Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs Recipe

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It seems I’ve been on an Asian food kick lately. I have to admit, the flavors used in Asian cooking really just make my pallet happy.

I honestly could eat Korean food, Thai or some of the other Asian cuisines every single day and never get board. I’d also probably be 300 pounds because noodles and rice make all meals better.

But every now and then I come across a dish that can shine without the rice and noodles like this Thai Salad and these Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs.

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

The hunt for Korean BBQ

Korean Barbecue has been a thing for several years in the United States but with our move to the farm, it’s been difficult to find. My husband and I both agreed that we need to make more of these dishes at home since the chances of find a restaurant we love in Grand Rapids is slim.

Traditionally, Korean barbecue refers to a popular way of grilling marinated meat, which usually includes charcoal or gas grills that have been built-in to the dining table at a restaurant. However, most people don’t have that luxury at home.

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

Multiple ways to cook it

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can cook it in the oven or on the grill. That makes it perfect for year-round dinners and celebrations. I cooked these in the oven because we were making them on a cool night this week. (We’ve had so many of those. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature it’s the end of May!)

You can cook them on the grill though for your Memorial Day, Labor Day and other summer celebrations. Or, you can also make them on a stovetop grill inside if you have one.

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

A new family favorite recipe

I think it’s safe to say that these Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs are a new family favorite. The combinations of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger and more give these chicken legs a flavor that will satisfy your Korean cravings. The barbecue sauce is just loaded with flavor.

This will be a dish that’s requested over and over again.

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

We ate these with some cauliflower rice, but you can also use regular rice or serve them up with some ramen too. In an effort not to be 300 pounds, I often will go for the cauliflower rice. As for a vegetable, you can sauté some orange bell peppers or just eat them raw with the chicken like we did. Bok Choy also makes a really nice compliment to the dish as does kale for some leafy greens.

Also, if you’re not into chicken on the bone, you can also use boneless chicken breasts for this recipe. Try it with pork or beef too!

Grab the full recipe below and make it this weekend! For more main dish recipes, click here. For more grill recipes, click here.

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

Korean Barbecue Chicken Leg Tips:

  • If you’re going to cook these on the grill, cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes. Make sure your chicken is fully cooked and rotate halfway through.
  • Add sauce at the beginning and when you flip but make sure to reserve some for serving. If you want extra sauce you can double the recipe.
  • I like to use a zester to get my pieces of fresh ginger really small and almost pureed.Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs

Korean BBQ Chicken Legs

These Korean BBQ Chicken Legs will become a fast favorite. They are packed with flavor that will satisfy cravings. 
4.81 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Korean barbecue, Korean barbecue chicken, korean bbq, Korean bbq chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Author: Rachel Quenzer


  • 9 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp. of ginger, ground or fresh
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, white bottoms separated from green tops
  • Extra sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to grease the pan You can also use sesame oil but I always feel that olive oil has the most neutral taste.
  • Optional: Sriracha if you like it spicy


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you want to cook these on the grill preheat your grill to medium. 
  • On the stove top, whisk together cornstarch and sesame oil. Heat until it starts to bubble.
  • The turn down the heat and add the honey, soy, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Heat on low for about five minutes. 
  • Add the bottoms of the green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds and cook for a few more minutes. 
  • Turn burner off and prep your baking plan. Sauce will thicken as it stands. 
  • Use the olive oil to wipe down the the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure each part is covered. Then add chicken legs. 
  • Divide your barbecue sauce. Use half of the sauce to coat the chicken legs and reserve the other half for serving. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes. 
  • Garnish with the tops of the green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 

Korean Barbecue Chicken Legs


  1. 5 stars
    My family would love this! I think I have everything on hand to make this recipe. Can’t wait to add it to my menu plan.

  2. Those look amazing! I have got to try this. I can see my family would really love this as well, especially my husband.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this idea! I usually use the Korean BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s (which is great) but have been wondering about making my own and subbing out corn starch with tapioca starch or rice flour (probably tapioca). Do you happen know how long the sauce would last in the fridge if I made a larger batch? I would suspect you usually use all each time you make this great recipe, but figured I would check:-)

  4. 5 stars
    Omg Korean bbq is my favorite. I usually go a couple times a week to purchase some but now I know how to make it at home

  5. Could you please wait till you have actually cooked this before commenting!?!?
    What a waste of time all those comments!

    • Yes, I followed the directions and put the chicken on the oven, only to find the vinegar sitting on the counter. It was left out of the directions. I halfed the vinegar and added it to the leftover sauce and simmered. I put that new sauce on after the chicken was done cooking.

  6. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and they turned out fabulous! I’m not sure where the vinegar was supposed to go but the recipe wasn’t lacking at all. I baked the legs in the oven until they were mostly done and then put them on the grill to crisp up the skin. I brushed them while on the grill with the extra bbq sauce and they tasted amazing!! My whole family gave them a thumbs up including my 5 year old!!

  7. A reminder for you to put your vinegar in your instructions. I missed the vinegar by reading the instructions, instead of reading the list and figuring out where to put the vinegar. Also, could you put your ingredients in the order that they show up? I think that also contributed to my mistake. I’m not a novice cook either.

  8. I’m sorry. I am making this recipe and in the ingredients it calls for rice vinegar but I do not see anywhere in the directions to use it. What is it’s purpose?

  9. 5 stars
    For everyone asking what to do with the rice vinegar because it doesn’t tell you what to do with it, I added it to the sauce because it balances out the sweet and salty. thank me later 😉

  10. You forgot to add the vinegar to the recipe. It would also be really helpful to put the ingredients in order of when they are used.

  11. I made this and added the vinegar to the sauce but the sauce never thickened up enough to put on the chicken legs. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  12. 5 stars
    Excellent flavor – no expensive or difficult to find ingredients. Great with broccoli and Farro or rice and enough sauce to enjoy on everything.

  13. 5 stars
    Excellent flavor and quick to prepare without needing to search stores for exotic ingredients. Have shared this several friends and family.


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