Asian BBQ Turkey Drumsticks

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  • Total: 6 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 4 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 45 min
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2 tablespoons five-spice powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

4 turkey drumsticks, without thighs (about 4 pounds)

3/4 cup wood chips, soaked


6 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

1 1/2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

4 teaspoons Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha

4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced


  1. 1. For the rub: Mix the five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, granulated garlic, and onion powder together in a bowl. Smear the spices all over the drumsticks. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. 2. Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-hot fire on one side of the grill for both direct and indirect cooking. Position a drip pan under the grate on the cool side. Toss 1/2 cup soaked wood chips onto the coals.
  3. 3. Lay the turkey legs on the grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and position the lid's vent holes directly over the meat. When the fire dies down, after 45 minutes or so, add about a 1/2 dozen pieces of cold charcoal and the remaining wood chips to maintain a medium to medium-low smoky fire.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, make the mop: Whisk together the garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, chili sauce, and scallions.
  5. 5. Set aside about half the sauce for serving. After about 1 hour, mop the turkey drumsticks with some of the mop and flip. Mop and flip every 10 minutes or so until the legs are browned and glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers about 170 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve the drumsticks with the reserved mop on the side.

Cook’s Note

We also love this with all the turkey meat pulled off the bone and tossed with the mop tucked in between a soft roll or wrapped in a crisp iceberg lettuce leaf.