoke flavor, ensuring it isn’t overwhelmed.

Fruit woods such as applewood, cherry wood, maple, and pecan also taste exceptionally pleasing.

I always keep applewood and hickory pellets on hand for making smoked venison jerky. However, pecan is highly regarded and pairs exceptionally well with chicken, so it’s worth considering.

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225?

The smoking time required for chicken legs at 225°F depends on their size and the consistency of the smoker’s temperature. Typically, it takes around 90 minutes to achieve perfectly smoked chicken legs at this temperature. However, if you sear the chicken, remove it from the smoker after 60 minutes.

Once an hour has passed, the chicken legs should reach a safe internal temperature of 160°F. Remember, the chicken legs will complete their cooking process during the searing stage.

Mastering the art of smoking chicken legs involves finding the right balance of time and temperature.

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225 in Masterbuilt?

If you’re using a Masterbuilt electric smoker, the general rule is to smoke chicken legs for 90 minutes at 225°F. However, the temperature and cooking time may vary based on the size of your chicken legs and how often you open and close the lid of your smoker. 

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225 on Traeger?

For Traeger smokers, you’ll need to adjust the temperature from default of 350°F to 225°F. This will help create the low and slow cooking process paramount for generating tender meat with intense flavor. The cooking time should remain consistent — typically around 90 minutes. 

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225 on a pellet grill?

Smoke the chicken legs at 225°F for 1 hour. Next, increase the heat on your pellet grill to 325°F and cook the chicken legs until they reach an internal temperature of 170°F. Continue cooking until the skin is perfectly crisp to your liking.

How to Smoke Chicken Legs

Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds? Let’s dive into the irresistible topic of smoking chicken legs!

Smoking chicken legs is a breeze. First, allow the chicken legs to come to room temperature by taking them out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before seasoning. Now, let’s prepare a delicious dry rub. Common ingredients for a BBQ rub include sugar, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Of course, if you have a favorite store-bought BBQ rub, feel free to use it!

How long to smoke chicken legs at 225

After patting dry the chicken legs with paper towels, generously season them with the BBQ rub. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to help the seasoning adhere perfectly to the chicken for an extra flavor boost.

Now that the chicken legs are seasoned, it’s time to work that rub in! Massage the seasoning onto the chicken legs, ensuring it penetrates every nook and cranny. If you have time, marinate the chicken legs in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Let’s get the smoker ready. Set it up properly if you’re using a propane, electric, offset, or charcoal smoker. If your smoker has no water pan, place an aluminum pan filled with 1-2 inches of water beneath the cooking grate. This will keep the chicken legs moist and help maintain a stable ambient temperature.

If you prefer to use your grill, no worries! Just create separate indirect and direct cooking zones. This way, you can smoke the chicken legs and sear them perfectly.

Grab some wood chips and wrap them in foil for those using a grill, creating a packet. Poke a few holes in the packet and place it directly above the heating unit. This will infuse the chicken legs with a delightful smoky flavor from the BBQ rub and wood chips. Although the smoky flavor won’t be as intense as a smoker’s, it will still be undeniably delicious.

Once your smoker or grill is preheated to 225°F, it’s showtime! Take the chicken legs out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature while the smoker heats up. When ready, place the chicken legs onto the smoker or into the indirect cooking zone of the grill. Close the smoker or cover the grill to let the magic happen.

Smoke the chicken legs for about 1 hour or until they reach a temperature between 160°F and 165°F. If they’re not fully cooked, give them an extra 30 minutes, checking the temperature every 10-15 minutes.

Once you’ve achieved chicken leg perfection, remove them from the smoker or grill. If you desire a slight sear, go ahead and give them a quick sear.

Allow the smoked chicken legs to rest for 5 minutes. Despite their smaller size compared to the breast, it is important to let them rest to ensure even distribution of the juices. After that, it’s time to savor your delicious smoked chicken.

Tips for Smoked Chicken Legs

  • Before adding the dry rub, soak any excess moisture using a paper towel.
  • Allow the chicken to come to room temperature after removing it from the refrigerator before applying the dry rub.
  • Enhance the flavor and juiciness of the meat by using a delicious dry rub.
  • Let it sit on the meat for a few minutes while the smoker preheats.
  • Sear the chicken at the end for nice, crispy chicken skin.
  • If you skip this step and only smoke the chicken to 165°F, the outside won’t be crispy, but it will still be flavorful.
  • Rest the chicken for a few minutes to ensure even cooking and to allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in the best flavor.
  • If desired, finish off with your favorite BBQ sauce while searing.
  • I enjoy them as is, but BBQ sauce complements them well too.

How Do You Get Crispy Smoked Chicken Legs? 

