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Chicken drumsticks can be juicy, moist and flavorful from the crispy skin to the fall-off-the-bone last bite! We have the tips starting with an amazing Asian marinade that packs flavor! Then there is the smoky low cook to tenderize the chicken, using the Primo rotisserie basket. Lastly, to develop a delicious and crispy skin the chicken drumsticks are fire finished! 

Thank you Primo Grills for sponsoring my post on Rotisserie Chicken Drumsticks! The neighborhood loves this recipe! 


I know, that is a silly question! But as a little girl in Northern California, I  always referred to my favorite piece of chicken leg. Maybe it is regional but when I moved to Southern California and started hanging out with the grill-world, I started hearing Chicken Drumsticks. What do you call a piece of chicken from the “knee” bone to the “ankle” bone? 

Officially, chicken leg refers to the whole leg portion of a chicken which is both the thigh and drumstick. The whole leg is divided into 2 parts, it creates the thigh and drumstick portions. 


Have you felt the budget pinch as prices for groceries rise! I have! However, chicken is still an affordable protein, whew! And more so, chicken drumsticks and thighs can be found under a dollar a pound! 

In my neck of the woods, generally I can buy chicken thighs for the same price as I can chicken drumsticks. So in general I buy thighs because they have more meat and less tendons than a drumstick. Plus, Hubby loves chicken thighs because he thinks they are easier to eat than drumsticks. On the contrary, I have such fond memories of eating chicken drumsticks so I like to cook them, you know that “food memory” nostalgia. 

When and Why to choose chicken drumsticks!

Party: Chicken drumsticks make sense at a party due to the smaller portion of meat! The smaller portion of meat means your guests can sample all of the other delicious party food. 

Per Pound: My package of chicken drumsticks was 3.69 pounds and it contained 16 pieces of chicken. In my freezer right now, I have a package of chicken thighs that is 3.9 pounds and contains 9 chicken thighs. So think, for the same price I can get 5 more party-size servings! 

Price Per Serving: So let’s do the math! 16 chicken drumsticks cost $3.65 because of the low price of $.99 per pound. If we round up high each 1 piece chicken drumstick serving costs $.23. I can’t serve an apple for that price! 

Kids love Drumsticks: Ice cream drumsticks or chicken drumsticks, kids love the convenient size! Chicken drumsticks come with their own handle to hold and hey you can take 5 bites and be on to the ice cream drumstick! 

Drumsticks Cook Fast: The other advantage of cooking drumsticks is that they cook fast. Even with my low and slow method this perfect party food is ready in 45 minutes. 



Primo Premium Lump Charcoal 

Grill Gloves 

Grill pan if making asparagus

Meat Thermometer 

Grill Tongs or Spatula  

Bowl, container, or resealable plastic bag to marinade chicken


3-4 pounds chicken drumsticks

Preferred cooking oil 

Fresh Garlic substitute 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic


Scallions substitute white onion

Fresh Lime substitute lemon 

Asian Chili Garlic Sauce 

Fish Sauce substitute soy sauce

Hoisin Sauce 

Ground coriander


Optional asparagus and red onion

Rub: Primo Garlic Pepper Seasoning, ground coriander, and baking powder


Mix the marinade in a medium bowl, add chicken, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight.

Fill the fire box with Primo Lump Charcoal, and light. Wait 5-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers. Close the dome, and fully open the draft door on the bottom. Adjusting the top vent until 300°F. has been reached.

Place the heat deflector rack and plate into the grill. Once the temperature has regained its heat and has a steady 275°F it is time to add the rotisserie.

Remove chicken drumsticks from the marinade, and lightly brush off. Mix the rub and sprinkle it on both sides. This step can be done several hours before grilling. If so, store the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator once the seasoning has been added. 

Arrange the chicken drumsticks into a Primo Grill Rotisserie 3-sided basket, and secure onto the spit rod. Make sure to center the rotisserie basket on the spit rod as you tighten the screws on the forks to secure. 

Set up the Primo Grill Rotisserie Frame onto the firebox. Position the rotisserie motor onto the frame, and plug the power cord into an electrical socket.

Insert the spit rod with the chicken drumstick basket into the rotisserie motor, and turn it on. Smoke the chicken drumsticks for 45 to 60 minutes or until it has an internal temperature of the chicken drumstick is 150°F to 160°F.  Remove the partially cooked chicken drumsticks from the rotisserie. Note: The time will vary depending on how big the drumsticks are. The drumsticks shown are considered small. 16 drumsticks per 3.5 pounds. 

Open the vents on the bottom and top of the Primo, allowing the heat to increase to 450°F. Remove the heat deflector rack and plates with grill gloves. Insert the grill grates. 

Once the grill has reached 450°F heat, place the drumsticks on greased grill grates, over direct heat, and lightly char 4-5 minutes on each side or until their internal temperature or 178°F to 189°F has been reached. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve. Note: Chicken Drumsticks can be removed from the grill at 165°F and be safely eaten. However, the high temperature will allow more of the muscle and tendons to soften. 


Do I need to brush them with glaze or serve smoked chicken drumsticks with BBQ Sauce? 

Up to You! The marinade I have developed is outstanding at infusing the chicken with flavor and moisture. I do not suggest BBQ sauce. If anything, a sweet chili sauce dip can be added. 

Can chicken drumsticks be reheated? 

Sure! Store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 1-minute. The skin will have lost the crisp but the flavor will have deepened! My hubby loves to heat for 30 minutes in the microwave then place them under the broiler just until the skin is crispy. A friend of mine preheats her Air Fryer to 400 degrees and bakes the chicken drumsticks for 4 minutes! 

