Pros of Boiling Chicken Legs Before Baking

Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ

Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ
Credits to Eat at Home Cooks

Ever wondered why your BBQ chicken drumsticks sometimes turn out less than stellar? Here’s a game-changer: Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ! Imagine biting into a drumstick that’s perfectly tender inside with a crispy, beautifully charred exterior. That’s what you get when you precook. Not only does it cut down your grilling time, but it also ensures every piece is cooked through—no more worries about uncooked poultry.

Ready to revolutionize your BBQ game and become the star of your next cookout? Stick with me, and I’ll show you how simple it is to up your BBQ game with precooked chicken drumsticks! Let’s get grilling!

Can you pre cook chicken drumsticks before grilling?

Absolutely, you can pre-cook chicken drumsticks before grilling, and it’s a great strategy for a few reasons. Pre-cooking helps ensure that the chicken cooks through evenly, which is particularly important for drumsticks since they can be thick and contain bone, which affects cooking time. Here’s how pre-cooking benefits your grilling:

  1. Safety: It reduces the risk of serving undercooked chicken. By precooking, you can ensure that the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before it even hits the grill.
  2. Time-Saving: Grilling already precooked chicken is faster because you’re primarily reheating the chicken and adding that desirable grilled flavor and char.
  3. Flavor and Texture: Pre-cooking allows you to infuse the drumsticks with flavors beforehand, be it through boiling in a seasoned broth or baking. Then, finishing them on the grill adds the smoky flavor and crisp texture that only grilling can offer.
Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ
Credits to A Simple Tweak

Here’s a quick way to pre-cook them before grilling:

  • Boiling: You can boil the drumsticks in a flavorful broth for about 20-30 minutes until they’re nearly cooked through. Then, pat them dry, and give them a quick grill to get that char and crispiness.
  • Oven: Alternatively, bake the drumsticks in the oven at about 375°F (190°C) until nearly done, then finish them on the grill.

This technique not only ensures that your chicken is cooked perfectly but also gives you that delicious BBQ finish.

Is it better to boil or bake chicken before grilling?

Both boiling and baking chicken before grilling have their advantages, and the best method can depend on your specific needs and preferences:


chicken drumstick Boiling
Credits to Jersey Girl Cooks


  • Speed: Boiling chicken is typically faster than baking. It can take about 20-30 minutes to thoroughly cook drumsticks.
  • Moisture Retention: Boiling can help keep the chicken moist, as it cooks in a liquid environment. This is particularly useful if you’re worried about drying out the meat on the grill.
  • Flavor Infusion: You can add herbs, spices, and other flavorings to the boiling water to infuse the chicken with additional flavors.


  • Texture: Boiling might not give the meat the same texture that baking or direct grilling does. The skin, in particular, won’t get crispy from boiling and can become somewhat rubbery.
  • Flavor Dilution: While you can infuse flavors via the cooking liquid, boiling can also dilute the natural flavor of the chicken if not properly seasoned.


chicken drumstick Baking
Credits to LaaLoosh


  • Texture: Baking provides a drier heat that can help tighten and firm up the texture of the chicken. If you’re looking for a slightly crispy exterior before grilling, baking is superior.
  • Flavor Development: Baking allows for more caramelization and development of flavors, especially if you season the chicken well before it goes into the oven.


  • Time: Baking can take longer than boiling. You’ll typically need about 30-40 minutes in the oven at 375°F (190°C), depending on the size of the drumsticks.
  • Monitoring: It requires a bit more attention to avoid overcooking or drying out the chicken, especially if not marinated.

Which is Better?

If you value ease and moisture, boiling might be the way to go, especially if you are good at seasoning the poaching liquid well. However, if texture and flavor development are more important for your BBQ, then baking is the better choice. It slightly dries out the chicken, making it perfect for absorbing smoke and achieving a crispy finish on the grill. Ultimately, the choice between boiling and baking before grilling should align with your taste preferences and the specific results you are aiming for at your BBQ.

Precooking chicken drumsticks before grilling can ensure they’re fully cooked and flavorful. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do this effectively by baking, which provides a good balance of ease and flavor enhancement:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ

Precook Chicken Drumsticks Before BBQ
Credits to A Family Feast

Step 1: Prepare Your Chicken

  • Rinse and Pat Dry: Rinse the chicken drumsticks under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps the seasonings stick better and promotes even cooking.
  • Season Generously: Season your drumsticks liberally with your choice of spices. A basic mix might include salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. You can also use a marinade or a rub according to your taste preferences.

Step 2: Preheat Your Oven

  • Set Temperature: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). This temperature is high enough to cook the chicken thoroughly while still gentle enough to keep it moist.

Step 3: Arrange the Chicken for Baking

  • Prepare Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top if available. The rack will help heat circulate around the drumsticks for more even cooking.
  • Arrange Drumsticks: Place the seasoned drumsticks on the rack. Make sure they are not touching each other to ensure proper heat distribution.

Step 4: Bake the Chicken

  • Bake: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. The goal here is not to completely cook the chicken but to cook it about 75% of the way through.
  • Check Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the drumsticks. You’re aiming for around 145-150°F (63-65°C) at this stage.

Step 5: Prepare for Grilling

  • Cool Down: Once precooked, let the drumsticks cool slightly so they are easier to handle. This also prevents them from cooking further from residual heat.
  • Final Seasoning: Brush the drumsticks with a BBQ sauce or another layer of marinade to add moisture and additional flavor. This will caramelize beautifully on the grill.

Step 6: Grill to Finish

  • Preheat Grill: Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, around 375-400°F (190-205°C).
  • Grill Drumsticks: Place the drumsticks on the grill. Cook for about 10 and charred to your liking. During this time, the internal temperature should reach the safe minimum of 165°F (74°C) for chicken.

Step 7: Add Final Touches

  • Additional Sauce: In the last few minutes of grilling, you can brush the drumsticks with additional BBQ sauce or glaze to boost the flavor and achieve a sticky, caramelized exterior. Be careful not to add sauce too early, as the sugars can burn.
  • Rest Before Serving: After removing the drumsticks from the grill, let them rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that your chicken is juicy and flavorful when you bite into it.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

  • Presentation: Arrange the drumsticks on a platter, perhaps garnished with fresh herbs or slices of lemon for a touch of acidity.
  • Accompaniments: Serve your perfectly grilled drumsticks with side dishes that complement the smoky, rich flavors of BBQ, such as coleslaw, corn on the cob, or a fresh salad.


In wrapping up, precooking your chicken drumsticks before grilling is a reliable technique that offers several benefits, from ensuring food safety to enhancing flavor and texture. By baking the drumsticks initially, you mostly cook them through in a controlled environment, which mitigates the risk of undercooked poultry while allowing you to infuse flavors deeply.

Finishing them on the grill then adds that unmistakable smoky char and crispiness, making your BBQ drumsticks irresistible. This method not only simplifies the grilling process but also boosts your confidence as a host, knowing each drumstick is perfectly safe and deliciously prepared.

Remember, the key to a successful BBQ is not just the quality of your ingredients but also the techniques you employ. So, next time you’re planning a cookout, consider precooking your drumsticks for the best results. Enjoy the grilling season with this foolproof approach to delicious BBQ chicken!

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