Smith’s Chef Jeff Jackson’s recipe for root beer grilled chicken legs

Sep 3, 2021, 2:24 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 1:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re planning to do some grilling over the long weekend Smith’s Chef Jeff Jackson has a recipe you can try.

He’s showing us a twist on grilled chicken, and it involves your favorite root beer.

Root beer grilled chicken legs

Ingredients for the chicken

  • 3 lb. package chicken drumsticks
  • ¼ c. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 1 c. favorite root beer
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • ¼ c. orange juice
  • ¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Make the sauce by adding its ingredients to a pot and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and turn the heat to low.  Cook 5 minutes and remove from the heat.  Place the sauce in a container or jar that has a lid.  The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the drumsticks and toss to evenly coat the chicken with the seasoning.
  3. Preheat your grill to high heat. Grill the legs for 3 minutes per side then turn the heat to medium heat.  Continue to cook the legs for another 15 minutes turning every 5 minutes.
  4. Brush all sides of the legs with the root beer sauce and cook another 5 minutes. Brush the legs one more time and remove to a serving platter.  Serve hot with more sauce as desired. Enjoy!

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Smith’s Chef Jeff Jackson’s recipe for root beer grilled chicken legs