Summer time is grilling time so you’ve got to make the most of warm, sunny days by grilling outside. Keep it simple with barbecue chicken, smothered in this homemade sauce, for a main that everyone will love.
You can use legs, thighs, breasts, etc., but chicken breasts tend to dry out faster than other parts of the chicken. If you’re cooking chicken breasts alongside bigger pieces or thicker pieces like the legs and thighs, keep them on a cooler part of the grill (same goes for smaller wings, too).
This recipe calls on brining the chicken so it’s nice and juicy, but you can also skip that step and go straight for the dry rub marinade. Serve with your favorite barbecue sides, and you’ll have quite a feast on your hands!
BBQ Chicken with Homemade Sauce
- 3 to 4 pounds chicken (or cut up a whole chicken)
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Homemade sauce (makes about 1 1/2 cups):
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons molasses or honey
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
(If you want to skip the brining process, go to step 2)
- Get a large pot or container that’s big enough to hold all the chicken and fill it with enough water to cover the chicken completely. Whisk the salt into the water until dissolved, then whisk the vinegar into the water. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- To make the sauce ahead of time, whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer and stir the mixture for about 10 minutes. Then, take it off the heat and let it cool completely. Once cool, pour into a jar or other container and let it sit in the refrigerator uncovered for about 8 hours so the flavors can blend well.
- Take the chicken out of the brine and let it thoroughly drain. Get rid of the brine and pat the chicken pieces dry, and then lay them out on a baking sheet or flat surface that will fit into the fridge. Combine all the dry rub ingredients and rub evenly on the chicken. Cover the sheet loosely and let the chicken refrigerate for another several hours.
- When ready to eat, grill breasts for about 10 minutes, thighs for about 12-16 minutes, and legs for about 16-20 minutes on a covered grill and make sure to turn them at least once during cooking. Use a food thermometer to make sure that the chicken is 165 degrees F on the inside make sure to check the thickest part of the chicken.
- Smother with barbecue sauce during the last few minutes of cooking, reserving some sauce for the dinner table in case you want to add more.