Grilled BBQ Chicken

Flavorful, economical, and easy, Grilled BBQ Chicken is a perfect summer alternative to steaks and burgers. And it works in the oven too!

Grilled BBQ Chicken

I still remember when I figured out how easy it was to make Grilled BBQ Chicken.  I was newly moved to my first grown up apartment and one of my splurges was a small charcoal grill. 

Pretty soon I was happily indulging in char-broiled meat dishes like Carne Asada Burger and Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak.  Then, to broaden my repertoire, I slathered BBQ sauce on some chicken I was grilling.  And I was in heaven! 

Pretty soon it was a regular on my summer menu.  And even high on the list of things to serve to friends!

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  How do you beat smoky, juicy, grilled chicken with a tangy BBQ-flavored accent!  It makes good chicken extra special!

Easy.  Many commercial BBQ sauces are excellent, so this is an area you can go easy and skip the homemade.  And it’s almost as quick as Air Fryer Chicken Legs.

Fun. Chicken’s a nice dinner, but Grilled BBQ Chicken is fun.  Like a picnic in the park—or a picnic in your backyard!

Grilled BBQ Chicken

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken.  This is the main component of the meal.
  • BBQ sauce. This adds great tangy flavor!  Use a commercial sauce or your favorite homemade.
  • Water.  I used a little water to thin my BBQ sauce for easy spreading. 
  • Salt.  This enhances flavor and helps crisp the chicken skin! 

Special Tools

  • This is lovely prepared on the grill but can also be made in a oven.

Step by Step Directions

Mix BBQ sauce with a tablespoon or two of water to make it easy to spread with a brush. 

miix bbq sauce with water

Salt the chicken.  Grill on a hot grill until crisp and almost cooked through.

Grill chicken

Brush BBQ sauce on to both sides of the chicken.  Continue grilling, flipping once or more and reapplying additional sauce if desired.

Brush on BBQ sauce

Remove from grill when cooked through, crispy and starting to develop a slight char.  Serve immediately. 

Done

How to Serve

When planning a menu, I tend to treat BBQ Grilled Chicken like other casual dishes such as sandwiches and burgers.  This means that the first thing I add is a casual side salad.  Some of my favorites include Thai Carrot Slaw, Carrot Raisin Salad, Southwestern Three Bean Salad, or Broccoli Bacon Salad.

Of course for the easiest vegetable side ever, there’s always veggies and dip.  Or a nice lettuce salad is also delicious!

Finally you’ll need a starch course.  Potatoes like potato salad, fries, baked or even pan-fried potato slices can be delicious. Or a fun and easy alternative is just to go with a nice bread or muffin like these blueberry muffins.  

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Leftovers

Refrigerate any leftovers immediately and eat within 3-4 days per the USDA.  Leftover chicken is delicious and can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave or oven. Use a convection setting if you have it and want to do some re-crisping.

Another option is to use the BBQ chicken like any other cooked chicken. In that case you can add it to recipes like Chicken Curry or Sage-Flavored Chicken Noodle Soup

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Tips & FAQs

I used leg quarters which I like because they stay nice and juicy and cook at the same rate.  But if you’re serving kids or other light eaters a chicken cut into the standard eight pieces might work better for you. 

In that case move some of the smaller pieces like wings and legs to cooler parts of the grill so they don’t get dry and overcooked.  An instant read thermometer will be especially helpful to make sure everything is cooked through. 

How do I pick a BBQ sauce?  While you could pull one together on the fly (mixing molasses, ketchup, etc), I have designed this recipe to be super easy.  So I used a bottled BBQ sauce.  I usually check out the label and steer away from those with the most unpronounceable ingredient list! 

Of course if you want to go fully homemade, you can still do easy by making a batch of homemade BBQ sauce ahead of time—and even canning it if you’re a canner.  My Cherry BBQ sauce is always a big favorite!

BBQ Grrilled Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Flavorful, economical, and easy, Grilled BBQ Chicken is aperfect summer alternative to steaks and burgers. And it works in the oven too!
Author: Inger
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 357 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken leg quarters or the equivalent, e.g. a whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces, 10 legs, etc.
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Mix BBQ sauce with a tablespoon or two of water to make it easy to spread with a brush. Set aside.
  • Salt the chicken on all sides. Grill on a hot grill, flipping once or more, until skin is crisp and chicken is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes (temp should be about 160F in thickest part of thigh).
  • Brush BBQ sauce on to both sides of the chicken. Continue grilling, flipping once or more and reapplying additional sauce if desired.
  • Remove from grill when cooked through (temperature at least 170F in thickest part of thigh or 165F in breast), crispy and starting to develop a slight char. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 24gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 357mgPotassium: 352mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 166IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

6 thoughts on “Grilled BBQ Chicken

  1. Christie

    5 stars
    I love barbecue chicken. The way the sauce gets all caramelized and the chicken is tender and juicy. I really love thighs! They’re the best.

  2. David Scott Allen

    I always love making a big batch of Mom’s bbq sauce every summer — it keeps well in the fridge and makes for easy last minute bbq parties. Thanks for the reminder and your recipe!

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