With a brine that keeps the chicken juicy and some homemade BBQ rub, this grilled BBQ chicken is the perfect dish when breaking out the grill.
Grilling on the 4th of July is an American tradition. Of course I don’t need a holiday to grill but am always looking for an excuse to try something new. Since I got my charcoal grill a few years ago, I’ve always thought about making BBQ chicken but have always chosen something else for a variety of reasons. One recipe that caught my eye was Tyler Florence’s BBQ chicken. I’ve made a few of his dishes and they always taste outstanding. Usually the issue with his recipes is they have a ton of ingredients and this one is no different. Because of this I just used the brine, while making my own BBQ rub. I didn’t bother making my own sauce.
What really makes the difference here with this grilled BBQ chicken recipe is the homemade rub. It just gives added flavor to the chicken, which is then complimented by some BBQ sauce. Yes you can make your own sauce, but I call this an easy recipe for a reason. Just buy your favorite sauce – mine is Sweet Baby Ray’s.
One thing I questioned at first was not cooking the entire chicken in the grill, but putting it in the oven with the sauce coated over it allows for a deep caramelization that adds great flavor. So give this tasty grilled BBQ chicken recipe a try. Hope you enjoy!
What Ingredients are in this Grilled BBQ Chicken Recipe?
- Light brown sugar
- Skin-on chicken breasts
- Spices – chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, dried thyme
- BBQ sauce
How to Grill BBQ Chicken
Note – If you are wanting to cook the BBQ chicken the whole time on the grill, the main thing you’ll have to do is spread the charcoal over half the grill so you can have direct and indirect heat.
- In a large bowl, combine water, salt, light brown sugar, garlic and thyme. Transfer to a 2 gallon size bag or keep in bowl. Add chicken and place in fridge for 2 hours.
- While chicken is in fridge, make the BBQ rub. In a small bowl, add light brown sugar, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard and dried thyme and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Sprinkle the BBQ rub on both sides of the chicken.
- Place charcoal on half the grill and heat to medium-high heat or 400°F. Place chicken skin-side down and cook for 5-10 minutes or until you get grill marks. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Move chicken to side of grill with no charcoal. Brush all sides with BBQ sauce.
- Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F, brushing with more BBQ sauce every 10 minutes.
How Do I Grill Chicken So It’s Not Dry?
If you make this recipe, the brine actually helps keep the chicken from becoming dry. Also don’t overcook it. Trust your thermometer to see when the chicken is done.
Can I Make BBQ Chicken in Oven?
Yes although you want to get some grill marks to get the chicken crispy. First cook skin-side down on grill for 5 minutes and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. You’ll then transfer to a 375° oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and coat the chicken in the BBQ sauce. Place back in the oven and cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F, brushing the chicken with BBQ sauce halfway through.
If you don’t have a grill, you’ll still want to get the skin crispy so cook in a skillet skin-side down for 5 minutes and flip and cook for another 5 minutes before placing in oven and repeating above steps.
How Long Do You Boil Chicken Before Putting It on the Grill?
The quick answer is you should never boil chicken before grilling. It is not necessary whatsoever.
Can BBQ Chicken Have Some Pink?
This is one I’ve learned over time, but yes chicken can be slightly pink. Color doesn’t actually indicated doneness. It needs to just reach 165°F. BBQ can actually leave chicken slightly pink so don’t worry.
Other Grill Recipes
Grilled BBQ Chicken
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 skin-on chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2 gallon ziplock bag or large bowl and add chicken. Place in fridge for 2 hours.
- While chicken is marinating, make the BBQ rub. Just mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Spread charcoal through half of the grill and preheat grill to medium-high heat, about 400°F. Wipe grate with oil to make sure chicken doesn't stick when you cook it. Take chicken out of brine and pat down with paper towel. Sprinkle the BBQ rub over both sides of the chicken.
- Cook the chicken the chicken skin-side down on direct heat for 5-10 minutes or until you get grill marks. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to indirect heat. Brush BBQ sauce throughout chicken. Cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until it reaches 165°F, basting the chicken with BBQ sauce every 10 minutes.