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How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs at 250

How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs at 250

Before you make the world’s most addictive smoked chicken, you must consider how long it takes to smoke the chicken legs at 250°F. It takes about 30-45 minutes to smoke chicken legs at 250°F.

Can You Over Smoke Chicken Legs?

Smoke is a good thing. There’s no way you can over-smoke chicken legs. 

Wrong. You can overexpose chicken to too much smoke. 

It’s easy to tell when you’ve over-smoked chicken. The chicken will have a butter flavor. Additionally, if the smoky flavor overpowers the taste of the chicken, you’ve over-smoked the meat. 

Therefore, you should always smoke the chicken legs for the recommended time or until they reach the recommended safe temperature. 

How Much Smoked Chicken per Person

There’s nothing worse than preparing smoked chicken legs only to run out of meat in the middle of your function. You will have to cook or buy more food preventing you from enjoying your function. 

For this reason, you always consider how many smoked chicken legs per person. Base the amount of chicken legs on the number of people you will serve. 

Generally, you should buy 1/2 pound of chicken legs per person. So if you feed 6 people, you will need 3 pounds of chicken legs. 

 Chicken legs are very economical. If the chicken legs are on sale, buy more than you think you need. You can always freeze any leftover chicken legs that you will not be cooking immediately. 

The chicken legs will last for 6-9 months. However, it must be stored in an airtight container, ziplock bag, or vacuum-sealed package. If the chicken is not tightly sealed, it will become freezer burned. 

Should you need more chicken legs for your function, you can easily thaw them in water. You can also thaw the chicken legs in the fridge overnight.

Do You Have to Brine Chicken Legs Before Smoking?

Some people love brining chicken legs, while others hate it. Brining chicken is optional. 

Nevertheless, brining chicken does enhance the chicken leg’s flavor. So, if you have the time, brine your chicken legs. 

You can dry brine or wet brine chicken legs. Dry brining involves rubbing chicken legs with salt, sugar, or other spices. In contrast, wet brining involves submerging the chicken legs in a saltwater solution. If you decide to wet brine your chicken legs, combine a quart of water, 4 tablespoons of salt, and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a container. 

Add the chicken legs to the brine, cover it and place it into the refrigerator. Let the chicken legs brine for 2-4 hours.

Do not brine the chicken legs at room temperature. Chicken legs can only sit at room temperature for 4 hours. After 4 hours, they develop high levels of bacteria. Eating chicken legs that have sat out for more than 4 hours could make you sick. Always brine your chicken legs in the fridge. 

Once the chicken has brined for 2-4 hours, remove it from the fridge. Drain the chicken legs and wash them with cold water to get rid of some of the salt. 

Crispy skin is necessary if you won’t be dousing them in BBQ sauce. Dry brining gives chicken legs crispier skin. 

The salt pulls moisture out of the chicken’s skin as it sits in the fridge. This dehydration leads to crispy skin. 

To dry brine your chicken legs, season them with salt or your desired seasonings. Arrange the chicken legs on a cooling rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate the chicken legs overnight or for 4 hours.

How Long to Smoke Chicken Legs at 250

How long to smoke chicken legs depends on the size of the legs. Generally speaking, it can take as little as 45 minutes to smoke chicken legs. However, if you are smoking larger chicken legs, it could take 1 1/2-2 hours. 

For this reason, pay attention to the chicken’s internal temperature, not the cooking time. Chicken legs are cooked when they have a temperature of 165°F. 

If the chicken legs do not have this temperature after 45 minutes, check the temperature every 15-30 minutes. 

How Long To Smoke Chicken Legs At 275

Smoking chicken legs at 275°F is slightly different than smoking them at 250°F. Since it is a higher temperature, you must be extremely careful.

It’s very easy to overcook chicken legs at this temperature. So smoke the chicken legs for 30 minutes to an hour. 

If the chicken legs are not cooked, cook them for another 30 minutes, checking the temperature every 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken legs from the smoker when they have a temperature of 165°F. 

Do I Need to Flip Chicken Legs When Smoking?

Flipping chicken legs is optional. Flipping the chicken may help the chicken cook more evenly. However, it is unnecessary, especially if you leave a few inches of space between the chicken to allow air circulation. If you do flip your chicken legs, keep in mind smoking chicken legs is not the same as grilling them. 

If you are grilling chicken legs, flip them over every 3-4 minutes to prevent them from burning. In contrast, smoking is the complete opposite. 

Once you place the chicken legs in the smoker, you must limit the number of times you open your smoker.

Every time you open your smoker, the ambient temperature drops. The smoker takes 15 minutes or more to return to a temperature of 250°F. If you open the lid every few minutes, this will add more time to the cooking process. 

If you want to flip the chicken, flip it halfway through the cooking process. Otherwise, do not open the smoker unless you add more wood chips and water to the water pan or test the chicken’s temperature.

Final Thoughts

Smoked chicken legs are the perfect weeknight meal. They are also perfect for family functions. 

Now you know how long to smoke chicken legs at 250°F, you can make smoked chicken whenever the craving for it hits.