This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
While the chicken was barbecuing, I made our 30-minute Homemade BBQ Sauce with a little extra kick of heat, using canned chipotle. Feel free to use store-bought
Difference between BBQ Chicken and Grilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken (usually boneless, skinless breasts or thighs) is typically grilled hot and fast. In contrast, BBQ chicken, (usually skin on, bone-in, thighs, legs and wings) if done well, will take a minimum of about 1 hour on the grill, because it needs to be cooked on a lower heat, to get the meat tender.
Remember: Barbecuing is low and slow. Grilling is hot and fast.
- If possible, salt or brine the chicken a day ahead for the best flavor.
- The secret to the best BBQ chicken is to sear the meat over direct heat first (without the BBQ sauce), then cook low and slow, basting with BBQ Sauce.
- Cook until breast meat is 160-165F, and thigh meat is at least 185F.
- Pump up the heat and the end, crisping the skin and basting again.
While the chicken cooks low and slow on the grill, make the flavorful BBQ Sauce!
Grilled BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken (thighs and legs work best)
- salt and pepper
- BBQ Sauce- Homemade BBQ Sauce or use store-bought
What to serve with Grilled BBQ Chicken:
- Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter
- Mexican Slaw with Cilantro and Lime
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Pinto Beans
Grilled BBQ Chicken with Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 70 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Chicken, main, Grilled
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: American
Smoky, spicy and tangy, this Grilled BBQ Chicken with Homemade BBQ Sauce is mouthwatering! The BBQ Sauce can be made from scratch -or use the quick cheater version in recipe notes!
- 12 pieces skin-on, bone-in Chicken (skin on thighs and legs work best)
- salt and pepper to taste
- One batch Homemade BBQ Sauce or use store-bought see notes
- Season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper (If possible, season a day in advance, and refrigerate overnight).
- Pre-heat Grill to Medium-High heat and grease, or prepare a coal grill, having the hot coals on one side, leaving one side free of coals. (You want a hot side and a cool side.)
- Mix 1 cup BBQ sauce with ¾ cup water.
- Grill: Lay the chicken, skin side down on a hot grill turning as needed to give good sear on ALL SIDES, being careful not to burn, about 20 minutes.
- Lower the heat to low, or move pieces to a cooler spot on the grill, cover and let cook low and slow for 30-40 minutes, turning and basting with a thin layer of BBQ Sauce, until chicken is cooked through, 185F-200F. Baste again.
- Crisp the Skin: Turn the grill up to high and give the skin side one quick hot sear to crisp them up. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 529
- Sugar: 23.4 g
- Sodium: 499.8 mg
- Fat: 30.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Protein: 33.3 g
- Cholesterol: 175.6 mg
Keywords: grilled bbq chicken, BBQ Chicken, BBQ chicken recipes, barbecue chicken, Chipotle BBQ Chicken, Chipotle chicken recipe, chipote bbq recipes, barbecue chicken,
Absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing the expert tips. When brining what is your ratio of salt to water?
Thanks, Teddy, I usually do 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar, per 1 cup of water. Sugar is optional, and feel free to add garlic and herbs.
This has become a staple in the summer. Love the smoky sweet flavor. Always a huge hit.
Your food photos are amazing. You can share your mouth watering photos with us at foodienewz.com. foodienewz.com is a new food sharing site and we actually try our best to promote your food photos. At foodienewz.com all your food photos will be published without any editorial review so I really hope you come and join us.
Wow! I have been looking for a BBQ sauce recipe, an I just happen to have all this in my pantry – sold!
That look so yummy! Can’t wait to try it!
Sounds very yummy! Think I will have to feed my all male family of 5 this.