BBQ is a great activity to share with your kids – and this Sweet & Sour Chicken Legs is great to get them BBQing. It can be fun for the whole family and hopefully one day they can pass down what they’ve learned to their own children. For this recipe I’m teaching my son Michael how to cook his favorite part of the chicken – legs.
Chicken drumsticks are simple to cook and kids love eating food with a built-in handle. We start by pulling back the skin on each leg exposing the meat underneath.
Season each one with a little Killer Hogs AP Rub – or you can substitute your favorite seasoning. Pull the skin back up over the meat and hit the skin side with a little Killer Hog’s The BBQ Rub.
To make it easier for them to transport the chicken to the grill, place the legs in a half size aluminum pan. Twelve legs fit perfect in this size pan.
To add moisture to the legs place slices of butter around the edges of the pan and anywhere there is a gap. It will melt and keep the legs from burning on bottom.
Prepare a charcoal smoker for indirect heat. I set up my Pit Barrel Jr. for Michael. It’s the perfect size for a kid; small enough that they’re not uncomfortable managing it. Once the coals are hot dump, them in the fire box; I recommend that an adult do this step for safety reasons.
Once the pit comes to about 300 degrees, place a couple chunks of your favorite wood on the hot coals and add the cooking grate. Carefully set the pan of chicken on the grate and let it cook until the internal temperature reaches 175-180 degrees. You’ll want to rotate the pan every 30-20 minutes or so to keep it cooking even.
While the chicken smokes, make the Sweet and Sour glaze (recipe below). When the legs reach desired temperature, carefully remove the pan from the smoker. Wear a set of heat resistant glove liners underneath nitrile gloves and transfer the chicken legs to another pan. You can check out my glove setup here>>
Re-season the legs with a little extra BBQ Rub and return the pan to the smoker for 5-7 minutes. At this point you can pull the pan back off the pit and let them apply the glaze.
I put the sauce in a squeeze bottle and let Michael go to town squirting it all over the legs. Place the pan back on the pit for 10 minutes to set and you’re done.
These legs will be smoking hot at this point, so take them out of the pan and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving. Michael is going to give this recipe a try in a kids contest here in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for the next HowToBBQRight chicken champion!
Prepare charcoal smoker or other grill for indirect smoking at 300 degrees.
Carefully pull the skin on each leg down towards the bottom without removing it. Season the exposed meat with AP rub on all sides and pull the skin back up towards the top of the leg.
Season the skin side of each leg with Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and place each leg into a half size aluminum pan (tendon side down)
Cut butter into small pats and place around the legs.
Place 2 small chunks of pecan wood (or your favorite) on the hot coals and set the aluminum pan on the cooking rack of the pit. Cook until internal temperature reaches 175-180 degrees rotating the pan every 20 minutes.
While the legs are smoking, combine the pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, Ketchup & soy sauce in a small pot over medium heat. In a separate bowl combine the corn starch and water into a slurry. When the sauce begins to simmer slowly whisk in the slurry and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove the pan from the grill and place each leg into a clean pan. Re-season with additional Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and place back on the pit for 5-7 minutes.
Drizzle the sauce over the legs and continue to glaze for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove each leg from the pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.