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BBQ chicken legs bring back memories of my childhood for sure. They were the star attraction in one of my Granddaddy’s favorite meals. So, you know my Grandmother prepared them fairly often for him. And even more recently, I’ve learned that they are one of my husband’s favorites, too.

I knew grilled chicken legs were my one of my son’s favorites, but I didn’t know they were my husband’s, too.

BBQ Chicken Legs |

Although I’m still wondering how I could have been married to my husband nearly 19 years and not have known how much he loved BBQ chicken legs.

How is that possible?

It truly makes me wonder what else I don’t know about his likes and dislikes.

For instance, just last summer after we had a bumper crop of cilantro that I put in just about every dish possible and then some, my husband casually mentioned to me that he doesn’t like cilantro.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Here I’d thought he absolutely loved cilantro since he didn’t say a word when I planted five cilantro plants during the spring and then filled his plate with it all summer long.

I guess he loves me more than he hates cilantro.

Anyway, these BBQ chicken legs really couldn’t be simpler to make.

BBQ Chicken Legs |

You can either begin with my simple recipe for grilled chicken legs or just toss them into a skillet and bake them in the oven. When they are almost done, I coat them with a generous bit of Mama’s Coca Cola BBQ Sauce and pop them back into the oven to finish baking.

They should also be done when the juices run clear when the chicken has been pierced with a sharp knife.

BBQ Chicken Legs |

Here’s my recipe for BBQ Chicken Legs that I hope you love as much as my husband does.

4.77 from 17 votes

BBQ Chicken Legs Recipe

Dinner 50 mins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 8
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
BBQ Chicken Legs are a simple recipe to prepare that your family will love. Grilled or baked, this BBQ Chicken legs recipe is a sure favorite.


  • 12 chicken legs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • Place chicken legs into a large zip top plastic bag. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, and onion. Pour over chicken and seal zip top bag, taking care to remove as much air as possible.
  • Move chicken around in the zip top bag to ensure all chicken is well coated. Place on a small, rimmed baking sheet or inside of a casserole dish and into the refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour to overnight.
  • To bake chicken, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken onto rimmed baking sheet or a skillet coated with a bit of olive oil. Bake until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F with an instant read thermometer, about 30-35 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and coat with BBQ sauce. Return to oven until the chicken registers 165 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest about 3 minutes before serving.


For a quicker recipe, omit marinating time and simply mix together olive oil, spices, garlic and onions and coat chicken before baking. You can also use your favorite bottled BBQ sauce in place of my homemade recipe.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 392mg | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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Chicken Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review


    1. Hey Jessie,
      Too many variables can come into play with that number of chicken legs for an exact time, so I’d be focus on reaching the appropriate temperature of 165 degrees F. The base cooking time varies from 40-45 minutes when baked or grilled at 350 degrees F, so you’ll want to start there and add time as needed to reach the appropriate temp. Sorry I couldn’t be any more specific.

  1. My tummy is yearning for this! There is NOTHING better than barbecued chicken and yours looks so mouthwatering, Robyn. Great recipe!

  2. HOLY COW!! These look absolutely finger-licking good!!! omg, i could reach through my screen right now!

  3. I have to tell you, I made these and my very picky husband proclaimed them his “favorite meal ever!!”

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I don’t usually cover them with foil when baking. If you notice them getting too brown, you can pop a little foil over top at that point.

  4. Delicious recipe! I made it the first time a few weeks ago and my husband and 2 1/2 year old could not get enough. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sauce to coat the chicken. Going to make it again this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Hello! I was thinking of making this tonight.. Do you bake them skin on or do you strip them down? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      You can do whichever your family prefers. My son prefers skinless chicken (unless it is fried), so I generally either buy skinless or remove the skin from the chicken.

      Hope you enjoy them!

  6. I made this recipe tonight, it was very tasty, a real hit! I put it on the BBQ and it was fabulous! Started grilling the chicken, on direct heat,just to get grill marks, then indirect on med heat. in the marinade, and then once i flipped it I put the BBQ sauce on the cooked side, great recipe!

  7. I made these chicken legs for our 4th of July cookout. They were fantastic! My family loved them as well. I even made the Mama’s Coca Cola BBQ Sauce. I mistakenly used onion salt instead of the garlic salt, and added 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, but it still tasted fine. I used a 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder because I din’t have any cumin, and I used a scant 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne pepper. I also used a teaspoon of minced garlic for the chopped garlic cloves. I let them marinate for 5 hours, baked for 35 minutes, basted with the BBQ, and baked for an additional 20 minutes. I did put them on the grill for about 10 minutes along with my hamburgers. I was very happy with how they turned out. The flavor was perfect–not too sweet or spicy. Will definitely make them again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and Happy July 4th! I also have plenty of Mama’s Coca Cola BBQ Sauce for the next batch. 🙂

  8. We had these tonight, and they were fantastic! (I missed the step about the BBQ sauce by accident, but they were terrific even without sauce.) I’m bookmarking your site and looking forward to trying more recipes. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the recipe. I used this technique with Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Garlic BBQ sauce. They turned out great.

  10. These are DELICIOUS!!! I cooked them tonight and my husband loved them! they are so balanced and moreish- Perfect! Sweet with the BBQ sauce but still savory and spicy. I must admit I did put a pinch more salt and doubled the Cayenne Pepper and we could have pretended we didn’t have dinner yet and eat it all again 🙂 Definitely a staple chicken recipe, thank you x

  11. This was amazing. The flavors just melded together so nicely! I will make this recipe time and time again and it will definitely be one of my top 10 favorites!! Thank you so much!

    Beth, Magnolia Delaware

  12. I made this recipe for diner and it was soooooo goood
    The chicken was well seasoned, juicy and bursting with flavor. I love this recipe because it was os so easy and it came with great results. I did have to cook my chicken about 5 or so minutes longer but thats because I like mines dripping off the bone. I can’t wait to make it again.

  13. Skin on or off? I know skin keeps it juicy but I don’t want to eat it or fit it to block the spices and sauce…

  14. I love this! I used a ready made BBQ sauce, but followed the marinade and cooking directions. It did take longer because I crowded the legs in a deep casserole before laying them out with sauce, but they were so moist that way. Making them again tonight.

  15. Hi, I’m planning on making this tonight. Just wondering, have you made this with the skin off the drumsticks before? I just don’t like it when the skin gets all “rubbery” and that’s where all of the seasoning is.

    1. This recipe is excellent. The family cleaned up!!! No licking the plates! I wouldnt let them…lol. no doubt that I’ll be saving this recipe. Thanks Robyn!!

  16. Is this recipe for the small chicken legs (“wings”) or can I use this recipe and the cooking temp/time with the large chicken “drumsticks”?

    1. Danielle, I used chicken legs as shown in the photos, not wings, in this recipe. However, you could use the same recipe for wings if you you would like.