The Best Brine For Chicken Drumsticks [Recipe And Guide]

Cooking delicious chicken drumsticks requires creativity, and using the best brine can make a big difference between delectable and average-cooked drumsticks. Brining can transform your chicken into tender, juicy and flavorful meat. But what is the best brine for chicken drumsticks?

The two common types of brine you can use to elevate the taste of your drumsticks are wet and dry brines. However, you will need wet brine to achieve the best-brined chicken drumsticks. The ingredients central to making wet brine include:

  • Salt
  • A hint of sugar
  • Any of your favorite herbs, such as rosemary or oregano.

When preparing brined chicken drumsticks, you need plenty of time to ensure you get the best results. For instance, brining your chicken drumsticks for about 12 hours will heighten and intensify the flavor of the chicken. Read on!

best chicken

How To Brine Chicken

Whether you want to roast, grill, or fry your chicken drumsticks, this is the best brine drumstick recipe you should try.


  • Bay leaves
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper

How To Brine Chicken Drumsticks- Step-By-Step

This is the best brine for chicken drumsticks you will find on the internet. It is simple, and all you will need is a few ingredients that are easily accessible.


You must follow a few essential steps to make the best brine for chicken drumsticks. First, you ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients readily available so that you save time trying to locate the ingredients when you need them.

  • Take a pot and a reasonable amount of water, salt, garlic, sugar, lemons, onions, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
  • Stir the mixture in the pot and let them boil on medium heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. This is a process that should take less than 3 minutes. After three minutes, remove the pot from the source of heat and allow it to rest. The best duration to let the mixture rest is about 15 minutes.
  • Gently put your chicken drumsticks into the brine solution and ensure that all your drumsticks are perfectly immersed into the solution.
  • Put the chicken drumsticks in the fridge to brine for about 5 hours.
  • Once the 5 hours have elapsed, remove the chicken from the solution and discard the mixture.
  • Put the chicken to dry, and it is ready to cook using your favorite preparation methods.

How Long to Brine Chicken Drumsticks

While brining your chicken drumsticks can play a significant role in enhancing the flavor of chicken, you need to ensure that you do it the right way for the best results. Overdoing it can end up rendering your meat unfit. For instance, if you brine your chicken drumsticks for more than 48 hours, the chances are that the drumsticks will go bad or the acid in the brine will interfere with the quality.

Nonetheless, how long to rest your chicken drumsticks varies depending on the size and the flavor that you want to achieve. If you want a deep chicken flavor, it will be prudent to brine your chicken for an extended period.

You will need 3-12 hours to achieve the best results for chicken drumsticks.

Why You Need The Best Brine For Chicken Drumsticks

To prepare delicious chicken drumsticks, you must consider brining them. Brining allows you to cook the most succulent, juicy, and flavorful chicken. You are probably wondering how brining imparts excellent flavor into the chicken. Here is the science behind brining.

  • Moisturizing from the start – Brining the chicken drumsticks entails letting them sit in a mixture of water, salt, and several other ingredients for a long time. This is significant because it allows the chicken drumsticks to absorb the brine water, meaning you will have plenty of delicious juices when you start the cooking process.
  • Preparing Denatured Proteins – Another reason you should consider the best brine for Chicken Drumsticks is that the salt in the brine denatures protein in the muscles resulting in muscle swelling and unwinding. Consequently, a limited amount of moisture is lost during the cooking process.

Brine Chicken Drumsticks For Smoking

As you already know, brining your chicken drumsticks before smoking them is a perfect way of elevating their flavor. Besides, brining the chicken drumsticks is a simple process that anyone can find enjoyable.

If you have plenty of time to prepare the drumsticks for the smoker, you should soak the chicken overnight for the best result. Twelve hours are enough to let the brine do its magic and convert your drumsticks into a delicious meal. Again, it is important to keep the chicken drumsticks refrigerated during the entire brining process. This is important because it helps ensure the drumsticks are safe for consumption.

Notably, even simple ingredients such as Apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, water, and onion are enough to help yield the best results.

How To Brine Drumsticks For Smoking

Mix the Apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, water, and onion in a large container and heat the mixture until the sugar and salt completely dissolve. The garlic and onion are essential in powering the brine to permeate the skin of the drumsticks with ease.

Once the brine is ready, put your drumsticks into the brine and ensure they are all well submerged. Place the drumstick in the fridge and let it stay for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 48 hours.

Since the brine contains apple cider vinegar, leaving it beyond 48 hours might break down the meat.

At this point, you can season the brined chicken drumsticks before smoking them. Keep the seasoning simple to avoid overpowering the intrinsic flavor of the drumsticks.

Essentials For Effective Chicken Brining

Here is a recap of the essential details you should always remember for effective brining.

  • Wet brining is better than dry brining. A wet-brined chicken is juicier and tastier
  • Always refrigerate the chicken drumsticks whenever you are brining them.
  • The safe temperature for brining is 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use quality salt for the best results
  • Brining period can last for 30 minutes to 48 hours
  • How long it takes to brine your chicken drumsticks depend on the content of the brine

How Long To Smoke Chicken Drumsticks

The time you will need to smoke your chicken drumsticks depends on the heat you set for your smoker. However, ideally, you only need about 90 minutes to prepare a delectable chicken meal. The most important aspect of determining how long to cook chicken drumsticks is to ensure that you have a digital meat thermometer. A meat thermometer will help you track the internal temperature of your drumsticks so that you do not overcook/undercook them.

spicy chicken

The Best Temperature For Smoking Chicken Drumsticks

In addition to ensuring that you get the brining and seasoning right, you should also ensure that you cook your chicken drumsticks at the right temperature.

The best temperature to smoke your chicken drumsticks is 275 degrees. At this temperature, you should be able to cook a delicious chicken meal within a reasonable period. Remember that the safe internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips For Preparing Delicious Chicken Drumsticks

The following are some proven general tips you can embrace to prepare a delicious meal for your family or friends.

  • Start the cooking process with quality chicken drumsticks
  • Choose the right temperature for smoking the chicken; 275 degrees F
  • Avoid frozen chicken
  • Use a spacious pan for cooking your chicken
  • Minimize the flip
  • Be generous with the seasoning


Brining is an incredible way to enhance the flavor of your chicken. The good news is that you can use simple ingredients and achieve the best results. When brining your chicken drumsticks, always remember the following:

  • Never over-brine the drumsticks, and this can make the taste unpleasant
  • Wait until the sugar and salt dissolves before taking the brine pot out of the source of the heat
  • Avoid using the brine mixture while it is hot.