Best Grilled Barbecue Chicken

by Alli

Grilled Barbecue Chicken is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s so easy to make! 

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My mom’s barbecue chicken was amazing. When I was growing up, she had a grill made from a 55-gallon drum, and her food was the best. 

I remember when I was single and living in Atlanta. I’d visit my family on the weekend and mom would always ask what I wanted for dinner on Friday night. It was always the same, Grilled Barbecue Chicken. And the bread has to be BBQ bread. It doesn’t matter about the other sides as long as I have my two favorites.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

My husband is the grill master at my house and he’s also a pro when it comes to grilled barbecue chicken. During the summer, we grill up some fresh corn on the cob, make a salad, and try to find my favorite BBQ bread.

It’s getting harder to find. In case you’ve never heard of this type of bread, here you go. This was always mom’s signature bread whenever she made grilled barbecue chicken. And now it’s mine.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken There are as many different ways to grill chicken as there is to spell barbecue. My spelling happens to be the correct way and my husband’s grilled barbecue chicken is the best. The secret is to make sure the chicken is nice and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Let’s Make Grilled Barbecue Chicken Leg Quarters

We all like dark meat in our family so we usually grill leg quarters. You can use any bone-in chicken you like. If you’re grilling chicken breasts, they don’t need to cook as long. Use an instant-read thermometer and when it reads 165º F, it’s done.

Preheat the grill on high and spray with a non-stick grill spray. Sear chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Turn the grill to low and cook chicken over direct heat for 30 minutes per side.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Ten minutes before the chicken is done, brush one side with barbecue sauce. Cook for five minutes and turn the chicken to baste the other side and cook for another five minutes. You’ll have tender, juicy chicken with a crisp skin on the outside. It’s finger-licking good!

How To Grill A Whole Chicken

Sometimes my husband grills whole chickens. He grills whole chickens differently than he grills chicken pieces. 

You’ll need a whole chicken, flattened (spatchcocked). You do this by cutting out the backbone and pressing down to flatten. Check out this post to see how to spatchcock a chicken.  

My husband uses poultry shears to butterfly the chicken. You can buy some good poultry shears here. 

You’ll want to cook a whole chicken over indirect heat. Turn on one side of the grill to 400º. You want to cook on the side that is not turned on (indirect heat).

Season chicken with your favorite seasonings and place on the grill, breast side down, and cook for 30 minutes. Flip and cook 30 more minutes. Turn the heat to low and move the chicken over direct heat and brown for about 5 minutes on each side. 

More Delicious Recipes

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Grilled Barbecue Chicken is tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 4 Chicken Quarters (or chicken pieces of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce


  1. Heat grill to high. Spray with a non-stick grill spray.
  2. Sear chicken on both sides for two minutes.
  3. Turn grill to low and using direct heat, cook for 30 minutes on each side.
  4. Baste both sides with barbecue sauce during the last 10 minutes and cook for 5 minutes per side.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 205Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 80mgSodium 222mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 4gProtein 20g

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What’s your favorite way to make chicken?



Paula August 30, 2017 - 7:06 am

Yum! I am going to make this for a weekend cookout!

candy August 30, 2017 - 7:56 am

We have used KC BBQ sauce before and really like the flavor. Will have to share with the hubby your chicken recipe. I let him do all the BBQ since he enjoys it so much.

Amber Myers August 30, 2017 - 8:22 am

This looks so delicious! It’s been a while since I’ve had some good barbecue chicken. I need to make this!

Paula Bendfeldt August 30, 2017 - 8:46 am

Your Barbeque chicken recipe looks absolutely amazing. We will be giving the KC Master Piece Brown Sugar Barbeque sauce a try. Those flavor combinations sound perfect.

Amanda August 30, 2017 - 9:05 am

I am a total and utter sucker for bbq chicken and ribs, and your chicken looks absolutely amazing. How do you ensure that it doesn’t burn too much? That’s my biggest problem.

