Turkey Drumsticks Slathered with Barbecue Sauce

There’s really no better way to eat one of these big clubs of dark, flavorful turkey than to clinch it with a tight fist and tear the meat with your teeth. The secret to preparing juicy turkey drumsticks on the grill is to baste them with a low-sugar sauce such as the one offered here. If you use a sweeter sauce, baste only during the last 15 minutes to avoid burning the drumsticks.


  • vegetable oil for brushing the cooking grate
  • 4 turkey drumsticks, about 1 pound each

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper



In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red wine, ketchup, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sage, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Lightly brush the cooking grate with vegetable oil. Lightly coat the turkey drumsticks with the barbecue sauce. Grill the drumsticks indirectly over medium heat, turning and basting with the barbecue sauce every 30 minutes, until the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 180 degrees F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve warm.


A lightly chilled and fruity red wine is a good match: a rustic Beaujolais-Villages or its New-World equivalent, Gamay Beaujolais.


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