Many people tend to remove the skin when it comes to smoking chicken. However, this process can be quite time-consuming, especially regarding chicken legs. Luckily, there’s an easy way to achieve crispy skin on smoked chicken legs. Here’s how:

1)Start by smoking the chicken legs on the indirect heat side of the grill at 225°F. This will give them that delicious smoky flavor.

2)Once the chicken legs reach a temperature of 160°F, it’s time to crank up the heat. Prepare the direct heat side of the grill, ensuring it reaches a temperature between 400°F and 500°F.

3)Carefully transfer the smoked chicken legs to the hot side of the grill and sear them for about 2-3 minutes per side. This will give them a beautiful crispiness and a slight char.

4)If you don’t have a grill, don’t worry! You can still achieve the same result using your oven’s broiler. Remove the chicken legs from the smoker at 160°F, place them on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet, and position them on the center rack of the oven.

5)Keep a close eye on the chicken legs while broiling, as they can easily burn due to the rapid cooking process. Broil each side for about 1-2 minutes until they turn crispy and slightly charred.

Whichever method you choose – grilling or broiling – you’ll be left with perfectly crispy chicken legs bursting with smoky flavors.

What to serve with smoked chicken drumsticks?

Smoked chicken drumsticks are a great main dish that can easily be served as part of an elaborate meal or enjoyed independently. Here are some classic sides to pair with smoked chicken legs: 

  • Coleslaw 
  • Baked beans 
  • Mac and cheese 
  • Potato salad 
  • Cornbread 
  • Roasted vegetables 
  • Grilled corn on the cob 
  • Creamy mashed potatoes 
  • Fruit salad 
  • Pasta salad. 

In addition to these classic sides, smoked chicken legs pair perfectly with various other dishes. Try serving your smoked chicken with tacos, pizzas, sandwiches, or even on top of salads.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Chicken Legs

If you have any drumstick leftovers, they can be safely stored in the refrigerator using an airtight container for up to four days.

When the time comes to reheat the chicken, a smoker offers a fantastic option. Sear the chicken legs over high heat on the smoker for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can warm them in an oven or countertop oven at high heat (450°F to 500°F) for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Smoked Chicken Legs at 225

This smoked chicken leg recipe guarantees a delectable combination of juicy, tender meat and crispy, flavorful skin. Prepared to perfection, it’s sure to impress and satisfy your taste buds.


-Smoked Chicken Leg Rub

  • 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chicken Seasoning Blend
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

-Smoked Chicken Legs

  • 12 Chicken Drumsticks


1)Start by taking the chicken out of the refrigerator to let it warm up while preparing the flavorful dry rub. 

2)In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, chicken seasoning blend, and black pepper. Set this mixture aside for now.

3)Next, use a paper towel to pat the chicken legs dry. Then, generously coat the legs on all sides with the prepared dry rub and gently rub it into every nook and cranny. Set the chicken aside at room temperature.

4)Preheat the smoker to 225°F, ensuring the grates are clean. Once the smoker is heated, place the chicken legs directly on the grates, and close the lid tightly.

5)Let the chicken legs smoke for approximately 90 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg registers 165°F.

6)Now, it’s time to turn up the heat. Increase the smoker temperature to 450°F while keeping the legs on the grates. Once heated, turn the chicken legs every two minutes until the skin becomes deliciously crispy.

7)Remove the smoked chicken legs from the smoker and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.


To ensure optimal tenderness, cook chicken legs to a temperature of 170°F to 175°F, slightly higher than the standard 165°F for chicken. Achieving this temperature can be accomplished between searing and resting, but it is essential not to overcook them, as this could result in dry meat.

Feel free to substitute the dry rub with any of your preferred options for added versatility. My household always opts for this particular dry rub, which my children adore.

While searing the chicken is not mandatory, it plays a crucial role in achieving crispy skin. Skipping this step might lead to less desirable results in terms of skin texture.

Nutrition Information: YIELD: 6 SERVING SIZE: 2 Legs

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 373 | TOTAL FAT: 17g | SATURATED FAT: 4g | TRANS FAT: 0g | UNSATURATED FAT: 10g | CHOLESTEROL: 231mg | SODIUM: 195mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 9g | FIBER: 1g | SUGAR: 8g | PROTEIN: 44g

Final Thoughts: How long to smoke chicken legs at 225?

Experienced pitmasters agree that 225°F is the ideal temperature to smoke chicken legs for 90 minutes to get the perfect mix of juicy and tender meat with a smoky flavor and a crispy exterior. 

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, smoking chicken legs at 225°F for 90 minutes will surely result in finger-licking good smoked chicken legs your family will love. Any smoker can easily prepare This delicious smoked dish and enjoy it year-round. 

Now that you know how long to smoke chicken legs at 225, why not try it this weekend? Invite your friends, break out your smoker, grab some quality ingredients, and serve delectable smoked chicken legs!



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