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Simply seasoned with spice rub and basted on the grill, these BBQ Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters are a juicy & delicious addition to any cookout! Brush on some of your favorite barbecue sauce for a perfectly sticky and smoky summer dinner.
We’re in deep, friends. Deep into grilling season, that is.
Let’s put it this way – as long as there’s no nasty thunderstorms rolling through on a given afternoon, our grill is cooking dinner.
And this year, I’ve taken over the title of grillmaster from Abe! I’ve always deferred to him to mess around with the coals and the propane, but I’ve totally gotten the hang of this grillin’ life in the past couple of months.
From hot dogs to steak to burgers to these juicy chicken leg quarters, nothing is off limits – even dessert. There’s a whole lotta grilling goodness coming your way next month, including my first annual Grilling Week in mid-July!
But first, we’re gonna cover these BBQ Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters.
At the beginning of the year, I shared my first reader survey with you guys. The info I got from it was super helpful, and it became clear what you want more of – desserts (surprise!) and dinner recipes.
Abe and I eat a heck of a lot of chicken, but in the interest of smart eating, it’s usually chicken breasts. We have a crazy amount of them on hand at all times, but every once in a while we get a craving for some darker meat.
Can we just talk about leg quarters for a sec?
They are incredibly underrated. Not only are they moist and meaty, they’re crazy inexpensive and you can do so much with them. Baked, roasted, pressure cooked and shredded.
But they’re beyond perfect for grilling.
How long does it take to grill chicken leg quarters?
Depending on the size of your quarters, they take anywhere from 40-55 minutes to thoroughly cook on the grill. Always use a meat thermometer to check for proper temperature to avoid any risk of food poisoning. You want to aim for 165-170 degrees F.
You may still see some pink meat inside, but as long as your grilled chicken temp is right, you’ve got no reason to worry.
Tips for perfectly grilled chicken every time:
- Rub your grill grates with oil prior to cooking. This helps keep the chicken from sticking during cooking.
- Cook chicken over medium heat to avoid burning it. The basting sauce helps give the chicken color, but heat that’s too high may scorch the skin before the chicken is cooked. Preheat the grill to 500 degrees F, and lower it to about 350 degrees when the chicken is over the coals.
- Cover the grill. A covered grill creates a seal that surrounds the chicken on all sides, ensuring even cooking.food as it’s grilling. No lid? Turn a disposable foil roasting pan upside down over the chicken for a similar effect.
- Don’t baste with BBQ sauce until the end. The sugars in the sauce are guaranteed to burn your chicken skin prematurely, so save it for the last 5-8 minutes. Stick with a sugarless dry rub for flavor, and a vinegar-based basting liquid during grilling.
- Use a thermometer. Chicken needs to be cooked to a safe temperature of 165 degrees F, and the easiest way to ensure that is by using an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, and make sure the tip of thermometer avoids the bone. No thermometer? Cut into a thick part of the chicken and looks for clear juices and opaque meat.
LOVE COOKOUTS? THESE TASTY SIDES WILL PAIR PERFECTLY WITH THIS CHICKEN RECIPE!
- Pineapple Coleslaw
- Easy Caprese Pasta Salad
- Grilled Corn with Barbecue Sauce
- Summer Berry & Burrata Salad
- Easy Dr. Pepper Baked Beans
BBQ Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime juice of
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the chicken leg quarters all over and under the skin. Bring the chicken to room temperature, about 2 hours.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 500 degrees F. Combine basting sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. and set aside
- Place the chicken in the middle of the grill. Turn off the middle burner and lower the heat on the outer burners, bringing the temperature to about 350 degrees F. Baste the chicken on top, then close the grill lid and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over and baste again. Repeat this step 2 more times, about every 10-12 minutes for a total of 45 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. It should read 155-165 degrees F.
- Baste both sides of the chicken with barbecue sauce, then close the lid and allow to cook another 5-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from grill and allow it to rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Feel free to brush more barbecue sauce on top before serving.