Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

Grilled Chicken Legs
The Spruce
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Marinate: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings

These grilled chicken legs are not only juicy and delicious, they're super easy on the budget. The chicken legs are marinated for about 4 hours and then they're grilled to perfection. Use whole chicken legs or leg quarters in the recipe. The marinade is a combination of oil and vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings and spices.


  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • Dash Tabasco sauce
  • 6 chicken leg quarters

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. In a large resealable food storage bag (plastic), combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic, and Tabasco. Add the chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

    marinate meat
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  3. Pour marinade into a saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    boil ingredients
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  4. Heat the grill to moderate or medium-high heat, about 350 F to 375 F.

  5. First, sear the chicken over direct heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

    sear chicken
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  6. Continue grilling the chicken leg quarters over indirect heat -- not directly over coals or gas burners -- turning frequently and basting with the reserved boiled marinade, for about 35 to 55 minutes, depending on size.

    grill chicken over indirect heat
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  7. The chicken should be fork tender and juices will run clear. The temperature should register at least 165 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat but not touching bone.

  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • The recipe may also be made with chicken thighs or drumsticks, or use split chicken breasts. If you use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, reduce the cooking time accordingly. A boneless chicken breast will take about 20 minutes -- 3 to 4 minutes per side over direct heat and then about 10 to 15 minutes over indirect heat with the grill covered.
  • Replace the fresh crushed garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or granulated garlic.
  • For more heat, add extra Tabasco sauce or use another hot sauce. Crushed red pepper flakes may be added to the marinade as well.

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