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Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken that turns out tender, juicy and delicious! This simple barbecue chicken is brined and then grilled with a homemade barbecue sauce. A tasty dinner that will have everyone running to the dinner table. 

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts, whole and sliced

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled chicken can be a challenge but I’m sharing our secrets for tender and juicy chicken that is sure to beat take out day of the week. This Grilled Italian Chicken is another favorite to make on the grill for a family favorite meal. 




Chicken Brine with fresh rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and lemon peel.

How to Make Grilled BBQ Chicken:

  1. Make a brine with 4 quarts of warm water in a large pan. Add salt, peppercorns, fresh garlic, rosemary and lemon peel. Add chicken pieces and cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 
  2. Prepare grill to 350°.
  3. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. 
  4. Place chicken on grill and close the lid. Cook 10 minutes, turning chicken over about half way through. Baste with barbecue sauce and continue cooking with the lid closed. Turning about every 10 minutes and basting with more sauce. 
  5. Check chicken with a meat thermometer, cooking about 40-50 minutes or until chicken reaches 165° in the thickest part, near the bone.
  6. Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional barbecue sauce if desired. 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Barbecue Sauce

Tips for Grilling Chicken:

  • Brining chicken is the best way to get the most flavorful and juiciest chicken. No one likes dry chicken!
  • Don’t over brine your chicken. I recommend at least 2 hours but not over 24, so that your chicken does not become to salty.
  • Keep your grill fire moderate about 300-350°.
  • Use a meat thermometer to be sure the chicken is cooked through but not over cooked.
  • Brush with barbecue sauce or glaze.
  • Allow the chicken to rest before slicing. 

How Long do you Grill Bone In Chicken?

At 350° bone in chicken should cook through in about 40-50 minutes. Testing the thickest part of the meat, near the bone until it reaches 165°.

What Barbecue Sauce is Best for Grilled Chicken?

Homemade Barbecue Sauce ~ easy to store in a weck jar

For this recipe we used our Homemade Barbecue Sauce which is thick and hearty. It’s slightly sweet with garlic and onions, plenty of black pepper and a tangy bite.

Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce  is another favorite for grilling. It’s sticky sweet and makes a great glaze on grilled meats. 

If you like things spicy, you have to try our homemade Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce. It’s knock your socks off delicious and does a nice job coating the chicken. 

If you are looking to try something outside of the box, this White Barbecue Sauce is incredible. It’s creamy with a nice garlic bite and has a nice tang from the vinegar.

I do highly recommend making your own barbecue sauce for grilling. All of our barbecue sauce recipes are really quick and easy. If you have extra sauce, just store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken, sliced and whole with barbecue sauce

Dishes to Serve with Grilled BBQ Chicken:

Creamy Coleslaw is a must for any barbecue meal and this one is made with simple ingredients. You can’t go wrong with Fried Squash, it’s a great addition to any meal on the grill.

We also love these Grilled Potatoes that are made right on the grill with the chicken! They are filled with cheese and everything bagel seasoning! This Easy Watermelon Salad is beyond simple and great with grilled chicken!

Angel Rolls always make a great side for cookouts and they are super simple to make. Top it all off with a pitcher of Pineapple Margaritas or Pineapple Lemonade and you are set for the ultimate BBQ chicken dinner!

More Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try:

How to Brine and Smoke a Whole Chicken if you are feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week, this whole chicken is just the ticket. So flavorful and delicious and so much better than the store bought rotisserie chickens!

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with vegetables is a super simple dinner for busy weeknights or weekend cookouts with friends. 

Mustard BBQ Chicken is a sweet and savory twist on classic barbecue. If you are a mustard fan, you are going to love tis easy grilled chicken!

Herb Butter Smoked Chicken is over the top amazing! It’s a whole chicken basted in a delicious garlic and rosemary herb butter and grilled to perfection.

Spicy Honey Grilled Chicken Tenders is a quick and delicious grilled chicken recipe with tons of flavor from the sweet heat glaze. 

Barbecue Chicken Wings are always a crowd favorite! The perfect party starter for any cookout!

Grilled BBQ Chicken with homemade barbecue sauce




Easy Chicken Brine for grilling with rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and lemon peel

If you love this Recipe as much as I do, please leave a comment and a five star review, and be sure to help me share on Pinterest!

Yield: 4 Servings

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken that turns out tender, juicy and delicious! This simple barbecue chicken is brined, then grilled with a homemade barbecue sauce.

Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 3 hours


For the Brine:

  • 4 quarts warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • peel of 1 lemon

For the Chicken

  • 4 pound bone in chicken, we used breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups Homemade Barbecue Sauce


  1. Add warm water to a large pan. Whisk in kosher salt until dissolved.
  2. Add garlic cloves, rosemary, peppercorns and lemon peel.
  3. Place chicken into brine and cover with a lid. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  4. Prepare the grill to 350°.
  5. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place chicken on grill and close the lid. Cook 10 minutes, turning chicken over about half way through.
  8. Baste chicken with barbecue sauce and close the lid.
  9. Turn chicken about every 10 minutes, basting with more sauce for about 30-40 more minutes.
  10. When chicken reaches 165° in the thickest part, near the bone, remove from the grill.
  11. Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 2gSugar: 48gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is estimated and may not be accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I’ve never tried this. Usually I just sprinkle Kosher Salt all over the bird and put in the fridge overnight. Next day, rinse,pat dry,coat with olive oil and dry rub.Making sure the rub gets under the skin as rub does not penetrate the skin.

    1. Hi Ed,
      My mom kept telling me I had to brine the chicken and I was glad I finally tried it. Makes a huge difference no matter how you are cooking it. I haven’t ever tried a dry brine, I will add that to my list.

    1. Hi there, is there different instructions if your baking the BBQ chicken or just follow the instructions given? Just curious cause I know chicken on the grill tends to have that charred taste as well and I was curious if baking goes different than what’s given here.

      1. Hi Timothy,
        You can use the same directions, the oven method might take a little longer than the grill, just use a digital meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked through.

        ~ Milisa

  2. In case someone wants to smoke, low and slow, a big pile of chicken wings (8#), this brine recipe will surely work. And when I mean PILE, that’s exactly what you do next to whatever ever your smoking. Just stir and spritz the pile now and then, Two hours of soaking in this mixture is adequate.

  3. First time I’ve ever brined anything – wow – best BBQ ever!!! What a difference the brining made, the chicken was so moist! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. It is said that the best way to smoke or grill chicken is to cook it whole…not in pieces. Personally, I spatchcock my bird when I smoke it at 225*F.

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