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Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

If you’re looking for a mouth-watering chicken recipe that’s perfect for grilling season, look no further than Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs. This recipe features juicy and tender chicken legs that are butterflied and seasoned with a homemade rub before being grilled on our Traeger pellet grill.

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs Recipe

In this post, we’ll show you how to butterfly your chicken legs, how to prepare the rub, and how to cook the chicken legs on a Traeger grill for the ultimate charred and crispy exterior and moist and flavorful interior. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or a family dinner, this Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.

Why butterfly chicken legs?

Butterflying chicken legs has so many benefits. The chicken cooks more evenly. The meat near the bone finishes cooking at the same time as the rest of the meat, so nothing dries out. The skin also gets nice and crispy because it is all on the same side after butterflying the leg. One of the best benefits though is that by butterflying the leg, you expose the middle of the meat. That means you can SEASON the middle of the meat. More seasoning on more surface area of the meat means more flavor, and we can all get behind that.

How to butterfly chicken legs like a pro

  1. First, make sure you have a SHARP knife. The sharper the better. You can do it with a less-than-sharp knife but it won’t be pretty and it won’t be fun. My favorite knife for this is down in the recipe card. Get one, and get another for someone you love!
  2. Slice down the length of the chicken leg all the way down to the bone.
  3. Pull the two sides apart a bit, and then carefully make a slice along each side of the bone. You’re kind of giving your chicken leg wings.
  4. That’s it! Easy stuff.
Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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  • chicken legs
  • avocado oil
  • salt & pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
Alabama White Sauce

How to make Butterflied Chicken Legs on the Traeger

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



Fire up that grill and get it hot hot hot! We’re shooting for 400°F. Give it time to get up there.



Butterfly the chicken legs. Repeat until they are all butterflied. Brush lightly with oil on both sides.

Mix together the rub and sprinkle evenly over all of the chicken legs.



Put the chicken legs skin-side down on the grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes and then flip.

Cook another 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temp reaches 165°F and the skin has reached your desired level of crispiness.



Remove from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.



Get out your freshly made batch of our homemade Alabama White Sauce to serve these with, or our Homemade Cherry Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce!

Our Grilled Asparagus would make an awesome side!

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs FAQ

Can you use a different type of rub?

Yes! Use whatever your favorite type of chicken rub is if you don’t want to use the seasonings called for here. This recipe is solid and can be adjusted a million different ways to suit your fancy at this particular moment.

Can you use a different type of grill?

Sure! If you don’t have a Traeger, you can also use a stick burner, a charcoal, or a gas grill too. You can even bake these in the oven or in the air fryer!

What are some other good sauces to use?

My homemade Old Bay Buffalo Sauce paired with our Bleu Cheese Dressing would be great. So would my Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce. All good options!

Get all of my Traeger Recipes here!

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Reader Reviews!

“Tried these last night.  I don’t like really spicy foods, but these were great.  I made them without the 5-spice powder because I didn’t have any, and they were great!”

– Pam (via email)

More great chicken recipes to love!

Yield: 8 servings

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Traeger Butterflied Chicken Legs

Chicken legs have never tasted better! We call these "poor man's chicken wings" because they have all the flavor and crunch of wings, but are so much less expensive!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 pounds chicken legs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Preheat your grill to 400°F.
  1. Butterfly your chicken legs, one by one. Follow the instructions below.
  2. Lay the chicken leg flat on a cutting board with the skin side down.
  3. Use a sharp knife to make a cut along the length of the leg on one side of the bone, starting at the top of the leg near the joint and continuing down to the bottom.
  4. Pull the bone slightly away from the meat and use the tip of your knife to cut along the bone on the other side, being careful not to cut all the way through the meat.
  5. Flip the leg over and use your fingers to gently loosen the meat from the bone, working your way down the length of the leg. Be careful not to tear the skin.
  6. Once the meat has been loosened from the bone, use your fingers to flatten the meat out on the cutting board, with the bone in the center.
  7. Mix together all of the rub ingredients and rub both sides of all of the legs.
  8. Place on the grill, skin-side down, for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Flip the legs over so the skin side is up and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  10. Temp the legs to make sure that all parts of the meat are at least 165°F.
  11. Remove from the grill and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 431mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 41g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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