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Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters

Smoked chicken leg quarters are easy to make and extra tasty! It is full of flavor, both from the seasoning and the smoking, it’s cooked to juicy perfection, and it has a nice crisp skin!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 878kcal
Author Lisa



  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • Water- enough to cover the chicken

Dry Rub

  • 3 tbs garlic powder
  • 1 tbs chipotle powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Additional Ingredients

  • 10 lbs chicken quarters*
  • 1 cup olive oil


Brine the chicken

  • Combine sugar, salt, and 4 cups water in small saucepan, stir over medium heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Once dissolved refrigerate until cool.
  • In a large resealable bag (or several) or a large bowl (or several), add your raw chicken quarters and then divide the brine between the containers. Add additional water to the bowls or bags until the chicken is mostly covered by water.
    Chicken in brine
  • Allow the chicken to sit in the brine for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Prepare the dry rub

  • Mix together all the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
    Seasoning for the rub

Prepare the chicken and your smoker

  • Once the chicken has sat in the brine for 2 hours, remove it from the liquid and pat dry.
    Chicken being patted dry
  • Pour the olive oil over the chicken and then rub with your dry rub mixture. I like to separate the skin from the meat just a little and get oil and seasoning in-between the two, as well as over every side.
    Chicken with seasoning on it
  • Get your smoker started smoking/heating up.
  • Once your smoker is hot (~250°F), place the chicken on the racks and allow them to cook for 3-4 hours. I like to stabilize my smoker temperature between 225°F and 265°F
  • The chicken needs to get to an internal temperature of 165°F to be safe to eat. Once the chicken reaches 155°F I usually will remove them from the smoker and put them in a preheated 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes- or until it reaches 165-170°F. This allows the chicken skin to crisp up nicely wile reaching the final temperature.
    Chicken in the smoker
  • Enjoy!
    Smoked Chicken on plate with rice



Tips and Tricks
You can use this on any type of chicken not just leg quarters!
Cooking time might vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces (i.e. smoking a whole chicken vs a drumstick), just make sure the chicken gets to the correct internal temperature.


Calories: 878kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 315mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg