Start to finish: 40 minutes plus 30-60 minutes brining
1/2 cup salt
5 pounds chicken drumsticks
1 recipe spice rub (recipes follow)
Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge drumsticks in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Place spice rub on plate. Remove drumsticks from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Holding 1 drumstick by bone end, press lightly into rub on all sides. Pat gently to remove excess rub. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.
For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature between 325 F and 350 F.)
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place drumsticks, skin side down, on cooler side of grill. Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Rearrange pieces so that drumsticks that were closest to edge are now closer to heat source and vice versa. Cover and cook until drumsticks register 185 F to 190 F, 20 to 30 minutes.
Move all drumsticks to hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Barbecue Spice Rub
Makes about 1/3 cup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder (You can substitute granulated garlic for the garlic powder, if desired)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in small bowl.
Jerk-Style Spice Rub
Makes about 1/4 cup
If you can’t find whole allspice berries, substitute 2 teaspoons of ground allspice.
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1½teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Grind allspice, peppercorns, and thyme in spice grinder or mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer to bowl and stir in sugar, garlic powder, mustard, salt, and cayenne.