Recipe from Buttered Rollz BBQ Team out of Pennsylvania
Normally you would need a good set of kitchen shears and a boning knife to trim the drumsticks up, but these arrived already trimmed up for us.
Chicken Lollipops Recipe
- 2 Packs of drumsticks (preferably with no water solution added)
- 1-1 1/2 cup(s) of your favorite bbq sauce at room temperature (not right out of the refrigerator or cooler)
- 2 small aluminum baking pans (1 for steam, 1 for chicken)
- 1 cross-hatched cooling rack that will fit into aluminum pan
- A small amount of aluminum foil for the tops of the chicken bones
- About 1-1/4 cups of your favorite bbq rub for chicken
- Kitchen shears and boning knife for trimming
- Your favorite spray mixture (factors will determine if you need to use this or not)
You will want to go around the drumsticks at least twice with a boning knife and use the shears to cut the small bone out that rides along the larger one. Leave the skin on but try your best to trim them up nice and even near the bone. I am sure you can find tips on how to do this online.
At this point the chicken should be up to room temperature and you can apply your favorite chicken rub. In this recipe we used Code 3 Spices Sea Dog Cajun Rub. There are lots of tricks out there for getting crispy, good bite through chicken and you want to use those tricks here. You want the chicken skin as dry as possible. Wet skin steams, dry skin crisps. Let them sit at room temperature while you start the grill.
Start the Yoder Smokers pellet grill to 215 degrees. Take the small aluminum pan and put in some liquid enough to fill the bottom of the pan. This can be water, beer, apple juice etc. (since the smoker is running at such a low temp, this isn’t going to steam – yet.) You are going to run smoke for 25-30 min (we used Southwest BBQ Pellets blend, fruit blends always work well with poultry.)
During this time you are just going to be adding smoke to the drumsticks, so we are not really worrying about the temperature of the chicken. Wrap a small piece of foil around the bone. Place the drumsticks with bone side up in the baking pan (Some people lay them flat on the grill grates, some lay them elevated on cooking sheets, some elevate on cooking rack above juices – think presentation here, cross hatches look cool on steaks, chicken lollipops not so much)
Set a timer for 30 min – have a beer or so; check a few times to see if they need spray.
At this point, take out the bbq sauce if you haven’t already. This needs to be room temperature. Take the drumsticks off the smoker after 30 min and turn the smoker up to 325 — make sure the smaller pan with the liquid is over the firebox and has enough water.
If you think the chicken needs a little more bbq rub for even color – add it now. Place the pan of lollipops to the right side of the liquid pan and wait for them to reach a temperature of 175. Spray them during this time if they start to dry out. Once they hit a temperature of 175 you can remove from the grill and turn off the Yoder – keep the lid closed because you are going to throw them right back on to setup the sauce.
Some people paint the sauce on, some apply right out of the container – Not here. Add the bbq sauce to a wide-mouth coffee mug or even a solo cup, and you want to “dunk” the lollipops in the bbq sauce.
Empty the pan that contained the steam liquid and place the crosshatched cooling rack inside the pan.
Dunk the drumsticks one at a time and place on the cooling rack. You can remove the aluminum foil from the bones at this point.
Place all of the lollipops back in the grill for 10 min
Take off the grill after 10 min, pour your favorite beverage and enjoy!