BBQ season is in full force now. This is a great little treat to impress your friends or just something fun to try and spice up chicken drumsticks.
My original inspiration for this recipe was Malcom Reed’s youtube video. I have varied his recipe to my own liking, and I hope you like it too.
Prep time: 1/2 hour (depending on how many lollipops you are going to make)
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
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Step 1: Gather Ingredients & Tools
- Chicken drumsticks
- Franks Red Hot
- Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Seasoning of your choice (I used the following):
- Garlic powder
- Bad Byron's BUTT RUB
- Black pepper
- Real maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Natural lump charcoal
- Smoke chips (soaked for min 1/2 hour)
- BBQ tongs
- Grill Brush
- Cutting Board
- Knife of your choosing
- Good kitchen scissors
- Clean rag or towel
Step 2: Get the BBQ Warmed Up
I have a charcoal BBQ so I start my fire and do my cooking prep work while it heats up. I find that is a good time frame for everything to get to temperature. If you use a gas BBQ you might want to do your prep first and then start your BBQ.
To start the fire I just placed my charcoal directly on the grill. I cut some small cedar sticks and made a little stack with them. Light your paper and place it on the stacked cedar, then move your charcoal over top of the fire.
The fire should only take about 5 minutes before the coals start to ember on the bottom layer.
Step 3: Chicken Prep Work
Make sure you have a nice and sharp knife. Just below the knuckle you want to cut down to the bone all the way around the drumstick. Then with the towel grab the knuckle end and pull it off (takes a good pull to do it and the towel helps with the grip). Do that on all of the drumsticks. Now grab the end of the bone and slowly work/push all the meat to the end. Watch out for a little dagger of a bone that sometimes likes to stab you if you are not watching for it.
Get your kitchen scissors out and cut away as many tendons you can and that little bone.
Step 4: Add Sauce and Bacon Wrap Your Chicken
Mix up your concoction of sauce and brush it on the drumsticks. I don’t have a particular recipe that I use. I add some bbq sauce, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Franks Hot Sauce, garlic powder, Butt Rub Powder, and pepper and mix it together until the spice is acceptable.
Then wrap your lollipops in bacon. I put a toothpick in the end to hold it together while it cooks.
Step 5: On the Grill to Smoke
Transfer your coals into the catch tray and position them furthest away from the chimney. Clean your grill off and put your chicken on, trying to line them up for even cooking. Put a tray under where the chicken is going to be to catch the grease.
Now move your lollipops off the coals and get your soaked wood. (I used Jack Daniel's oak chips) Put a handful of soaked chips on the coals and close the lid. You’ll want to smoke the lollipops for about 20 min at around 200 °F or 94 °C.
Step 6: Grill the Lollipops
After the smoke is all done add a little more charcoal and bring your temp up to around 300 °F or 150 °C. Grill until internal temp reaches 165 °F / 74 °C rotating every 20 min or so.
Step 7: Glaze Your Lollipops!
Get the maple syrup and brown sugar out. Brush on a coat of maple sugar all over the meat, then sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Move them over the coals for another 5 or so minutes. Allowing the maple and brown sugar to glaze.
Step 8: Enjoy!
This was my first time adding bacon and a candy maple glaze to this recipe, and it did not disappoint. Was it worth the extra effort? 100% yes. If you are making them for a large group, make more than you think you need.
Things to improve on: Using a charcoal chimney is much safer, especially on windy days.