Kamado Grill Marinated Chicken Legs
Today’s recipe is all about chicken legs! They are perfect when cooked on a Kamado grill over indirect heat. When you cook over indirect heat there aren’t flare ups like you might experience if you start out over the direct heat of the charcoal. The chicken legs are cooked on the side opposite of the charcoal before moving them over to charcoal side to crisp them up giving them the beautiful crispy results you see here.
I do this by starting my charcoal on only 1/2 the side of the grill. The legs are placed on the opposite side of the charcoal to slowly cook to 150 degrees. It takes about 60 – 75 minutes depending on the temperature of your grill, mine was at 250 degrees with the lid closed. On my kamado grill my bottom vent was on 2 1/2 and the top one at 2. If you don’t have that much time you can go as high as 350 degrees by adjusting the vents to let in more air and it will take about 45 minutes for this step. Then it is time to finish them over the direct heat which takes about 20 – 30 minutes. Cooking times vary based on the temperature of your grill.
These chicken legs were marinated for about 4 hours in a garlic cider herb marinade. I sliced shallow slits into my chicken legs to allow the marinade to penetrate better before adding them to the bag of marinade. There is no need to be worried about a raw egg being in the marinade as we will be cooking these legs to 165 degrees which takes care of any salmonella concerns.
The marinade is made with apple cider, oil, 1 egg, fresh garlic, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. I reserved some to brush on the chicken legs while they are cooking the first hour. You could marinate these as long as 8 hours.
It’s important to use a meat thermometer when cooking on the grill to make sure that the chicken legs reach the correct temperature. I use a digital thermometer because I can quickly get a read out of the temperature. You want the chicken legs to get to 150 degrees before moving them over the direct heat over the charcoal. The chicken legs will be fully cooked at 165 degrees. It is not safe to judge if the chicken is done by looking at the juices, use only the temperature!
Above these legs had been cooking about 75 minutes at 250 degrees. In the picture below they have just been moved to the side with the direct heat under them to finish cooking. This is when the skins will get that beautiful color and crispy. That’s a little bit of bacon poking thru in the bottom of this photo. I’ll be sharing a delicious bacon appetizer with you soon that is to die for!
Just off the grill!
- 10 - 12 chicken legs
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 4 - 6 garlic cloves - crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- To make the marinade, put all of the ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand held mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Slowly pour the oil in with the mixer running. (You can also use a whisk) Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade for brushing on the chicken.
- Cut random shallow slits through the skin and meat on the chicken legs. Put the chicken legs in a plastic bag and pour the remaining marinade over them. Marinate for 4 - 8 hours. (I did 4)
- We are going to cook these using the indirect method.
- Start your charcoal on 1/2 of the grill. I set my vents at 2 1/2 on the bottom and 2 on top. You want the grill to be at 250 degrees. Place the chicken legs on the opposite side of the grill from the charcoal. Close the lid. After 30 minutes put the marinade on the chicken legs and flip them. Cook about another 30 - 45 minutes until the chicken reaches 150 degrees.
- Move the chicken over the charcoal. Leaving the lid open cook the chicken until browned and the temperature reaches 165 degrees. Flip often. This should take less than 30 minutes.
Maybe you’d like to try another of our Kamado Grill recipes?