Grilled Chicken Tenders with Bourbon BBQ Sauce

April 21, 2021

It doesn’t get much easier than these Grilled Chicken Tenders. Simply seasoned and grilled with a bourbon BBQ sauce, they’re the perfect weeknight dinner and perfect for folks of all ages.

Grilled chicken tenders stacked on a wooden cutting board with fresh herbs in the background with text overlay - Grilled Chicken Tenders.

Grilled Chicken Tenders

Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re big fans of grilled chicken, and we have a recipe for just about every part of the chicken. Chicken tenders are an affordable cut of meat that are attached to the underside of the chicken breast. Tenders taste the same as the breast in a smaller size, making them a favorite cut for grilling, frying, and using in a variety of recipes.

When grilling chicken tenders, think of them like chicken breasts. Give them some good seasoning, and cook them in Medium-High heat for 10-15 minutes for the best result.

Chicken tendon being removed from a chicken tender with a metal fork.

How to Season Chicken Tenders for Grilling

These chicken tenders don’t require a lot of fuss when it comes to seasoning. I highly recommend using my Beef Seasoning. And yes, while it is made for beef, it’s a salt and pepper-based rub that also tastes incredible on chicken!

If you don’t have any of this seasoning in your pantry, you can still season these chicken tenders with 1 Tablespoon each of the following: kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine then season on all sides. 

Seasoned chicken tenders on the grill grates of a grill.

How to Grill Chicken Tenders

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prep the chicken. To prep the chicken for grilling, remove the tendon using a fork and then season the chicken on all sides with Beef Seasoning or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Removing the tendon is optional, but I find it makes the chicken more appealing to eat. 
  2. Grill. With you favorite grill (this cooks great on either a gas grill or a charcoal grill) preheated to 425 degrees F, grill each side of the chicken for approximately 4 minutes. 
  3. Sauce. I used my Bourbon BBQ Sauce with these tenders, but as always you can use your favorite BBQ sauce. Baste the sauce on both sides of the chicken and cook for 1-2 more minutes per side until the internal temperature of the chicken tenders reaches 165 degrees F.
  4. Serve. These tenders are ready to go, but you can always serve them with additional BBQ sauce. 

Bourbon BBQ sauce being basted on grilled chicken tenders.

How Long to Grill Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders take less than 15 minutes to cook on the grill. Begin by cooking them for 4-5 minutes, flipping, then cooking them for another 4-5 minutes. If you plan to sauce your chicken, brush both sides with the BBQ sauce then grill for an additional 1-2 minutes per side to tighten up the sauce and finish cooking the chicken.

As with all my recipes on this site, I highly emphasize cooking to temperature and not to time. Each piece of meat will cook differently and at a different time, so make sure you have a meat thermometer handy to measure the temperature of the meat as it cooks. These chicken tenders are done when they reach a temp of 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat.

Grilled chicken tenders stacked on a wooden cutting board with fresh herbs in the background.

Tips for Grilling Chicken Tenders

Take note of these handy tips before you dive into making these chicken tenders.

  • Switch up the flavor! The bourbon BBQ sauce is absolutely amazing and sticky-sweet, but you can use your favorite tomato based BBQ sauce or step outside the usual and try my Alabama White Sauce.
  • Remove the tendon. This step is optional, but I like to do it when I cook chicken tenders.  There is a large white tendon that rubs down the center of chicken tenders. I remove mine using a fork. Place the end of the tendon in between the fork tines, grip the tendon, and wiggle the fork down while pulling the tendon. It should pull right out. You’ll be left with a slightly less beautiful tender that may cook more quickly, but that chewy tendon will be gone!
  • Meal prep to save time. Cooking a big batch of tenders means great grilled chicken to enjoy all week! Chop and put into quesadillas, on top of pizzas, or stuffed into baked sweet potatoes!

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Grilled chicken is a go-to dinner in our family. Chicken is nice and cheap, and it’s pretty kid-friendly, too. Check out a few of our favorite recipes from Hey Grill Hey below:

Best Grilled Chicken Tenders Recipe

Ready to become the master of chicken? Join my members-only group The Grill Squad to access my Chicken Master Class (and so much more!) to increase your confidence of all things BBQ. Let me help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero!

Making good food should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at Patio Provisions, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when you’re busy at the grill. Check it out today!

Grilled chicken tenders stacked on a wooden cutting board with fresh herbs in the background.

Grilled Chicken Tenders

It doesn't get much easier than these Grilled Chicken Tenders. Simply seasoned and grilled with a bourbon BBQ sauce, they're the perfect weeknight dinner and perfect for folks of all ages.
Prep Time : 25 mins
Cook Time : 25 mins
Total Time : 50 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 219kcal

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Make the BBQ sauce. Prepare the Bourbon BBQ Sauce and set aside. You can also use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce, if desired.
  • Preheat. Preheat your preferred grill to 425 degrees F.
  • Remove the tendons (optional). If desired, remove tendon from tenders using a fork. Slide the tendon between the tines of the fork, grip the tendon with a paper towel, and slide the fork down the tendon. This will split the tender into smaller pieces and shorten the cook time for this recipe. If you don't mind the tendon in the tender and want your tenders to stay larger and in tact, skip this step.
  • Season the tenders. Season the chicken tenders on all sides with the Beef seasoning or salt, pepper, garlic blend.
  • Grill the chicken tenders. Place the chicken tenders on the grill grates and close the lid. Grill for approximately 4 minutes before flipping. Close the lid and grill for 4 more minutes.
  • Sauce the tenders. Baste the chicken tenders with your Bourbon BBQ Sauce. Leaving the lid open, grill the tenders for 1-2 more minutes per side to finish cooking them through and tighten the sauce. You want your chicken tenders to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before removing to a platter for serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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