Jeff Mauro makes Smoked Crispy Drumsticks with Maple Butter Hot Sauce, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro

Smoked Crispy Chicken Drums with Maple Butter Hot Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings



Special equipment:
smoker box, 1 cup fruit wood chips like cherry or applewood
  1. Mix together the salt, sugar and water in a large bowl until dissolved. Submerge the chicken in the brine and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry with paper towels and brush with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil.
  3. Set up a grill with a smoker box filled with wood chips and preheat one side of the grill to high. Once smoking, lower the temperature to medium and place the chicken on the cooler side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, turning each drumstick a few times. Cook until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chicken from the grill.
  4. Mix together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until dissolved. Brush the exterior of the chicken with the mixture.
  5. Place the chicken back on the hot side of the grill and cook, turning, until the skin is crispy on all sides.
  6. Melt the butter, hot sauce and maple syrup in a small pot over low heat (or in the microwave). Whisk until fully blended, and then pour over the chicken before serving.