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Smoked chicken quarters on a slate plate topped with BBQ sauce.
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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters

Chicken leg quarters are super easy to smoke. These smoked chicken quarters are covered in a flavorful sweet and spicy BBQ rub and then brushed with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. Juicy and delicious, you've never tasted a chicken leg quarter recipe like this before!
Prep Time10 mins
Smoke Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 306kcal
Author: Amanda Mason


  • Any type of smoker


For The Chicken

  • 4-5 chicken quarters
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For The Chicken Rub

  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano, dried
  • ½ Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • ½ Tablespoon garlic powder


  • Prepare the smoker and preheat it to 225°F
  • Baste ¼ cup of olive oil onto each quarter chicken. Ensure all crevices are covered in a thin layer of oil.
  • Mix together all the spice ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Next, spoon the dry rub onto each piece of chicken. Ensure you use a generous amount and then using your hands to spread the rub evenly until each piece is covered.
  • When the smoker has preheated to 225°F, put the chicken thighs directly onto the smoker rack. Insert a digital meat thermometer into the meat, close the lid, and let the chicken leg quarters smoke low and slow.
  • Keep the digital meat thermometer inserted the entire smoke time so you can monitor the internal temperature of the meat.
    Once the internal meat thermometer reaches 165°F, the chicken is done.
  • Using tongs, remove the chicken leg quarters from the smoker and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.


  • It will take about 3-4 hours to smoke these leg quarters at 225°F. During the first 2 hours of smoking, the internal temperature of the meat will increase pretty quickly. After hour 2, it will start to slow down.
  • Use a mild wood when smoking chicken such as apple, cherry, or pecan.
  • The spice rub is versatile and can be used when grilling chicken or pork. To make a smaller batch, just cut the the ingredient measurements in half.
  • If you are using a propane gas smoker, my preference is to use wood chunks over wood chips. They provide more smoke and a lot more flavor. If you're using a charcoal smoker, chips work best. For pellet smokers, you're required to use pellets. For electric smokers, if they don't come with their own specialized wood, use wood chips.
  • Always insert a digital thermometer into the meat at an angle. You want to ensure the temperature gauge is not touching bone.
  • You want to keep the smoker temperature between 225°F and 250°F. The temperature in the smoker is going to fluctuate a bit; just ensure when making this recipe that the smoker temperature doesn't go below 225°F and doesn't go above 250°F.
  • The goal is to keep as much smoke in the smoker as possible so make sure you insert the temperature gauge into the chicken when you place it on the smoker racks. This will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat without opening the smoker.
  • Once the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F, the chicken is done and can be removed from the smoker.
  • If you want to remove the gauge and pierce a different part of the meat to double check the temperature, you can. You will lose some of the internal juices when you do this, but smoked chicken is already incredibly juicy so losing a little juice won't make a huge difference.


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 2404mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 703IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg