Butterflied Grilled Chicken Drumsticks


  • 3 lb.whole chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp.chili powder
  • 1 tbsp.dark brown sugar
  • 1 salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp.onion powder
  • 1 tsp.dried thyme
  • 1 tsp.freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp.garlic powder
  • 1 tsp.smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp.cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp.canola oil
  • Alabama white sauce, for serving 



Step 1:

Prepare a grill up for dual-zone heat, heating the direct heat zone over medium-high heat to 375° to 400°. Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium heat and preheat oven to 350°.


Step 2:

Pat drumsticks dry with paper towels. Using a gentle swiping motion (with a sharp knife!), cut through the meat and expose the bone. Using knife, separate more of the flesh from top of bone, until leg opens up (like a butterfly!).


Step 3:

In a small bowl, whisk chili powder, brown sugar, salt, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne until combined. Add oil and mix until a paste forms. Rub seasoning paste all over drumsticks.


Step 4:

Arrange drumsticks skin side up over direct heat side of grill (or arrange on grill pan). Cover and grill until skin is charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn chicken and and continue to grill until other side is charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Move chicken to indirect heat, cover, and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°, 12 to 15 minutes more. Alternatively, place grill pan in oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.


Step 5:

Transfer chicken to a platter. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with Alabama white sauce alongside.