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posted February 05, 2024

BBQ Chicken on the Grill

Tender, juicy chicken perfectly grilled and drizzled with tangy BBQ sauce, make my BBQ Chicken in less than an hour. With just 4 simple steps and 3 easy ingredients, this recipe is perfect when you want a delicious meal without the fuss.

BBQ chicken on cutting board drizzled with sauce. Text reads "BBQ Chicken on the Grill".

BBQ Chicken on the Grill

With my easy BBQ Chicken recipe, you can make finger-licking, delicious bbq chicken that’s moist and juicy in just 4 simple, easy-to-follow steps. You’ll learn how to select tender chicken you know will turn out amazing, and how to season it to perfection. I’ll also explain how and when to add that thick, sweet BBQ sauce to your smoky chicken to give it a tangy, sticky finish.

The key to getting that thick, rich sauce, that slight pop of crispy skin, and that tender, bite-through bite of juicy meat all comes down to the right cooking time. I’m going to help you know exactly when to pull your chicken. I’ll show you everything you need to make awesome grilled chicken, including serving tips, so you can bring the flavor at your next backyard BBQ.

Raw meat on metal baking sheet being seasoned with sweet rub.

The Best Chicken for Grilling

The great thing about this simple recipe is you can use it to make sweet and sticky chicken no matter what cut your prefer. I like to make a little bit of everything with bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, and wings. If you’re a fan of that big, savory chicken flavor you get with chicken thighs, the tangy sauce is a perfect addition. If you want a healthier cut like the tender chicken breast, the seasoning and sauce will give you some spicy, sweet goodness.

Whichever cut you prefer, you’ll want to check a few things when purchasing, in addition to the date on the package. You want the skin to have a slight yellow tint, and no other color, and for the meat to be a pinkish color. Look for full cuts without any blemishes, and stay away from any cuts with dents or tears. 

Ingredients for the Best Grilled Chicken

Once you’ve selected your favorite cut of bone-in, skin-on chicken, all you need is a couple quality ingredients for amazingly easy BBQ chicken.

  • Seasoning. For this recipe, the only seasoning I need is my Sweet Rub. This is a brown sugar-based dry rub. It’s going to make any meat taste great, but I absolutely love it on BBQ chicken. It’s sweet, savory, with just a kiss of heat, and it covers all the flavor bases. Give your chicken a sweet and smoky goodness your guests will love with this killer seasoning.
  • Sauce. Just like my seasoning, I want to use one sauce that gives me all the flavor I need. That’s where my Everything BBQ Sauce comes in. Like the name suggests, it’s great on everything, and it brings a little of everything to the party. You’re going to get a little sweet, a little spicy, tangy, zesty, and on and on. Get this sticky stuff on your grilled chicken and thank me later.

Chicken on grill grates over indirect heat.

How Long to Grill Chicken

The exact time to grill chicken depends on a lot of factors such as cut, thickness, grill temperature, and more. The USDA recommends chicken be cooked to 165 degrees F internal temperature for food safety, but I like to go a little longer with chicken thighs. The connective tissue breaks down when you let it get to around 175 degrees F. For leaner cuts like breasts I’ll stick to that 165 degrees F. Because internal temperature is so important when cooking chicken, make sure you have a reliable food thermometer, like my Thermapen ONE.

For this recipe, you’ll actually be grilling in two different stages. I’m grilling this juicy chicken on my Weber 22” Original Kettle Charcoal Grill set for two-zone grilling. You can do this on any home grill, and my guide on How to Cook with Two-Zone Grilling will show you the way. For the first stage you’ll cook on indirect heat to 155 degrees F, which is typically 25-30 minutes. Then, you’ll add some tangy BBQ sauce and finish over direct heat until you reach that 165 degrees F, another 8-10 minutes. Then, you’re just a quick rest away from tender, delicious chicken.

