Sweet and Sticky Sriracha Drumsticks

These sweet and sticky Sriracha drumsticks are made with grilled chicken legs slathered with a mix of apricot jam, hot sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Slightly lip-tinglingly spicy. Thoroughly irresistible.

Square plate of a pile of grilled sweet and sticky sriracha drumsticks and grilled scallions

Slightly sweet. Slightly sticky. Slightly spicy. Thoroughly irresistible. That’s what we think of these sweet and sticky Sriracha drumsticks. We also think we can’t quite get enough of that sweetly sour glaze. So much so, in fact, that we’ve been making a double batch and also slathering it on bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and bone-in pork chops during the last few minutes of grilling  every chance we get. We’ve not been disappointed.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Sweet and Sticky Sriracha Drumsticks

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Scrape the grill rack clean and lightly oil it using long-handled tongs and a wad of paper towels lightly coated with oil.

In a small bowl, stir together the jam, Sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Thinly slice 1 scallion and stir it into the sauce. Set aside at room temperature.

In a large bowl or roasting pan, drizzle the drumsticks with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Arrange the drumsticks on the grill rack over direct heat and cook, turning every 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is golden on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of a leg away from the bone registers 165°F (74°C), 30 to 45 minutes total. After about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how quickly your chicken is cooking, generously and repeatedly brush the chicken with the jam mixture and transfer the chicken to indirect heat. Plonk the drumsticks on a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, toss the whole scallions with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the onions on the grill rack (perpendicular to the rack, natch, so they don’t slip through) and cook until nicely grill-marked on the first side, 1 to 2 minutes. (You’ll have to use tongs to peek at the underside of one scallion.) Carefully turn the scallions and cook for 1 minute longer. 

Transfer the scallions to the platter with the chicken and serve right away. Originally published May 22, 2015.

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    How to Make Sweet and Sticky Sriracha Drumsticks in the Oven

    • If you don’t have a grill (or if you do but sliding a baking sheet in the oven is simply more your jam), we’ve got you covered. Slick a rimmed baking sheet with a little oil or line it with foil. In a large bowl, stir together the jam, Sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Thinly slice 1 scallion and stir it into the sauce. Season the sauce well with salt and pepper, and toss the drumsticks in the sauce. Place the bowl, covered, in the fridge and let the drumsticks marinate for a couple hours (or as long as you can stand to wait). Place the drumsticks on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 375°F (190°C). Plonk the drumsticks on a platter. Omit the remaining scallions from the recipe or char them in a dry skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat during the final moments the chicken is in the oven. Transfer to the platter with the chicken and serve right away.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I wish I'd had this Sriracha drumsticks recipe for Super Bowl weekend! These drumsticks are delicious and the sweet-spicy combination of the sticky Sriracha sauce makes it delicious on wings and thighs as well as drumsticks. I've grilled lots of vegetables but never scallions. I've added these to my rotation—absolutely delicious.

    How many servings? Hmmmm, let me think about this. 1? Just kidding. I would say 3 or maybe 4 if you have a lot of other food. These are delicious enough that if your serving size is 1 drumstick, your guests or family are going to look to you for the second batch. I'd add thighs and wings to the batch and double the sauce, it's that good.

    I spent about 10 minutes getting everything together and letting the grill warm up. Keep in mind that you don't use the sauce immediately; you use only oil, salt, and pepper right away; otherwise, I'm certain that the apricot jam would burn. My drumsticks were done cooking at about the 22-minute mark, so I turned the heat way down and kept basting them with the sauce. I would suggest checking the internal temperature, though, as our drumsticks in Hawaii seemed to be much smaller than the ones I've seen elsewhere.

    YUM! These Sriracha drumsticks were delicious! Sticky, spicy, subtly sweet. We were left licking our fingers and wanting more.

    I had a mixture of smaller and larger drumsticks, and I found that the larger ones didn't scorch as easily as the smaller ones once the sauce was added. I had the rear burners off, and I found that moving the smaller chicken pieces to the back after brushing them with the sauce, essentially finishing them with indirect heat, really helped to slow the burning.


    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. Sometimes I’ll read a recipe and be compelled to try it strictly out of curiosity. Other times I’ll want to try it because I hope, just really HOPE, that it tastes like it does in my imagination. This recipe fit the bill on both counts.

      The ingredients for this recipe were readily available and the instructions were easy to follow. Prep time was an easy 10 minutes, including cleaning the chicken drumsticks. The only modifications I would make, if you can call them that, would be to leave the black pepper out (the glaze doesn’t need it with the nice heat from the Sriracha sauce) and to watch the temperature on your grill closely as medium–high on my gas grill may vary from the medium-high on your gas grill.

      As it turned out, we needed to let the chicken cook closer to 40 minutes, 20 of which included the sauce already being on the drumsticks. It ended up making the sauce even richer and thicker, so we would repeat that in the future. We lost a couple scallions inside the grill because of the difficulty of turning small skinny objects, but that was our dumb luck. Next time we will just grill some extras. Yum!

    2. Overall the flavor was quite good. Strongly recommended for someone nervous about Sriracha’s heat. The sauce was the winner in the recipe in that the heat and sweet were quite well balanced by the fish sauce and the soy.

      At first, I felt that the 1 cup jam would make the dish too sweet, but it wasn’t at all. I think 2 to 3 cloves garlic wouldn’t hurt the flavor and tone of the sauce, but other than that, the flavor was spot-on.

      The sauce made plenty to coat 10 legs with reserved glaze for dinner dipping. You could do a dozen legs with the amount. I coated each side of the drumsticks twice with pretty good plops of glaze and still had 1/3 to 1/4 cup leftover. One recommendation is to heat the jam in the microwave to break it down for a more consistent texture. Would recommend reserving 3 tablespoons per person to serve on the side for dipping for those who want a bit extra flavor.

    3. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for some time now and last night I finally caved and made it. My reason for waiting so long was because I was worried I wouldn’t like them and then I’d have wasted my delicious apricot jelly!

      They were delicious. Even my 13 year old loved them. I couldn’t grill, so instead I marinated them in the sauce for a few hours and then popped them into the oven on 375 for 45 minutes. Perfection! The only thing I will do differently next time is to place them on a foil lined pan instead of in a glass dish so they crisp up a little better.

      1. Jessica, so glad you liked these! And thanks for the info about oven roasting. As we come into the colder months, your suggestion gives readers a chance to make these without standing in front of a grill shivering.

    4. I adapted this recipe to ingredients I had on hand. I substituted Bacon Marmalade for the Apricot Jam and a Costco Roasted Chicken cut into serving pieces for the drumsticks called for in the recipe.

      After making the sauce, I liberally basted the chicken pieces with the sauce and popped it into a pre-heated 375 F oven for 18 minutes.

      It was delicious! Thank you for the recipe inspiration 🙂

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