How To Make BBQ Chicken On The Grill

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Are you looking for a main dish that will really WOW this summer? I know you are! Ok, I am just assuming you are, because let’s be real, who isn’t ever really looking for that perfect meal that will impress guests?

Today I have the perfect BBQ Chicken recipe for you along with a couple of secrets to share to help make it the best.

GRILLED BBQ CHICKEN


This is one of those recipes that everyone loves. Especially when it’s done right. Dry and overcooked chicken is the worst! This BBQ Chicken recipe that’s cooked on the grill is the opposite of that.
My chicken is crispy on the outside with layers of caramelized BBQ sauce leaving you with juicy tender chicken on the inside. Is your mouth watering yet?

My first secret to share with you in taking grilled BBQ chicken to the next level is in the brining. Don’t skip this step! Take the extra fifteen minutes to brine the chicken pieces. It makes a HUGE difference. The salt in the brine tenderizes the chicken while the cornstarch coats the chicken and helps the chicken stay nice and juicy while it’s grilled.

My second secret is in the dry rub. The dry rub is full of flavor to season the chicken. Just a simple rub of salt and pepper is enough to season the chicken. It’s simple and a step that should not be skipped! 

Follow my step-by-step instructions below and this Grilled Barbecue Chicken will quickly become your favorite meal this grilling season!
A close up picture of grilled BBQ chicken on the grill.
Chicken needs to be at an internal temperature of 165° to be done cooking. With my Grilled BBQ chicken recipe, this takes around 50 minutes.

DO YOU PUT BBQ SAUCE ON CHICKEN BEFORE GRILLING?

You do not want to put sauce on the chicken before grilling because the sauce will only last a few minutes in the heat before it starts to burn. It’s best to put the sauce on right after it is cooked or right before it is done cooking. This will ensure that you get crispy, well-seasoned skin with the sticky, caramelized sauce on top.

DO YOU GRILL CHICKEN WITH THE LID OPEN OR CLOSED?

Grill with the lid closed. This will keep the temperature of the grill high and even. This is also a great practice for thicker cuts of meat such as steak and chicken breasts, too. 
A close up picture of a piece of grilled BBQ chicken being held with a hand.

HOW TO MAKE GRILLED BBQ CHICKEN:

  1. First, brine the chicken. 
  2. Next, prep the chicken by rubbing the dry rub all over each chicken piece.
  3. Then, prep the grill.
  4. Finally, cook the chicken, douse with a healthy dose of BBQ sauce, and enjoy! 
 

HOW MUCH WILL THIS RECIPE COST TO MAKE? 

RECIPE COST: $8.29
COST PER SERVING: $1.38
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch – $0.06
  • 3 cups barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s) – $2.16
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt – $0.03
  • 1 teaspoon pepper – $0.07
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks) – $5.97
Close up picture of a piece of grilled BBQ chicken on a piece of parchment paper.
 
 

Grilled BBQ Chicken

This Grilled BBQ Chicken recipe is the best ever! It’s easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Plus it costs just $1.38 per serving to make!
 
5 from 2 votes
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, grilling recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
BRINING AND COOLING TIME:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 589kcal
Author: Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!

Ingredients

BRINE:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

CHICKEN:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed and breasts halved

BBQ SAUCE:

  • 3 cups barbecue sauce I used Sweet Baby Ray’s
 

Instructions

BRINE CHICKEN:

  • In a large bowl combine water, salt, and corn starch. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour.

PREP THE GAS GRILL:

  • While the chicken brines, preheat the grill. Turn the gas grill on HIGH and close the lid. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes before putting the chicken on.
  • Scrape and oil the grill grates. Turn off all of the burners except for the main burner, keep that one on HIGH.

PREP THE CHICKEN:

  • Remove the chicken from the brine and place the chicken on a clean cutting board. Quickly dry chicken with pieces of paper towel.
  • In a small bowl combine the salt and pepper. Rub the salt and pepper over all sides of the chicken.

COOK CHICKEN:

  • Place the chicken on the cooler side of the grill and cover.
    Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken on the part of the grill with the burners that are off.
  • Cook for 30-34 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown.
  • Position the chicken in a single line close to the main burner that is still on. Brush with BBQ sauce, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken, brush with BBQ sauce, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush chicken with BBQ two more times.
    After 30 minutes of cooking on the grill, move the chicken to next to the burner that's on and brush with BBQ sauce.
  • At this point, the chicken should be crusted with the BBQ sauce and the internal temperature of the breasts should read 165 degrees F. The internal temperature of the drumsticks, thighs, and legs should read 175 degrees F. If the meat doesn’t register these temperatures then close the grill and cook 5 more minutes.
  • Move chicken to a serving dish and tent with foil for 5 minutes. Serve.
    Overhead picture of the finished grilled BBQ chicken on a white plate.

Notes

  • If you like your grilled BBQ chicken to have a little kick to it, then add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the salt and pepper mixture that is rubbed onto the chicken. 
  • This chicken shouldn't stay out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature. 
  • Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 4298mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 536IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

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