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a smoked chicken leg quarter

Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters

These delicious smoked chicken leg quarters can be on ANY grill or smoker, whether its a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, a Masterbuilt electric smoker, or just a simple Weber kettle!
First we dry brine them overnight to help them retain moisture and get the skin crispy. Then we season and smoke them at medium indirect heat. The they are optionally finished with a yummy bbq sauce glaze.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Dry Brine Time 8 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Smoked
Servings 4 people
Calories 450 kcal


  • Gas Grill, Pellet Grill, or Smoker
  • Wood pellets, chunks, or a pellet tube smoker with pellets or a smoker box with wood chips
  • Large Baking Sheet with Wire Rack
  • Meat Carving Knife
  • Paper Towels
  • Instant Read and/or Leave in Probe Thermometer
  • Basting brush
  • Cutting Board


  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters skin on
  • 4 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Course Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Three Little Pigs BBQ Rub or your favorite BBQ rub for chicken, or our "In a Pinch" Recipe Below
  • ¼ Cup Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Blues Hog Tennessee Red BBQ Sauce

"In a Pinch" BBQ Rub

  • 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ Tbsp Course Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)


Wash and Trim the Chicken Leg Quarters

  • Remove the chicken leg quarters from their packaging and rinse under cold running water. Pay dry with paper towels.
  • Flip each chicken leg quarter upside down and carefully remove the excess skin on the bottom of each one with a good meat carving knife
    trimming fat from a chicken leg quarter before smoking

Dry Brine Overnight

  • Place the chicken leg quarters on a wire rack placed on top of a baking sheet.
  • Mix together the 4 Tbsp Kosher salt and 1 Tbsp pepper, or use your favorite BBQ rub, and sprinkle generously over the tops and bottoms of each chicken leg quarter. DO NOT use cooking oil to adhere or skin will not get crispy.
    seasoning chicken leg quarters for the smoker
  • Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.

Remove the Next Day

  • Take the chicken leg quarters out of the refrigerator and wipe off any excess salt still remaining on the outside with a damp paper towel.
  • Mix the "In a Pinch" BBQ rub ingredients together and apply some to both sides of the chicken leg quarters. Or use your favorite BBQ rub for chicken.

Prepare the Grill or Smoker

  • Light or turn on your smoker, grill or pellet grill and set up the temperature to 300°F. If using a grill, only light a small amount of charcoal or light a single burner on one side for indirect cooking.
    setting up grill for indirect heat
  • Add your wood chunks directly to the firebox of a smoker, or use chips in a smoker box, or pellets in a tube smoker or pellet grill.
    charcoal grill set up for indirect heat
  • Once smoke is being produced and the grill or smoker is at 300°F, put your chicken leg quarters on the indirect side and close the lid.

Smoking the Chicken Leg Quarters

  • Continue smoking the chicken leg quarters, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F internally. This may take 1.5-2 hours.
    smoking chicken leg quarters on a traeger pellet grill
  • Mix the two types of Blues Hog BBQ sauce together in a small bowl, and once the skin on the chicken leg quarters is crispy, gently baset the sauce on with a basting brush. Close the lid and continue cooking.
    brushing sauce on smoked chicken leg quarters
  • Once the internal temperature of the smoked chicken leg quarters reaches 175°F, remove them from the grill or smoker and place on a cutting board.
    checking the temperature of chicken leg quarters on a smoker

Rest, Carve and Serve

  • Let the smoked chicken leg quarters rest for about 5-10 minutes, then optionally you can separate the legs from the thighs with a good meat carving knife.
    carving a smoked chicken leg quarter
  • Serve immediately with extra sauce if desired.
    a cut open smoked chicken leg quarter



Video courtesy of Food with Nick


Calories: 450kcal
Keyword barbecue chicken, BBQ Chicken, bbq chicken quarters, Camp Chef, chicken legs, chicken quarters, chicken thighs, dark meat, Dry Brine, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, Pit Boss, poultry, Smoked Chicken, smoked chicken leg quarters, smoked chicken legs, smoked chicken thighs, traeger, Weber
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