How Long To Smoke Chicken Legs At 225°F – Common Mistakes To Avoid

How Long To Smoke Chicken Legs At 225°F

Having a crispy and tender chicken leg is a great reward to have. But wants to know how long to smoke chicken legs at 225? 

Even though it depends upon the type of chicken legs, generally, you will need around 1 to 1.5 hours. Smoking chicken legs to the perfect point will give you the perfect taste. Otherwise, it won’t have the signature smoky flavor. Let’s learn more about it.

Different Types Of Chicken Legs

Let’s talk about some common types:

  1. Drumsticks: It comes from the lower part of the chicken leg, which is located right below the knee joint. They are typically meaty compared to other types of chicken legs.
  1. Thighs: The mentioned variation comes from the upper part of the chicken leg. It often is flavorful and juicy as well. They could be both bone-less and boneless as well.
  1. Chicken Leg Quarters: The chicken quarters are the ones that are drumsticks and things connected. Sometimes it also gets called “the whole leg of a chicken.”

Chicken Feet: In general, chicken feet consist of skin and tendons. It’s soft and chewy at the same time. Plus, it has no typical muscle giving it a unique texture.

StyleSmoking Time at 225° F
Drumsticks1.3 Hours
Thighs1.5 to 2 Hours
Chicken Leg Quarters1 Hour
Chicken Feet:1 Hour 

Best Wood Pallet For Smoking Chicken Legs

Regarding the best wood pallet, wood pallets from Hickory are the best of all. it gives a savory flavor that is good for grilling and similar tasks. To be honest, Hickory is the best when it comes to chicken grilling.

If you are more into the sweeter taste, then Applewood is the best. It gives the chicken a sweeter taste. As a result, it gives a unique flavor out of it.

For a nutty flavor, I always go for the Pecan food. It always works great to add depth to the meat. With proper grilling, chicken legs will taste great.

At last, comes the cherry wood. It gives the chicken a unique reddish color. Perhaps, chicken meat gets a unique blend of fruity and smoky flavors.  

Important Note: The pallets you will use should be free from any chemicals or contaminants that could harm the meat or the smoker. Therefore, always go for natural and untreated wood. More so, always use the mentioned ones. Experimenting with wood might not give you great results.

How To Prepare Chicken Legs For Smoking

Let’s get right into the nitty gritty of preparing chicken legs for smoking. You will get the juiciest and most tasty chicken leg with the right steps each time.

  • First off, clean up the check leg piece.
  • Afterward, wrap a paper towel around the chicken leg to remove the extra moisture.
  • Place them on a flat surface and brush up some olive oil.
  • Apply dry rub on the chicken surface and let them sit for at least 15 minutes.

Note: Add other liquids, such as lemon, to marinate chicken legs. Marinating the chicken lets you inject a flavor twist into the chicken leg.

How Long Chicken Legs To Smoke At 225 

For Drumsticks:

  • Preheat the smoker unit to 255 degrees F.
  • Alongside, brush up some olive oil if you haven’t put it up already (It helps to make the skin soft and chewy).
  • Place the chicken leg drumsticks right on the grill off the smoker.
  • Smoke the chicken legs for around 90 minutes or so.
  • Check the thermometer and cook until the meat temp goes to 165°F.
  • To make them crispy, level up the smoker’s heat to 440F. Then keep on rotating drumsticks every minute. Do it for 5-8 minutes, and you are done.

For Drumsticks, you must have a proper preparation phase to get crispiness. For example, add olive oil or dry rub the drumsticks for better texture. Otherwise, getting a crispy texture 

For Thighs:

  • Preheat the Smoker to 255 F temp.
  • Complete the meat preparation steps.
  • Place the tights on the grill.
  • Keep on cooking the chicken tights continuously for 1.5 to 2 hours. (The cooking time gets shorter if you are using boneless chicken thighs)
  • Cook until it’s tender and take it away and serve it.

Always check out whether you are cooking boneless or regular thighs. I have often experienced boneless pieces getting cooked faster. To put things into perspective, the cooking time is 20 to 30 minutes faster than usual.

For Chicken Leg Quarters:

  • Preheat the smoker to 255 F temp.
  • Complete the preparation and seasoning process (Doing a pat dry is a must).
  • Place the entire chicken leg quarters in the middle of the pallet.
  • Insert the metal thermometer on the meaty side of the leg quarters. Make sure it doesn’t touch the bone directly.
  • Keep cooking the chicken legs while setting the internal temperature close to 170°F. It won’t take more than 1 hour.
  • For a crispy version of the chicken leg quarters, cook until the meat temperature reaches 175°F.
  • Add a little bit of hot sauce at the end, brushing at the last 2-3 minutes.
  • Take out the leg piece and serve it.

While smoking the chicken leg quarters for extra minutes, ensure it doesn’t get overburdened. More so, keep flipping the leg quarters to avoid burning the sides of the leg pieces.

For Chicken feet:

  • Rinse in cold water and Marinate properly.
  • Add seasoning on top.
  • Preheat the smoker to 225F.
  • Then put the chicken feet on the smoker grill.
  • Cook it for approx. 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, take out the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve it with Hot sauce or other dishes.

