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 chicken “to die for delicious!”
These are super easy to grill with just a few tips and tricks that will leave you picking these up all the time as there are endless options on how to grill them. So, if you have never attempted to grill leg quarters or have grilled them and they didn’t work, I can’t wait to show you a few tips and tricks to help you make these a new favorite.
🔥 Grilling Instructions
This is an extremely easy and (almost) foolproof method to grill perfectly juicy chicken quarters.
Step One: Set up your 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, check out these smoked chicken thighs. That has the complex flavor of a long smoke and the amazing BBQ sauce. But, that is not what we are doing here.
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.
⏲️ 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.
👩🍳 Cooking 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 down quite a bit which allows the cooking to start almost instantly.
- 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 Grill Grate. These are great for direct heat over the grill, but the juice tends to drip on to the coals or gas burner and create smoke or even a flare up. To avoid that, I use the Grill Grate. 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 baste 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 a wireless thermometer. If you want to read more about them, I created a post on the best wireless meat thermometers.
- Use a Ziploc Bag. The easiest way to evenly coat the chicken with a dry rub is to add them to a gallon ziplock 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
Grilled chicken quarters 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
🍗 More Amazing Recipes!
Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs – This is a great lemon pepper seasoning so we decided to go out on a limb and make the rub ourselves this time – and we may not ever go back. This just takes a little bit of time to dehydrate the lemon but after that, you are set for a while. So delish!
Smoked Chicken Thighs with Homemade Beer BBQ Sauce and Homemade Rub – We love mixing up our grilling with homemade and store bought rubs. This recipe we went a bit crazy and made homemade sauce and rub! Don’t worry, it’s worth it!
Beer Can Chicken – This is one of our favorites and also one of the most popular recipes on the site. This chicken is so moist and juicy that we understand why we all love it. It works EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. So if you have someone coming over and not sure what to make, go for this one. It works. The rub is just right – not too sweet, not too spicy so everyone is left happy!
How to Make Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- 6 Chicken Leg Quarters
- 1/4 cup Two Snooty Chef's Seattle Garlic Seasoning optional
- 1/4 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. This photo shows the final shot of the Seattle's Garlic Seasoning.