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    Smoked Chicken Legs: How to Prepare, Smoke and Serve Delicious Chicken Legs

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    Nothing says summer grilling like the smoky aroma of chicken legs sizzling on the barbecue. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or simply looking to whip up a quick and delicious meal, smoked chicken legs are sure to be a hit.

    With their crispy skin and tender, juicy meat, they make an incredibly tasty main dish that is surprisingly easy to prepare! In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for smoking chicken legs to perfection, so you can enjoy the classic BBQ dish without ever leaving your kitchen.

    What are Smoked Chicken Legs?

    Smoked chicken legs are a classic barbecue dish that is sure to please everyone at your next cookout. These delicious legs are easy to prepare and feature a flavorful, smoky taste that can’t be beaten. The crispy skin and juicy meat make them an ideal main course for any meal. They can be cooked in the oven, on the grill or even in a smoker for an even more authentic flavor. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for smoking chicken legs to perfection.

    Preparing the Chicken Legs

    Choosing the right chicken legs

    When selecting chicken legs for smoking, it’s important to choose the right size. They should be around 1 pound each, so that they will cook evenly and be done at the same time. You should also check that they are not too fatty as this will cause flare-ups while cooking. Once you’ve chosen the perfect chicken legs, it’s time to prepare them for smoking.

    Brining or marinating the chicken legs

    Brining and marinating chicken legs before cooking is a great way to add flavor and moisture. To brine, submerge the chicken in a saltwater solution for at least two hours. This will help keep them juicy by drawing moisture into the meat. For marinating, combine your favorite herbs, spices, citrus juices and oil in a bowl and stir until fully combined. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and cover with the marinade, then refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight for maximum flavor).

    Preparing the smoker

    Preparing your smoker is an essential step in smoking chicken legs. Once you have chosen your wood, make sure to soak it for at least 30 minutes before adding it to the firebox. This will keep it from burning too quickly and releasing excess smoke. After soaking, add the wood chips or chunks to the firebox and then light the charcoal using a charcoal chimney. When the coals are ready, arrange them in the bottom of the smoker and allow them to burn for 15-20 minutes before adding your chicken legs.

    Smoking the Chicken Legs

    Setting the temperature and time

    When smoking chicken legs, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. Set your smoker to 250°F and preheat for 15 minutes before adding your chicken legs. Once you’ve added them, smoke the legs for 2-3 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. To ensure even cooking, rotate the legs every 30 minutes and add more wood chips or chunks as needed.

    Adding smoking wood

    Adding smoking wood is an important part of the smoking process as it helps to create the smoky flavor that smoked chicken legs are known for. To add the wood, begin by soaking your chosen type of wood chips or chunks in water for at least 30 minutes. This will help prevent them from burning too quickly and releasing excess smoke. After soaking, place the wood on top of the charcoal and allow it to smolder for 15-20 minutes before adding your chicken legs.

    Smoking process

    Once you’ve prepared the chicken and smoker, it’s time to begin the smoking process. Begin by setting your smoker to 250°F and preheating for 15 minutes before adding the chicken legs. Place them on the grate and smoke for 2-3 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. To ensure even cooking, rotate the legs every 30 minutes and add more wood chips or chunks as needed.

    Checking the doneness of the chicken legs

    To ensure that your smoked chicken legs are cooked to perfection, it’s important to check their doneness. The most accurate way to do this is by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg. The internal temperature should read at least 165°F for safe consumption. You can also test for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the leg and ensuring that the juices run clear. Once your chicken legs are cooked through, remove them from the smoker and enjoy!

    Serving Smoked Chicken Legs

    Sides to serve with smoked chicken legs

    Smoked chicken legs are a delicious and hearty meal that pairs well with many different sides. To complete the meal, try serving your chicken legs with roasted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions. You could also serve them alongside a fresh green salad or a tangy coleslaw. For added flavor and nutrition, try pairing your smoked chicken legs with a quinoa or brown rice pilaf. No matter what sides you choose, your smoked chicken legs will be sure to please!

    Serving suggestions

    Smoked chicken legs are a flavorful and hearty meal that can be enjoyed in many different ways. For a classic feast, try serving your smoked chicken legs with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and fresh green beans. If you’re looking for a lighter option, serve the chicken legs over a bed of mixed greens with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy vinaigrette. For a unique twist on the traditional, try serving your smoked chicken legs over creamy polenta or in tacos with salsa and guacamole. No matter what you decide to serve them with, your smoked chicken legs will be sure to please!

    Conclusion

    Smoking chicken legs is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to the meat. The low and slow cooking process helps break down the tough muscle fibers, resulting in juicy and flavorful chicken that’s sure to please. Smoking also adds an incredible depth of smoky flavor, along with subtle hints of sweetness from the wood chips or chunks used. Lastly, smoked chicken legs are a great meal choice as they can be served in a variety of ways and paired with a number of delicious sides.

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