HOT LEGS!!! Brine/Cure & Dry Rub Recipes w/Q-view in Gourmet

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Smoking Guru
Original poster
OTBS Member
Aug 27, 2008
Hey all! Been a little while since I had a nice smoke..maybe Christmas Day, but I had some time after work today to toss this one together. So, in respect to fair play, I thought I'd share another round of fun with another debut smoke!


4lbs chicken legs

1 Tbls cayenne pepper

2 Tbls red bell pepper powder

2 Tbls jalapeno powder

1 Tbls ground black peppercorn

1 Tbls garlic powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground oregano

3/4 cup tender quick cure

6 cups cold water

2 cups ice cubes, add ice as needed to keep chilled, or refrigerate.

Mix all dry ingredients with 4 cups water in 4qt saucepan and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Add brine/cure solution to 2 cups water and 4 (edit) 2 cups ice cubes and mix. Add chicken legs.

Allow to brine/cure for 4 hours.

Rinse with cold fresh water, apply dry rub and smoke or grill.

I used this rub awhile back (maybe 6 weeks or so) and it was so darn good on wings, I had to try it on these legs. 

(previously released)


1/2 Tbls freshly powdered Black Pepper Corn

1/2 Tbls minced dried garlic, freshly powdered

1 tsp freshly powdered Onion

2 Tbls kosher salt

1 tsp sweet basil leaves, ground

1 tsp oregano, ground

1 Tbls ancho chili, freshly powdered (sub w/reg chili powder if desired)

2 tsp cayenne pepper powder

2 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Brining in a 5-gal food grade bucket...flash is on here:


and no flash:


Starting to apply the dry rub:


They got a pretty good dose here, so it should be packed with spicy flavor and a good bit of heat as well.


Into the Brinkmann Gourmet for a ride with some hickory...I normally would not use such a strong smoke for poultry, but I want some snappier smoke flavor to go along with all the goodness in the brine/cure and dry rub should be a great way to top off all those flavors. I also have some beef ribeyes to hit the upper grate in a couple minutes, so the chix legs, being they need a bit more heat and time to finish, will ride closer to the dry water pan on wire hangers 4" below the upper grate where it's about 30* hotter:


Smoke is on @ 180* for the first 30 minutes with about 3lbs of briqs, and I've since added 2lbs of briqs to bring it up to the 250* range.

Finish and brine/cure/rub review to follow!

Thanks all!

Last edited:
I bet thats gonna pack a punch,sounds like it would i like the idea of going with a stronger smoke with it.
Yeah, buddy! I had my daughters boy-friend chugging 2-16oz cups of ice milk after eating just one leg...and he's a self-proclaimed hot-wing fanatic. I think he'll think twice about my "hot" wings/legs/etc...LOL!!!!!

The hiclory seemed to be the perfect smoke for this brine/cure and dry rub combination, btw. I really liked the whole flavor mixture. My wife was warned not to even think about touching these bad boys...she's a wuss when it comes to spicy/hot. 

Now that looks good!  Can't wait for the finished Q-View!
Here ya go!

2 hours total smoke time...grate temps were running a touch lower than I wanted @ ~235* or so, but when I pulled out the upper grate loaded with ribeye steaks, I choked back my lower/central intake control from full open to about 40% just before going inside to enjoy some ribeye...ate 1/2 a steak as a appetizer for the hot legs, grabbed a platter and headed back out to find 280* grate temps, which worked out fine, though. I pulled these @ 170* I/T, and had to remind everyone that these are cured, so if the meat was pink was OK, but if the juices next to the bone were pink to pop 'em in the nukifier for about 20-30 seconds depending on size. Had a couple which were just a tad behind the rest on done-ness, but out of 13 legs only 2 or 3 were "iffy".

We're about 1-hr 50-min into the smoke here and I checked the two largest at this point with a direct read thermometer for a 165* I/T:



A bit of beef steak drippings from the ribeyes on the above grate on a leg here and there as you can see dead-center of this pic:








YEEEEEEEEEEEE-----(pant, pant, pant)-------HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these legs!

The TQ give the legs that chewier texture and keeps the pink coloring of the meat, but I think it also carries the flavors of the brine spices into the meat much quicker than salt alone.

Anyway, I may have found a way to stimulate the dairy industry a bit...everyone except my oldest daughter and myself were saying "too hot, great taste, but too hot". So, I guess I've finally gotten them all to eat something I've smoked which was hot enough to get a really good gauge on all of their heat tollerances, if nothing else.

I will say, if you like heat, this won't pull you to much an adrenaline high like eating a fresh habanero of course, but it may build some sweat on your brow. For a great eating piece of chicken with some punch to back up all the other great flavor, this'll do the job. If you're wooried about the bitterness of the cayenne, I didn't really notice it here at all, but part of that is my trick with the cinnamom in the dry has just a touch of sweet/spiciness in the background which gives the cayenne a bit of smoothing over. The overall flavor profile is just a bit off from a normal poultry seasoning, but with the hickory and heat, it's a winner.

This one's staying in my recipe collection for sure!

Enjoy, my smokin' brothers & sisters!!!!


Now those are some mighty fine looking legs ther Eric.
wasnt that a zz top song?
LOL!!!!! Actually, it was Rod Stewart...not a big fan of his, but grew up hearing his tunes often enough to know quite a few...

They have me drooling!!! man..wish i were there!! great looking legs
Thanks! Well, I guess there's only one thing for you to do...get some brine mixed up and fire up that smoker! He-he!


Now those are some mighty fine looking legs ther Eric.
Thanks Mark!
Oh man do those look good. Im hankering to try a really good rub on some chicken. I might have to give your rub a whirl.
Man those look great. I am a chili head too and those really sound good. How long does it take you to dehydrate the peppers so they can be ground into powder?
Man those look great. I am a chili head too and those really sound good. How long does it take you to dehydrate the peppers so they can be ground into powder?
Thanks, I haven't gotten a dehydrator just yet, but I'll be ordering one in a few more weeks. We buy 1/2lb bags of dried peppers & Jalapenos, but I'll be ready for drying this spring long before the pepper season starts. I want to dry and powder some habaneros, and work my way down to the milder peppers and chilies.
Oh man do those look good. Im hankering to try a really good rub on some chicken. I might have to give your rub a whirl.
Thanks, hey, I just had another leg for a snack when I got home from work and finished clearing snow from the driveway a few minutes's still got plenty of kick the next day!

I forgot to mention this last night, but I wasn't sure how well the red bell pepper would fit into this brine/cure recipe. It seems to have added a great balance to the cayenne pepper, along with the touch of cinnamon. I can't go wrong with red bell pepper's a great alternative to paprika, adding not only color, but tons of depth to the overall flavor profile of a spice blend.

Anyway, it had a few kids in our house heading to the fridge for some milk to put the fire out...I just sat back and snickered while my oldest daughter (who also is a heat freak) and I exchanged glances and smiled. It's not like I didn't warn 'em!!! LOL!!!

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