Tender, juicy Grilled BBQ Chicken made easy! I use a flavorful brine to lock in moisture and create crispy skin. Perfect for summer cookouts!

This recipe serves six people and costs about $10.29 to make and around $1.72 per serving.

A pile of the grilled BBQ chicken pieces on a serving plate.

I have the perfect BBQ Chicken recipe for you and a few secrets to make it the best. This is one of those recipes that everyone loves. Especially when it’s done right. Dry and overcooked chicken is the worst! This BBQ Chicken recipe that’s cooked on the grill is the opposite of that.

What I love About This Grilled BBQ Chicken Recipe:

  • The Brine! I use a flavorful brine to lock in moisture and create crispy skin.
  • Budget-friendly. I use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for this recipe and save significantly. It’s a great option when feeding a crowd.
  • Crowd Pleaser. This is one of those recipes that everyone loves. Especially when it’s done right. Dry and overcooked chicken is the worst! This recipe is the opposite of that.

Secrets For Juicy & Crispy Chicken

My first secret to taking grilled BBQ chicken to the next level is brining. Don’t skip this step! Spend fifteen minutes brining the chicken pieces—it makes a HUGE difference. The salt in the brine tenderizes the chicken, while the cornstarch coats it and helps it stay juicy and crisp on the grill.

My second secret is in the dry rub. I use a simple mix of salt and pepper to season the chicken, and it’s full of flavor. This step is quick and easy, but it makes a big difference and should not be skipped!

The finished BBQ chicken on grill grates.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $1.72

Recipe Cost: $10.29

    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch – $0.06
    • 3 cups barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s) – $3.16
    • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt – $0.03
    • teaspoon pepper – $0.07
    • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks) – $6.97

    NOTE: I calculate recipe costs using grocery store websites and the amounts needed for the recipe. Prices may vary based on the ingredients you already have. I last updated the pricing in May 2024.

    How To Grill BBQ Chicken

    Follow my step-by-step instructions below. This chicken will quickly become your favorite meal this grilling season!

    • Brine the chicken for 15 minutes. Next, prep the chicken by rubbing the dry rub all over each chicken piece.

    The chicken pieced rubbed with a dry rub.

    • Move the chicken to the cool side of the grill and cook for about 30 minutes. This slow-cooking method ensures the chicken is cooked without drying out, giving it a delicious smoky flavor.

    The chicken pieces cooking on the cold side of the grill.

    • Douse the chicken with BBQ sauce and cook, flipping every 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F for the breasts and 175°F for the drumsticks, thighs, and legs. 

    The chicken pieces cooking on the grill with BBQ sauce on them.

    Cooking Tips

    • An instant-read thermometer is essential in this recipe. It ensures the chicken doesn’t overcook and become rubbery.
    • If you like your grilled BBQ chicken with a little kick, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the salt and pepper mixture rubbed onto the chicken. 
    • Remember, food safety is crucial. To prevent potential health risks, this chicken shouldn’t be left out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
    • Keep leftovers in an airtight refrigerator container for up to 3 days. 

    Recipe FAQs

    How long does it take to BBQ Chicken?

    Chicken needs to be at an internal temperature of 165° to be done cooking. My grilled BBQ chicken recipe takes around 50 minutes. 

    Do you put BBQ sauce on chicken before grilling?

    No, you do not want to put sauce on the chicken before grilling because the sauce will only last a few minutes in the heat before it starts to burn. It’s best to put the sauce on right after it is cooked or before it is done cooking. This will ensure you get crispy, well-seasoned skin with the sticky, caramelized sauce on top.

    Do you grill chicken with the lid open?

    No, grill with the lid closed. This will keep the temperature of the grill high and even. This is also an excellent practice for thicker cuts of meat such as steak and chicken breasts.

    A hand picking up a piece of chicken grilled on a BBQ.

    More Grilling Recipes: 

    BBQ Chicken on a white plate.
    5 from 3 votes

    Grilled BBQ Chicken

    Recipe Cost $ $10.29
    Serving Cost $ $1.72
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 50 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
    6 people
    Tender, juicy Grilled BBQ Chicken made easy! I use a flavorful brine to lock in moisture and create crispy skin. Perfect for summer cookouts!

    Equipment

    • large bowl
    • Grill utensils
    • pastry brush
    • Instant-read thermometer

    Ingredients
     
     

    BRINE:

    CHICKEN:

    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed and breasts halved

    BBQ SAUCE:

    Instructions

    BRINE CHICKEN:

    • In a large bowl combine water, salt, and corn starch. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour.

    PREP THE GAS GRILL:

    • While the chicken brines, preheat the grill. Turn the gas grill on HIGH and close the lid. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes before putting the chicken on.
    • Scrape and oil the grill grates. Turn off all of the burners except for the main burner, keep that one on HIGH.

    PREP THE CHICKEN:

    • Remove the chicken from the brine and place the chicken on a clean cutting board. Quickly dry chicken with pieces of paper towel.
    • In a small bowl combine the salt and pepper. Rub the salt and pepper over all sides of the chicken.

    COOK CHICKEN:

    • Place the chicken on the cooler side of the grill and cover.
    • Cook for 30-34 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown.
    • Position the chicken in a single line close to the main burner that is still on. Brush with BBQ sauce, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
    • Flip the chicken, brush with BBQ sauce, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush chicken with BBQ two more times.
    • At this point, the chicken should be crusted with the BBQ sauce and the internal temperature of the breasts should read 165 degrees F. The internal temperature of the drumsticks, thighs, and legs should read 175 degrees F. If the meat doesn’t register these temperatures then close the grill and cook 5 more minutes.
    • Move chicken to a serving dish and tent with foil for 5 minutes. Serve.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 4298mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 536IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

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    10 Comments

    1. Debbie Welchert says:

      Wow, I can’t believe how few ingredients this recipe calls for. I think my family will love this recipe.

    2. Beth Pierce says:

      Yum! This looks absolutely delicious. I think I’ll make this for dinner tonight. Thank you!

    3. I love how simple and easy this is to make! The flavor is amazing!

    4. Ron Weinberg says:

      That’s finger licken good!

    5. Steve Grant says:

      Thanks for this recipe. I love to make BBQ chicken but I didn’t know about using brine first. Will have to try it.

    6. We don’t have a gas grill. Can I make this on a charcoal grill?

    7. Do you start with skin side down or does it matter?