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Lemonade Grilled Chicken Legs

Don’t you just love this time of the year?  Our neighborhood just smells like summer with all the BBQs that keep getting fired up every day.  And not to be outdone, our BBQ will get a good workout tonight with these lemonade grilled chicken legs.

They are wonderful as a main course and are also one of my best easy appetizers.

We love grilled chicken recipes at our house. They are fast and super tasty and perfect for busy week nights.  (See my recipe for cumin grilled chicken for a Middle Eastern flavor that is great.)

Grilling chicken on the bone makes for really moist chicken so I am choosing chicken legs for tonight’s recipe.

The dark meat of chicken in naturally juicy and always ends up fork tender when you use it. (See my baked chicken paprika drumsticks here. It’s another great dark meat recipe.)

These lemonade grilled chicken legs have the most amazing flavor. They are slow grilled on a BBQ to perfection and the meat just falls off the bone.

I wanted something that is both sweet and tangy to marinate the legs in before grilling them so I started combining ingredients in my mind, and I kept thinking about lemonade and honey and wondering how they would work.

Little did I know, then, what a wining combination it was to be!

Need a great side dish to go along with your chicken legs? Try this Southern coleslaw. The dressing is just amazing!

Fire up the BBQ, it’s time for some lemonade grilled chicken legs.

Off I went to my grocery store to get everything needed for my recipe for lemonade grilled chicken legs. While there, I found a new product for grilling, in the marinade aisle. It is KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix & Dry Rub.

This fabulous product makes it easy for anyone to customize your barbecue sauce so that it tastes just the way you like it.

And since customizing is my middle name when it comes to cooking, I just knew I had to put this into my shopping cart!

Ingredients for lemonade grilled chicken legs

As soon as I saw this mix, the marinade started coming together in my mind. I went hunting for the rest of the ingredients.

I chose Simply Lemonade®, honey mustard, honey and since I love to garden, I also brought in a bunch of home grown fresh herbs when I got home.

I picked basil, oregano and thyme for the recipe. Just look at what will go into my marinade. How can this not be just a drool worthy BBQ?

The marinade is super easy to make.  First, I chopped my fresh herbs and garlic.

I love using home grown herbs in just about everything I cook.  I grow fresh herbs on my deck so that I have them to use most of the year.

I’ve even been known to clip some rosemary and fresh thyme in the winter with snow on the ground.  Some herbs are just plain hardy!

chopped fresh herbs and garlic

Next, I combined the Simply Lemonade, onion flakes, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey in a medium sized bowl and mixed it well to combine all the flavors.

This fabulous mixture plus the chopped herbs and garlic just get mixed together.  Then, for the star of the marinade, in goes the BBQ Sauce Mix & Dry Rub.

This mix thickens the mixture to the consistency of bottled sauce, with just a few stirs, and it tastes A-MAZ-ING.  I really mean it –  best BBQ sauce ever!

I love that I can switch it around next time I barbecue to add different flavors.

Instead of having a bunch of jars of BBQ sauce in my pantry, I can have just this one box and I customize it each time. What a win!!

The marinade is super easy to make and so tasty

I seasoned the chicken legs with sea salt and cracked black pepper and then poured the marinade over the top and placed them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

The longer you marinate meat, the better it will be, so you could even do this step the night before, or first thing in the morning.

Place the chicken legs in the marinade

Just before grilling, I took the chicken out of the fridge to brought them to room temperature, while I prepared the grill.

I cleaned the grill bars with a grill brush and then oiled them with some olive oil so the chicken would not stick.

TIP: Indirect heat is a good way to cook chicken legs with skin.  If you use charcoal, indirect heat means that you have hot coals on one side of the grill plate and you cook on the opposite side for slower cooking with the top closed.

This type of grilling makes the BBQ work a bit like an oven when you close the lid but still gives you great grill markings.  

Direct vs indirect heat. Indirect is best for grilling chicken legs

Don’t use charcoal?  My husband grilled the chicken legs over indirect heat on our gas grill.

He turned the burners on low and placed the chicken on the top grill bars and closed the lid.

Then he finished them off with some of the reserved BBQ sauce over the lower grills for the last few minutes.

Grilling chicken

I prepared the patio table and we sat down to a tall glass of the Simply Lemonade® while we waited for the chicken to cook.

Long slow cooking really is the key to super juicy chicken legs.  We just had to check them every 10 minutes or so.

Cooking them this way insures that they will be very juicy and the skin will not burn. Plus it gave us a chance to catch up on our day in a really relaxing way.

Patio table setting with lemonade

The lemonade grilled chicken legs have the most amazing flavor.  They have a delightful combination of both sweet and tangy tastes, and are just beautifully moist and delicious.

I served them with a big tossed salad.

And the drink?  Why, of course,  more Simply Lemonade, since what goes better with lemonade grilled chicken legs than a tall glass of icy cold lemonade that I used in the marinade?

Lemonade Grilled Chicken Legs BBQ table setting

Ready for a party in your mouth? Did into one of these super delicious lemonade grilled chicken legs. Summer has BEGUN!!

Lemonade grilled chicken legs

Are you a creative grill master?  How would you use the dry rub  on your next grilling session?   This mix is great on pork, beef, chicken or veggies, so it is very versatile.

Please let us know how you would use it in the comments below.

Yield: 6

Lemonade Grilled Chicken Legs

Lemonade grilled chicken legs

Time to combine two summer favorites into one great tasting recipe - lemonade and chicken legs! This recipe will take your grilling experience to a whole new level.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour



  • 1 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of Simply lemonade®
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 package of KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix & Dry Rub


  • 1 1/2 pounds of bone in chicken legs
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to season


  • Combine the Simply Lemonade®, balsamic vinegar, onion flakes,
  • Dijon mustard and honey in a medium sized bowl. Mix well.
  • Chop the garlic and herbs finely and add to the lemonade mixture. Stir well to combine.
  • Stir in the KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix & Dry Rub. Mix well and set aside.
  • Season the chicken legs with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Place in a baking dish and pour over most of the marinade. (reserve some for basting during cooking.)
  • Place in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour. (You can do it longer if you wish. I sometimes prepare it in the morning or even the night before and let it marinate well.)
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and bring it to room temperature while you get the grill hot.
  • Reserve the marinade to brush on later.
  • Cook the chicken over indirect heat until it is almost cooked.
  • Brush on the reserved grill sauce during the last few minutes of cooking time.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 28g

    Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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    Tuesday 9th of March 2021

    how you can make this so yummy and delicious?

    Bandas de rock en español

    Saturday 13th of February 2021

    i really need this recipe! thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!


    Saturday 12th of December 2020

    i like this recipe but can we make lemonade grilled chicken legs in air fryer?


    Saturday 12th of December 2020

    I have never tried this in an air fryer, so I cannot comment how it will turn out. The recipe was designed to be cooked on a grill, not in an oven.

    Theresa Hyatt

    Thursday 8th of October 2020

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. I really liked it.

    Foodie girl

    Friday 25th of September 2020

    awsome recipe! my family loved it

    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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