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Test Kitchen Approved

Black Smoke Chicken

Recipe By Developed in collaboration with Adrian Miller

Prep Time

2 Hours 15 Minutes

Cooking Time

45 Minutes

Recipe By Developed in collaboration with Adrian Miller

A brown sugar brine makes every bite of these easy, smoked chicken legs juicy and dripping with flavor.

Recipe Notes

This recipe features an exclusive spice from our Black Smoke Spice Set, developed in collaboration with Adrian Miller along with the release of his book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. 

Special equipment: Smoker


½ cups brown sugar, packed

2 cups water

2 cups ice

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters

¼ cups vegetable oil

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Mayan Sea Salt

    Mayan Sea Salt has a clean appearance and flavor but is also an interesting tie to the ancient Mayan way of life. This sea salt was harvested off t...

    View full details
  • Black Smoke Spice Set

    Savory Spice is proud to partner with James Beard award-winning author Adrian Miller on a collection of regional African American barbecue seasonin...

    View full details


In a medium pot, dissolve brown sugar and salt in water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and add ice, stirring until melted. Pour mixture into a medium bowl and add chicken leg quarters, submerging them in the brine. Chill for 2 to 3 hours up to overnight. Preheat smoker to 300 degrees. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Rub chicken all over with oil and coat with Black Smoke Seasoning. Smoke chicken for 40 to 50 min. until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.