Chicken on grill grates being drizzled with Everything BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Sides to Serve with Chicken

A great feature of chicken is that it tastes great with just about anything you want to pair it with. With the tender, juicy, sticky, delicious chicken you’ll find it’s great all on its own. Check out the Hey Grill Hey app for hundreds of my sides recipes, but here are a few classics to choose from. All of these will take your chicken dinner to a new level:

Storing Leftover Chicken

If for some reason you have leftover BBQ chicken, and you shouldn’t, you can store it in your refrigerator up to 4 days. Simply place your leftover chicken in an airtight container or zip-top bag, and then place in your fridge. You can still warm it up and enjoy this tasty chicken for 3-4 days. Drizzle a little fresh Everything BBQ Sauce on before heating it up, and it will still have that tangy kick.

Meat grilling on grates over direct heat.

How to Grill BBQ Chicken

Now that you know how little it takes to make sticky sweet, finger-licking BBQ chicken, let me show you how to do it. In just 4, super easy-to-follow steps, you’ll be turning out perfectly tender, savory and tangy chicken.

  1. Set grill and season chicken. While your grill is heating up for two-zone grilling, season your chicken all over with a generous helping of my signature Sweet Rub. You want to make sure you have an even coating all the way around each cut of chicken, before placing them on the indirect heat side of your grill.
  2. Grill over indirect heat. Place your seasoned chicken on the indirect side of your grill and close the lid. Cook until the internal temperature reads 155 degrees F with an instant read thermometer, like my Thermapen ONE. This step typically takes 25-30 minutes, but will vary based on grill temperature, meat thickness, etc. This is why a good thermometer is crucial.
  3. Sauce and grill on direct heat. Using a sauce brush, slather your chicken all the way around with a thick coating of my Everything BBQ Sauce. You want your juicy chicken dressed in rich and tangy BBQ sauce. Next, move it over to the direct heat side of your grill. Give it 4-5 minutes per side. You want your chicken at 165 degrees F.
  4. Rest and serve. Remove your chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil, and then allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. This will give all that juicy goodness to settle in place. Drizzle even more yummy BBQ sauce on, grab your favorite piece, and enjoy.

More Tasty BBQ Grilled Chicken

Now that you know how easy it is to make tangy and tender BBQ chicken, make it all the time. Here are a few more of my favorite ways to make BBQ chicken on the grill. You can find all these delicious recipes, and over 500 more in the Hey Grill Hey app:

Grilled meat on baking sheet drizzled with sauce.

BBQ Chicken on the Grill

If you had fun making this recipe, then feel free to give it a 5 star rating. Now that you’ve got the chicken basics down, head on over to The Grill Squad, where Susie teaches in-depth courses on all your favorite proteins. Learn from Hey Grill Hey herself on all kinds of topics:

  • how to pick meat
  • trimming guides
  • seasoning tips
  • cooking tutorials
  • serving tips

And of course, stay up to date on the latest Hey Grill Hey tips and tricks, news, and much more by following us on YouTube, Instagram, and our Facebook page.

Chicken on baking sheet drizzled with BBQ sauce.

BBQ Chicken

Susie Bulloch
Tender, juicy chicken perfectly grilled and drizzled with tangy BBQ sauce, make my BBQ Chicken in less than an hour with just 4 simple steps.
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 45 minutes
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 159kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Set grill and season chicken. Set your grill for two-zone grilling with an overall temperature around 350 degrees F. Season your chicken on all sides with my signature Sweet Rub.
    1 whole chicken, 3 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub
  • Grill over indirect heat. Place your seasoned chicken on the indirect side of your grill and close the lid. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 155 degrees F.
  • Sauce and grill on direct heat. Using a sauce brush, coat chicken with my Everything BBQ Sauce, and then transfer to direct heat side of your grill. Give chicken 4-5 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
    1 cup Hey Grill Hey Everything BBQ Sauce
  • Rest and serve. Remove your chicken to a cutting board or serving platter, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Drizzle with more BBQ sauce and enjoy.
    1 cup Hey Grill Hey Everything BBQ Sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 739mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 4mg
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