Cola hot legs – recipe

Inspired by one of my favourite recipes from the Hang Fire Cook Book, these cola hot legs have a sweet, spicy, caffeinated and addictive flavour. Perfect for smoking, but can also be grilled or oven baked.
My eat of the week


  • 12-15 chicken legs (can also use wings or thighs)
  • groundnut oil

Cola brine

  • 2 cans of cola
  • 3 tbsp of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

For the rub

  • 100g of Yardbird Rub (3 tbsp fine sea salt, 3 tbsp garlic, 3 tbsp paprika, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp dried rosemary, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp mustard powder, 2 tbsp black pepper, 2 tbsp celery salt, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp turmeric – all mixed together)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the cola barbecue sauce

  • 1 can of cola
  • 300g ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 6 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

How to cook

Mix all of the ingredients for the cola brine together in a bowl and add the chicken legs, making sure they’re well covered. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge to marinate for 3-5 hours.

Once marinated, chuck away the liquid and pat the legs dry with kitchen towel. Mix the Yardbird Rub together and add cayenne pepper. Rub the legs with groundnut oil and then cover liberally with the Yardbird Rub.

Set up your smoker for indirect heat, add your wood and as soon as it starts to smoke put the wings on the grate and cook for 45 minutes. If you’re using an oven, heat the temperature to around 150 C and cook for the same amount of time.

Now make the cola barbecue sauce by whisking the ingredient together in a saucepan over a high heat until it comes to the boil. Then reduce to a simmer and stir every so often for 20 minutes. Then pop in a jar or other container and put in the fridge to cool.

Once the wings have finished their 45 minutes, brush them with the cola sauce, close the lid and allow them to glaze for 10-15 minutes.

You can use the rest of the sauce for dipping!

One response to “Cola hot legs – recipe

  1. Pingback: An American-style barbecue with the Hang Fire Cook Book and our new smoker | Eat weekly - a Cardiff food blog·

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