Learning how to make Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters is a Grill 101 for all of us! Since these awesome pieces of chicken go on sale all the time, you need to know how to make this “to die for delicious!”
These are super easy to grill with just a few tips and tricks that will leave you picking them up all the time. There are endless options on how to grill them, especially since they cook in under 45 minutes. I can’t wait to show you a few ways to help you make these a new favorite.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
- You only need two ingredients!
- It is a very inexpensive cut of meat.
- It only takes ten minutes to prep the chicken.
- The recipe is versatile so that you can use your favorite rubs.
I like recipes that give some leeway for the ingredients. I made this one several times, using a garlic herb rub and then changed it up to use a traditional BBQ rub from another recipe. I wanted to show you that it is best to grab the one you love and use it!
Chicken Leg Quarters | I usually by the large packages with six chicken leg quarters, but adjust the amount you need based on how many people you are feeding and if you want leftovers.
Garlic Seasoning | I love the Two Snooty Chef’s Seattle Garlic Seasoning!
BBQ Rub | For a more traditional rub, try the mix we use from our Beer Can Chicken Rub! Use any one you like.
This is an extremely easy and (almost) foolproof method to grill these perfectly juicy.
Step One: Set up the grill for medium temperature. I set it to 350 degrees on direct heat. Too hot, and the outside will burn before the inside is fully cooked. Too low and this will take FOREVER to grill.
If you do want a slow cook recipe, check out these smoked chicken thighs. These have the complex flavor of a long smoke and an amazing BBQ sauce.
Step Two: While the grill is coming up to temperature, add the chicken quarters to a large Ziploc bag and add a few tablespoons of your favorite dry rub. Seal up the bag and shake until the chicken is fully coated.
Step Three: Place them on the grill. Insert your wireless thermometer, and turn them over every 10-12 minutes. It should take between 35-45 minutes for them to reach 165 degrees.
This is one of my favorites cuts of chicken. I don’t know why more people don’t jump at these in the store. They are extremely inexpensive, always juicy, delicious and extremely versatile. My favorite way to grill them is just using a simple dry rub. That’s it. No fancy sauces, no competition BBQ injections. Nope. A dry rub will do the trick. It is just enough flavor to complement the extremely delicious chicken without taking over the flavor profile.
⏲️ How Long to Grill
At 350 degrees over direct heat, the Leg Quarters will take 35-45 minutes to cook. The key is to bring them to 165 degrees. One of the most common concerns is when you cut it open and you see a bit of pink, especially around the bone, but as long as the temperature is 165, you are fine.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Always start off with meat that is not frozen. If it is frozen, it takes that much more time for it to come up to temperature which risks it drying out.
- Leave the chicken on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to grilling. This brings that refrigerated temperature up quite a bit which improves the cooking.
- Grill at 350 degrees. Hotter than that will risk burning the outside and leaving the inside raw.
- Tame any flare ups from charcoal before you put the chicken on the grill. Flare ups can burn the food and again, the inside won’t be done.
- Use a GrillGrate. To avoid juices dripping on to the charcoal, I use the GrillGrate. Not only does it catch the drippings, it gets so hot that it leaves some amazing char marks on the quarters. You seriously can’t beat that!
- Baste at the end of the grill. I don’t always baste with a BBQ sauce, but when I do, I wait until the last 2-3 minutes. If I do it earlier, it drips down into the coals and creates a smoky mess. The last few minutes allows it to caramelize without burning, and the smoke issues are minimized.
- Use a wireless thermometer. Always, always, always! It is tough to tell when the quarters are completely done, and not over-cooked. The only way I have been able to successfully cook them each and every time is with this tool. If you want to read more about them, I created a post on the best wireless meat thermometers.
I use the ThermoPro TP20. It is pretty inexpensive, and the wireless range has been extremely good. Fortunately, the alarm is loud enough for even me to hear it without trouble! On the off chance you aren’t using one, cut open the chicken to see if it is fully cooked. If the juices run clear, you should be set. To be safe, though, use a thermometer.
- Use a Ziploc Bag. The easiest way to evenly coat the chicken with a dry rub is to add them to a gallon Ziploc bag, dump in a few tablespoons of your favorite rub and shake it up. Seriously, this is the fastest and most efficient way to go. I have added them to a glass bowl and used my hands to coat the chicken, but I always ended up wasting the dry rub, as too much would fall to the bottom of the bowl, and wouldn’t stay on the quarters.
BBQ Dry Rub
Using our homemade dry rub is a sweet and savory seasoning that is super easy to make.
Garlic Herb Dry Rub
The Garlic Herb seasoning is a great one we picked up from Two Snooty Chefs
👨🍳 Recipe FAQs
No way! There are a few reasons, but mostly the flavor is legit amazing when you leave the skin on. It gets crispy and makes the chicken taste so good. Plus, it locks in the moisture. If you really don’t want to eat it, skip it, but please don’t cook it without the skin.
Let them cool down all the way; then you can store them in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Place it on a baking sheet and heat it in an oven that is 350 degrees. It will take 10-15 minutes to warm up, but it will taste better. Or you can heat it in the air fryer at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until hot.
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How to Make Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- 6 Chicken Leg Quarters
- ¼ cup Two Snooty Chef's Seattle Garlic Seasoning optional
- ¼ cup BBQ Rub optional – we used our Beer Can Chicken Rub
Prepare the Grill
- Heat the grill to 350 degrees using direct heat
- If you are using a GrillGrate, add it now to give it time to heat up fully
Prepare the Chicken Quarters
- Add the chicken to a large ziploc bag and add in the dry rub of your choice
- Seal the bag and shake it so all of the chicken is coated evenly. This is the most effective method for ading a dry rub to the chicken.
- Alternatively, you could add the chicken to a glass bowl and combine with the dry rub. I found this technique to be more difficult to coat the chicken evenly.
Grill the Chicken Quarter
- Add the chicken to the grill. Insert the wireless meat thermometer and change the alarm setting to "chicken"
- Cook for 10-12 minutes and then turn them over
- Remove the chicken when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If you do not use a meat thermometer, then cut open a thigh and make sure the juices run clear.
- Let the quarters sit for five minutes before serving.