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Smoked Chicken Quarters Recipe

Smoked chicken quarters are a delicious meal for the whole family. My wife, kids, and I love preparing this meal together on a nice day and sitting out in our back yard to spend time in the nice weather.

smoked chicken quarters

My wife of fifteen years passed this recipe on to me from her late father, who used to make it for the family barbecues every summer. We memorialize him by fixing his chicken quarters at least once a month. It is a delicious tradition, to be sure. I hope to share it with you so you can create traditions of your own!

How To Make Smoked Chicken Quarters

In summary, my smoked chicken quarters recipe starts with a simple but delicious spice rub which consists of coffee, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, light brown sugar, ground black pepper, and salt. Season the chicken generously with the rub and smoked at 275F for about an hour a half. 

For bonus tips and exact measurements of ingredients, scroll down below to the recipe section!

How Long Do Chicken Quarters Take To Smoke?

Generally, we smoke our chicken quarters for about an hour and a half, but I have heard that some smoke them for only one hour or as many as two hours. It’s really a matter of preference. Just make sure you do not undercook or burn them! We have found that an hour and a half is the perfect middle ground.

Looking for more smoked chicken recipes? Try my smoked chicken breast or fan favorite smoked chicken thighs recipe. You can also go for smoked whole chicken, chili lime smoked chicken, or smoked pulled chicken recipe.

smoked chicken quarters rub recipe

What Type Of Wood Is Best for Smoking Chicken?

Chicken generally pairs well with fruit woods, because the sweeter undertones complement their flavors well, but again it is a matter of preference. You also need to take into account what you will be seasoning them with. Personally, I like to use either applewood or cherry wood. Friends of mine have mentioned using peach wood as well, which is another good option. If you don’t like fruit woods, you can always go with a time-honored favorite, hickory.

How Do You Make Smoked Chicken Skin Crispy?

My father in law shared this trick with me before he passed, and I’ve never strayed from it. After he smoked chicken, he told me to always broil it for a few minutes in the oven to give it a satisfying crisp. Works every time!

smoked chicken quarters recipe

What Makes A Good Chicken Leg Quarter Recipe

In my opinion, any recipe that came from my wife’s father was a good one. He was a brilliant and dedicated cook and father, and I hope I have at least partially lived up to his success in the home and the kitchen. This recipe stands out as a wonderful chicken leg quarter recipe because of the top quality of the ingredients my father in law picked out, and the perfect amount of time during which it is cooked.

An hour and a half is simply the perfect middle ground for this type of smoked chicken, and I just can’t get enough of it. The coffee rub he always used also brings out the decadent smoky flavors of the chicken and gives it a hidden touch that many don’t incorporate in their smoked meats. We call it our little family secret.

To make it short, the best part of any recipe is the time and the heart put into it, and that is exactly what makes this recipe great. The perfectly calculated amount of smoking time and that secret touch from the coffee rub just meld this beautiful recipe into a whole, delightful dish.

Now, let’s get down to business and cook this delicious meal!

smoked chicken leg quarters

Smoked Chicken Quarters

Delicious smoked chicken leg quarters recipe

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 pieces Chicken Leg Quarters

Coffee Rub:

  • 1/4 cup Coffee Rub
  • 3 tbsp Paprika
  • 3 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Salt


  1. Make sure your smoker is properly preheated to exactly 275F.

  2. Toss the coffee rub ingredients into your favorite mixing bowl together until they are well-combined.

  3. Rub the coffee rub generously onto each chicken leg quarter in order to season it well.

  4. Place the chicken onto the smoker, giving each piece enough room for proper heating on all sides.

  5. Allow the chicken to remain in the cooker for about one and a half hours so it will be cooked through to perfection for safe and scrumptious eating.

  6. Check the internal temperature of the chicken and make sure it has reached at least 165F so that it is safe to eat.

  7. Serve it up to the whole family, and enjoy!

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