Can I use wood chunks or wood chips? 

Yes! I suggest cherry, mesquite, apple or pecan  wood chips. 

Do I have to smoke asparagus as in the photo? 

No! Either add more chicken drumsticks to the basket or onions or your favorite veggie. I was experimenting with asparagus. 

Can chicken drumsticks be cooked in a Primo Rotisserie Chicken Wing Basket? 

Sure thing! Prepare and cook the chicken drumsticks as you would chicken wings. Place in the Primo Rotisserie Chicken Basket and smoke over indirect heat for about 45-60 minutes then finish over direct high heat. 

How long can I marinate the chicken drumsticks? 

Whatever time you have! Realistically, marinating chicken drumsticks for an hour will give some added flavor but adding the marinade at least 4 hours in advance will give more. You can try for 24 hours if you have the time. I marinated the chicken for 4 hours and I thought it was perfect.

Why don’t my chicken drumsticks cook as fast as yours?

When it comes to smoking and fire finishes, recipe developers use the word “about” a lot when it comes to time. The time chicken drumsticks cook on my grill can be different than yours depending on the size of the wing, the current outdoor weather and if it is windy, the elevation of your home, how long your lump charcoal burns a consistent heat, weather and temperature where you’re located, and how many times you open and close that dome lid! That is why a meat thermometer is your best friend when it comes to grilling. 


Other Primo Grill chicken recipes!

Smoked Spatchcock Chicken 

Other Primo Grill Rotisserie Recipes

Primo Ceramic Grills Offers Attachments

Primo Grills has come out with lots of new accessories over the last few years! Check these out!


Need more drool-worthy Primo recipe ideas? 


Recipe Primo Grill's Rotisserie Chicken Drumsticks
Download DOCX • 11KB

Quick Info

Serves: 8 (4 drumsticks per serving)

Season: Year Round

Category: Poultry 


Primo Rotisserie Chicken Drumsticks 


Primo Grill, Rotisserie Kit, Rotisserie 3-sided basket, Lump Charcoal 

Grill Gloves, Grill Tongs, Meat Thermometer 

Grill pan if making asparagus



For the Marinade:

1/2 cup small bunch cilantro, about 1 cup, rough chop 

1/4 cup Asian fish sauce

1/4 cup Hoisin sauce 9 cloves of garlic, peeled 

2 scallions, rough chop

1 fresh lime, zest and juice

2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce 

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

3-4 pounds chicken drumsticks, 16 drumsticks 

Preferred cooking oil

Optional: 1 pound asparagus and 1/2 red onion, chopped

For the Seasoning

3 tablespoons Primo Garlic Pepper Seasoning

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon baking powder


Marinade Chicken Drumsticks: In a blender or food processor bowl, combine chopped, fish sauce, Hoisin, garlic, scallions, lime zest, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, coriander, and salt, blend until smooth. 

Place chicken drumsticks, in a medium bowl, and cover with the marinade, toss a few times to coat. Marinade 3 hours or up to overnight. 

Prepare the Seasoning: Combine all seasoning ingredients, and set aside. 

Prepare the Grill: Arrange Primo Lump Charcoal on the bottom of the firebox. Wedge 1 or 2 Primo Quick Light starter cubes in the charcoal, and light. Wait 10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers. Insert the deflector rack and plates. Close the dome, and adjust the top and bottom vents to achieve a steady 275°F heat zone. 

Prepare the Rotisserie: Place the Primo Rotisserie Frame onto the firebox. Attach the motor and plug the electrical plug into power. 

Prepare Chicken for Grill: Remove the chicken from the marinade, and lightly wipe off with a paper towel. Place the chicken drumsticks on a rack that has been placed on a rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle both sides of the drumsticks with the seasoning, and set outside the refrigerator. 



Place the chicken drumsticks into a rotisserie 3-sided basket. Lock the rotisserie basket by fastening the latches. If desired, plate 1 pound of asparagus in one of the baskets. 

Thread the spit rod through the rotisserie basket. Center the chicken drumsticks basket on the spit rod, and tighten the screws to secure. 

Insert the spit rod with chicken basket into the rotisserie motor, and turn it on. 

Smoke the chicken drumsticks for 30 to 40 minutes or until it has an internal temperature of 155°F.  Remove the partially cooked drumsticks (and asparagus) from the rotisserie basket. Remove the rotisserie frame and motor from the Primo Grill. Insert the grill grates back into the grill, and brush with oil right  before adding chicken. 

Open the vents on the bottom and top of the Primo Grill, allowing the heat to increase to about 425°F. If asparagus is being cook, pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a grill safe pan, and place it into the grill with chopped red onions.

Arrange the chicken drumsticks over high heat on the grill grates. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or the chicken’s internal temperature is over 175°F. Rest the drumsticks a few minutes before devouring. 

Note: If asparagus is being cooked, add it to the softened red onions at the same time the chicken is being placed on the grill. Toss and a few times and season with Primo Garlic Pepper Seasoning. 

Chef’s Notes: 

Make Ahead! Marinade the chicken drumsticks the day before. On the day of the cook, remove chicken from the marinade, pat dry and season. Allow the chicken to air dry, in the refrigerator, until ready to cook. 


Feed the Team! 5-pounds (24 servings) of chicken drumsticks will fit comfortably in the Primo Rotisserie 3-sided basket.


Stay Safe! I use food safe gloves when working with raw meat. The USDA guideline for eating cooked chicken, at a safe temperature, is 165°F. However, chicken wings love higher!



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