Adding proper seasoning will make the Chicken feet more crispy. Add the same time, the chicken feet’ inner core also stays chewy. Overall it’s a great snack to have with delicious side dishes.  

How To Serve Chicken Legs 

The chicken leg is the most popular choice among people, and this is a delicious and versatile dish. Below are some of the forms you could serve chicken legs in.

Fried: it is the most classic way to serve chicken legs. You may want to add mashed potato, also with rice as well. I use components such as an air fryer to fry up with 350 to 375 F temp.

Grilled: Grilled is my favorite way to serve chicken legs. In addition, grill the chicken legs with different types of wood. Plus, it tastes great when served with some delicious side dishes—mostly grilled chicken legs with a wood palette to a customized taste. 

Baked: It’s the easiest way to prepare. The tastes are great, and you get to cook the inside of the feet properly.  Bake chicken legs at 350 F temp for at least 50 minutes. Baking is tricky, so do it with proper time in hand.

Roasted: Roasting chicken legs takes 35 to 45 minutes only. Specifically, drumsticks are often roasted as it is among the popular variations of chicken feet.

With Side Dishes: With chicken legs, I like to serve Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccolini, Roasted Parsnips, and Sugar Snap Peas. These are the most popular dishes you could serve chicken legs with.

Common Mistakes To Avoid 

People face many types of problems while cooking chicken-related dishes. let’s know about them to stay alert next time.

Not Processing the Chicken

It’s a big mistake when you don’t process the chicken beforehand. For example, I pat dry, season, and marinate the chicken leg. That’s how you get a crispy and juicy chicken leg. Otherwise, the chicken leg skin won’t be crispy at all. So, process the chicken leg moderately before you start placing them on the smoker. 

Using Too Much Smoke

Smoking can happen while making grilled or smoky chicken. it can result in a bitter taste and burned smell. make sure to use the right amount of wood pieces and coil to balance the smoke. With the right amount of wood, you will ensure the chicken feet taste great and have enough flavor.

Not Allowing Enough Time

chicken legs require a certain amount of time to cook. Every different dish related to chicken leg required a different time to prepare. not allowing enough time can result in burned or raw chicken. This is why you should allow enough time to let the chicken feet soak all the smoke.

Cooking At Too High Temperature

Some people use high temperatures for cooking fast, leading to uncooked, burned, and raw chicken. set the temperature at around 225-250 F to avoid this situation. Specifically, you should be fully aware of cranking up the temp at the last stage to get a crispy texture. You should not get the chicken legs burned up.

Not Resting The Chicken After Cooking

Resting the chicken for at least 5-10 minutes is important. It allows the juice to flow, resulting in a more juicy and flavorful dish. More so, you won’t be able to eat off the chicken feet properly due to high heat. All in all, letting the chicken feet rest after the cooking will also make the dish more delicious. 

Too Much Relying On Timer

The timer is a very useful tool to keep track of cooking time, but it doesn’t work every time. As we know, cooking time depends on many factors such as dish type, stove type, the thickness of chicken, amount, and many things. So using, another indicator, such as texture appearance, should be used.

Giving Too Much Sauce

The sauce is used to boost the taste of the chicken. too much chicken than needed can overpower the main taste making it more soggy. So the requirement of measurement is important to balance the amount of sauce. Perhaps, don’t add more than necessary sauce to your chicken legs at all. 


That hour raises the question of How Long To Smoke Chicken Legs At 225. As you learn about the duration, making the perfect Chicken Legs will be much easier than expected. 

Just go through the preparation phase first. After a solid preparation, you must smoke the chicken legs at a constant temperature. Depending upon the chicken leg type, you smoke the items for a specific time. Finally, you serve the chicken legs on the plate. 


Let’s go through some of the most asked questions. 

1. How Long To Smoke Chicken Leg Quarters At 225?

You need to smoke the leg quarters at 255 for 1 hour. After 1 hour, you could raise the smoker temp for a few minutes for a crispy texture. During the last few minutes, you might want to flip the quarters several times so that one side doesn’t burn up too much.

Plus, you need to have a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature. You need to check whether the temperature is around 175°F. Once you see it on the thermometer, you should take out the Chicken Leg and serve it immediately.

2. How Long To Smoke Chicken Legs In An Electric Smoker?

If you have an electric smoker, you must smoke chicken legs like drumsticks for 80-90 minutes. Other than that, you need to follow all the steps as they are. Plus, don’t forget to prepare your chicken feets the perfect way.

More so, you should not open up the smoker before 80 minutes. Because when you open up the electric smoke too often, the smoking effects get weaker. Make the temperature constant throughout the time. 

3. How Long To Smoke Chicken Quarters At 275?

You must smoke the chicken quarters at 275 for 1 to 1.5 hours. More so, the smoking of the chicken quarters will be a bit earlier compared to the 225F. Nonetheless, you need to make sure the smoking is constant all the time.

While smoking the Chicken Quarters At 275, ensure you don’t over-burn the chicken. Because, at high temp such as 275 F, it’s a lot easier to burn off the chicken leg quarters. So, always keep an eye on it.

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