Grilled BBQ Chicken


Grilled BBQ chicken done right is the best summer meal! This recipe is done right. A simple brine, spice rub and homemade BBQ sauce will make this your most favorite bbq chicken!

grilled BBQ chicken recipe

The key to grilled bbq chicken being moist (yes, I said it) and delicious every time, is to brine it first. A brine sounds intimidating, but it’s actually super easy to make!

How to Make a Brine for Bone-in Chicken and Pork

  1. Throw all ingredients (see below) into a pot
  2. Bring to a boil and boil until salt and sugar have completely dissolved
  3. Add 2 – 3 cups of ice to cool it down
  4. Add brine and meet to an airtight container and allow to site 2 – 12 hours
simple brine for bone-in pork and chicken

Adding Flavor to Your Grilled BBQ Chicken

While the brine is working its magic, combine all spice ingredients together in a jar or Tupperware with a lid and shake to combine. Set aside for later.

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

I get asked every time I make BBQ for friends and family which barbecue sauce I use. My own is always the answer. I used to buy sauce from the grocery because I thought making it was so complicated. One day I decided to try my own and I have tweaked it to perfection over the years.

simple homemade bbq sauce

Homemade BBQ Sauce is SO EASY to make. You simply throw everything in a pot, bring it to a simmer to combine all ingredients thoroughly, then remove the pot from heat and let it sit for the day while the brine is doing it’s thing. 

spice rub grilled bbq chicken

That’s it! Three simple steps to prep for your BBQ chicken on the grill! The only thing left to do is layer your chicken with the spices and sauce and grill. You are going to love this recipe!

What Should I Serve with BBQ Chicken on the Grill?

Looking for great sides to serve with your BBQ chicken? I’ve got several for you to choose from! I am crazy for my Simple Summer Coleslaw. The first time I made this for my boys my oldest son (in his 20s) said, “you’ve done the impossible and even made coleslaw good.” Thank you very much. 

Bacon and Beef Baked Beans are always a good summer BBQ option! Parmesan Basil Grilled Corn on the Cob is another family favorite! Tater Tot and Bacon Casserole is one of our favorite guilty pleasures!

Looking for more options? Check out all of our side dishes!

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BBQ chicken on the grill recipe

Dietary Considerations for BBQ Chicken on the Grill

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free

Shopping List for Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken Shopping List

Notes & Tips for Grilled BBQ Chicken

  • Brine from 4 – 12 hours if you have the time. Never longer than 12. Your chicken will be way to salty.
  • Cook chicken to 165° and let sit at room temp for 5 minutes before you eat.
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grilled BBQ chicken recipe

Grilled BBQ Chicken

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  • Author: Stefanie Mullen


Grilled BBQ chicken done right is the best summer meal! This recipe is done right. A simple brine, spice rub and homemade BBQ sauce will make this your most favorite bbq chicken!




  • 23 pounds chicken, legs and wings


  • 2 cups water to boil

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup salt

  • 10 juniper berries

  • 10 peppercorns

  • 2 – 3 thyme sprigs

  • whole garlic head, cut in half horizontally

  • 2 – 3 cups of ice

Spice Rub

  • 2- 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

BBQ Sauce Recipe



  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until all salt and sugar have dissolved. 
  3. Add ice to bring to room temperature. 
  4. In an airtight bag or container combine brine and chicken.
  5. Brine for 2 – 12 hours. 

Spice Rub

  1. Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and shake to combine. 


  1. Dump chicken and brine into strainer. 
  2. Pat each piece of chicken dry with paper towels.
  3. Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with desired amount of spice rub. (Store any remaining rub for later use.)
  4. Coat chicken with BBQ sauce. 
  5. Place the chicken on the grill over medium heat. 
  6. Cook on each side about 8 – 10 minutes with grill closed. 
  7. Remove when a meat thermometer inserted reads 165°. 
  8. Let stand 5 minutes. 
  9. Enjoy!

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