Simple Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken

This sweet, tangy BBQ chicken recipe is a simple way to make slow-cooked, delicious, barbecue chicken on the grill.  Barbecue chicken is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make great BBQ at home.  All you need is some chicken, good barbecue sauce, and a grill.

One of our favorite ways to season chicken that will be grilled or smoked is to use our Smoked Chicken Rub to create big, bold, barbecue flavors.

The secret to making great BBQ chicken at home is to cook the chicken over indirect heat. To grill the chicken using indirect heat you’ll want to have high heat on one side of the grill and very little to no direct heat on the other side of the grill, where the chicken resides for most of the cooking time.

During the saucing portion of cooking it’s ok if the chicken flames up as you’re turning it over. This is why you’re using long-handled tongs. Cooking the chicken in a little fire here is ok, but don’t let them sit in the fire for more than 15 to 20 seconds at a time.  For more helpful tips on making chicken on the grill read Fall in Love with Grilled Barbecue Chicken.

A few side dishes we like to serve with this chicken recipe are Sweet Corn and Anaheim Peppers, Grilled Sweet Potatoes, and Orzo Pasta Salad.

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Simple Grilled BBQ Chicken

5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika


  • Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika together in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on the chicken, make sure to get the rub underneath and on top of the skin.
  • Cook the chicken on a medium high grill using indirect heat for 25 to 35 minutes, with the chicken placed on a cooler portion of the grill. 
  • Turn the chicken every 8 to 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. The chicken will be ready for the BBQ sauce when it is firm to the touch but still, has some spring to it.
  • The final touch for this chicken is to paint on the BBQ sauce. You’ll want to have 1 cup of BBQ sauce, a silicon brush, and a pair of long-handled tongs ready for saucing the chicken. 
  • Once you have everything ready, brush a layer of sauce on one side of the chicken, then flip the chicken on to a hot part of the grill and paint the other side with sauce.
  • Let the chicken cook on the hot part of the grill for a minute or two on each side and then turn it over, so the other side is sauce down on the hot part of the grill.
  • The goal here is to crisp everything up while adding some color, and a layer of sauce to the chicken. Repeat this process until each side has been sauced and crisped three times.
  • Take the chicken off the grill and let it rest for five minutes. Serve with the other cup of BBQ sauce on the side.
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Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1257mg | Potassium: 408mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.3mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

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Originally Published on December 30, 2014

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