Jacqui S August 30, 2017 - 9:31 am

I love love love BBQ Chicken! Where I used to work, we had a food truck come out every week. I would end up buying a bottle of their sauce to use when I made chicken thighs lol. Thanks for sharing!

Jeanette August 30, 2017 - 9:50 am

We are having grill chicken for dinner! I think I will try this recipe tonight because it sounds perfect!

Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh August 30, 2017 - 10:37 am

Love grilled bbq chicken. We have always used KC Masterpiece, until my daughter was diagnosed with a corn syrup allergy.

Tomi C August 30, 2017 - 12:00 pm

Grilled bbq chicken is one of my faves BUT when it’s rainy or too cold to grill it, we fill the crockpot with drumsticks, cover with bbq sauce and cook on high for about 4-5 hrs. for delicious bbq chicken.

Anosa August 30, 2017 - 1:49 pm

I have not had grilled chicken all of this summer and I am sad about that, this looks absolutely delicious.

Jolina August 30, 2017 - 2:36 pm

Oh my how delicious do those look?? We are grilling almost everyday now that we feel summer slipping away and we can’t wait to try your recipe! Yum!

Cheryl August 30, 2017 - 3:56 pm

Omg that chicken looks so yummy! I really need to ramp up my grilling skills. I’ve never heard of bbq bread. Is that more like Texas bread?

Dogvills August 31, 2017 - 12:57 am

Your grilled chicken recipe looks fantastic! This is one dish I have to make while the weather is still good for grilling. Thanks for sharing. My husband and kids would have happy tummies again when I make this for them.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy August 31, 2017 - 8:17 am

Wow, that chicken looks so delicious. I would love to try your recipe. I’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken.

Betty Boiron August 31, 2017 - 10:35 am

This is the kind of thing that looks easy, but I know it’s not! Undercooked – yuck. Overcooked – yuck. It’s hard to get it perfect and your husband’s really does look delicious.

Lori Vachon August 31, 2017 - 3:10 pm

My husband is the griller around here, but I’m the menu planner! Cannot wait to give your BBQ chicken a try, it looks simple and delicious!

Kita Bryant August 31, 2017 - 4:37 pm

You pretty much have it figured out! You will get perfect chicken every time if you do it this way.

Jaime Nicole August 31, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Grilled BBQ chicken is one of my summer favorites! We use a different method but yours looks AMAZING so I’m going to give it a try!

rebekah September 2, 2017 - 11:58 am

That looks delicious! BBQ + chicken is my fave! I need to get my grandpa to grill this for me!

Sheila September 12, 2017 - 11:46 pm

I also love BBQ bread and grilled chicken combination. It is one of my ultimate comfort food.

Will start using food thermometers. I am usually worried if my chicken is overcooked.

Joseph Parker August 27, 2018 - 9:35 am

Thanks for sharing this post with us. I am little bit interested to get more information about bbq recipices. I like to share my opinion on bbq recpices .Add 140g long grain riceand fry it until it turns translucent. To this, put around 2 garlic cloves finely chopped and then pour around 350g of vegetable stock.

istiak Ahmed October 6, 2018 - 11:27 am

Hey Alli,
I have one question. which grill do you use to Grilled Barbecue Chicken? Because I am using a smoker which is not good. And I want to know because I need new one.

RossJonnes July 16, 2019 - 6:55 am

How do you choose the best choose the best product among the ones listed here?

Connie D September 4, 2022 - 1:30 pm

I bought a new small portable Weber gas grill and decided to BBQ a leg quarter. I followed your instructions and was so pleased at how juicy my chicken was on the inside yet crispy skin on the outside. I’ve never been very good at grilling chicken on a grill but I will always grill my chicken this way from now on. I used Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce because it is my favorite. Thank you for sharing you recipe/instructions on Pinterest!

Alli September 5, 2022 - 6:32 am

So glad you liked it!! We love Sweet Baby Ray’s, too!


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