Sticky BBQ Drumsticks

These Sticky BBQ Drumsticks are easy to make and because they are marinated first, they are juicy and tender inside. Can be served hot or cold, making these drumsticks great for a family BBQ or picnic or even a day at the beach.

Sticky BBQ Drumsticks

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What Makes These Chicken Drumsticks Juicy?

Before cooking the drumsticks, they are marinated for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 24 hours. This will make the drumsticks juicier and add flavour to the meat.

The longer marinating time will result in more flavour and a juicier drumstick.

Marinade Ingredients and Substitutes

The marinade is made from simple ingredients. Although there are 11 ingredients in the marinade, they are all probably items you already have on hand.

We use freshly grated ginger in this recipe, but if you don’t have fresh, ground ginger can be used. Use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger in place of the freshly grated ginger.

For the garlic, if you don’t have fresh, use an extra teaspoon of granulated garlic. If you are using jarred minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of jarred minced equals two cloves of garlic.

The Sticky Sauce

These drumsticks are basted with a sticky BBQ sauce near the end of the cooking time. The sauce has only two ingredients, BBQ sauce, and honey.

Your favourite BBQ can be used to make this sauce. We like to use our Homemade BBQ Sauce. When we don’t have any sauce made, which is rare, we use one of our favourite bottled BBQ sauces.

If you like to have a spicier sticky sauce, adding a few drops of hot sauce to the BBQ sauce will add heat to the sauce. Or you can use a spicy BBQ sauce.


Perfect For Camping

These Sticky BBQ Drumsticks are perfect for camping. Once you pour the marinade over the drumsticks in a freezer bag, all you have to do is freeze it right away. Once frozen, they can last in the freezer for up to 2 months. The chicken will marinade as it thaws so you can take these camping and allow them to thaw and marinade at the same time.

Make the basting sauce ahead of time and store it in a small mason jar or airtight container in your cooler until ready to use.

Of course, you can do this for a weeknight dinner as well. Since you can freeze this recipe, you can make a batch on the weekend and just take it out the night before you want to cook it and place it in the fridge to thaw.

Also, this recipe can be made and then divided into a few freezer bags for more than one dinner. Our daughter divides the recipe into 5 or 6 portions, which is perfect for a family of two.

No BBQ? No Problem

If you don’t have a BBQ that’s OK. You can cook these in the oven at 375°F and broil the last 5 minutes after you baste the drumsticks.

I have also made these in the air fryer. They come out crispy on the outside and still nice and juicy inside.  (We have an air fryer oven which is a little different than a traditional air fryer.)

Leftover Sticky BBQ Chicken

Store the leftover chicken in the fridge in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Reheating these drumsticks is easy. They can be reheated in the oven or air fryer.

They can also be reheated on the BBQ over indirect heat.


Sticky BBQ Drumsticks

Sticky BBQ Drumsticks

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian


  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks


  • cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder

Sticky Sauce

  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, your choice
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  • Place drumsticks in a freezer bag
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients
  • Pour marinade over drumsticks
  • Seal bag and turn over a few times to coat all drumsticks.
  • Refrigerate 2 hours minimum.
  • Remove drumsticks from fridge about 20-30 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat BBQ to medium heat.
  • While BBQ is heating, mix together the BBQ sauce and Honey to make the sticky sauce. Allow to sit at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Place drumsticks in single layer on heated BBQ and close lid
  • Allow to cook for 30 minutes, turning ¼ of a turn every 5 minutes
  • When chicken reaches internal temperature of 160°F, baste with ½ sticky sauce and allow to cook 2-3 minutes per side or until reaches 165°F internally
  • Remove drumsticks from BBQ and place on serving platter. Brush with remaining ½ of sauce.
  • Serve
Keyword Chicken

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