Grilled BBQ Chicken – The Cookie Rookie®

Barbara F. Watson

This Grilled BBQ Chicken will be your new summer favorite! Seasoned with a lip smacking blend of spices, use your favorite cut of chicken and fire up the grill. It’s perfect for parties or an easy weeknight dinner!

a plate of grilled BBQ chicken pieces, with a small bowl of BBQ sauce

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Grilled BBQ chicken is the perfect dinner for summer! This recipes works its magic on any cut, so mix it up with chicken breast, things, legs or even wings.

Slathered in flavorful BBQ sauce, chicken comes off the grill with that perfect char on the outside, while still juicy in the middle. Kids and adult are going to love this!

Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Why not also try my Chicken and Dumplings and my Mediterranean Chicken Bake.

Why You’ll Love this Barbecue Chicken Recipe:

  • LOADED WITH FLAVOR: Rubbed with a mouth watering blend of spices, then slathered in BBQ sauce, this grilled chicken is finger-licking good!
  • BBQ HEAVEN: Use favorite BBQ sauce for the perfect flavor every time. Use something more sweet, tangy, or spicy as you please.
  • EASY: Made with just a few staples, throw it on the grill and it’s ready in no time.

This BBQ chicken recipe is foolproof, serving up tender, juicy and flavorful chicken every time!

close up on pieces of barbecue chicken
BBQ chicken pieces

How to Make Grilled BBQ Chicken

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Combine your seasoning in a small bowl, rub oil and spices over the chicken.
  2. Brush with BBQ sauce.
  3. Cook on a preheated grill, flipping halfway through.
  4. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 mins before serving.
how to make grilled BBQ chicken step by step photos
What is the best cut for grilled BBQ chicken?

The best cut is whatever piece you like most. This recipe covers breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings!

Where should I place BBQ chicken on the grill?

You want to grill the chicken over indirect heat, so do not place it directly over a flame. The inside of the chicken needs time to cook completely without burning the outside.

How often should I flip BBQ chicken on the grill?

Ideally, flip chicken breasts or thighs only once. This prevents them from falling apart and prevents the grill from losing too much heat. For drumsticks and wings, you’ll want to flip and baste every few minutes.

How can I tell when grilled BBQ chicken is done?

When the internal temperature reaches 165°F, and the juices run clear (not pink), it’s finished cooking. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

This delectable grilled BBQ chicken works well with so many sides. Here are some favorites:

This is such a versatile recipe! You can make it hearty with some filling sides or keep it lighter with a salad.

chicken legs, drumsticks, and thighs covered in BBQ sauce
close up on grilled barbecue chicken

Make Ahead Instructions

While I’m a firm believer that this chicken tastes best hot off the grill, you can grill it up to 1 day ahead of when you plan to serve it. Store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover grilled BBQ chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave, or place the chicken in a foil-covered baking dish with 1 cup chicken broth and heat in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until 165°F internally. You can remove the foil in the last 5 minutes of baking, if desired.

Freezing Instructions

Freeze grilled BBQ chicken in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or Ziplock bag and store for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Substitutions

  • You can use breasts, thighs, drumsticks, wings, or any combination of the four.
  • If you don’t have chili powder, use 3 teaspoons paprika, 1½ teaspoons cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne.
  • If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can make your own by mixing 1⅓ teaspoons regular paprika and ⅔ teaspoon cumin.
  • Feel free to use your favorite store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce.

Tips for the Best Grilled BBQ Chicken

  • If possible, use bone-in chicken parts, as they tend to be juicier and are just better on the grill.
  • You can use skin-on or skinless chicken parts; it’s up to personal preference.
  • Preheat your grill and clean the grates before beginning.
  • Oil the grill grates thoroughly before adding the chicken. This prevents sticking and makes for easier cleanup later.
  • Keep the lid closed as much as possible while cooking. Every time you open the lid, the temperature of the grill dips, which can lead to slow and uneven cooking.
  • Any time you do open the lid, be sure to baste the chicken with additional BBQ sauce to seal in moisture. Remember to discard any sauce that was used to marinate the chicken and only baste with the sauce that has not touched the raw chicken.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to lock in the juices.
close up on a plate of BBQ grilled chicken

Easy, juicy and full-flavored, this grilled BBQ chicken ticks all the boxes for a simple and delicious meal. Perfect for a quick summer dinner or as part of a BBQ platter, you really want this in your cookout recipes. It’s just so versatile and yummy!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

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