Grilled BBQ Chicken is an easy guide with tips on how to grill juicy, flavorful bbq chicken! Recipe includes cooking times for chicken breast, thighs, legs and wings because everyone has their favorite cut of chicken!

over head view grilled bbq chicken on platter

It isn’t summer without barbecued chicken.  And I’ve been making it a lot the past month as I’ve been working diligently on the recipe for my bourbon bbq sauce.

This grilled barbecue chicken recipe is juicy and finger lickin’ good. 

Just to be clear — this recipe isn’t the slow roasted and smoked bbq chicken that you’ll get at a barbecue joint.  It’s simply grilled chicken basted with barbecue sauce.

It will be the hit of all of your summer barbecues and potlucks, and is guaranteed to outshine even the best side dishes. 🙂

front view of grilled bbq chicken on a white platter

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Grilled BBQ chicken is tender, juicy and basted in a delicious homemade bbq sauce.
  • This easy recipe includes cooking times for every cut of chicken to please everyone in the family.
  • It’s the perfect meal for summer cookouts, holidays or weeknight dinners.

Recipe ingredients

This bbq chicken recipe is seasoned simply with salt and pepper, and is perfect with your favorite homemade or store bought bbq sauce.

It’s completely up to you which cuts of chicken to use. Cooking times for boneless and bone-in chicken breast, chicken thighs and legs are all included in the recipe.

How to make this recipe

Making bbq chicken on the grill is super simple following my easy instructions. The recipe includes cooking times for every cut of chicken to make everyone in the family happy!

Pro tip:  Bone-in chicken breast is much more forgiving than boneless. The cooking time is longer, but it’s guaranteed to be juicy every time!  Purchasing a whole chicken and breaking it down is the most cost effective. You can also have your butcher do it for you.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

  1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and let stand for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Grill over medium heat, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Baste with bbq sauce during the last 10-15 minutes or so of cooking.
  3. Let stand for 5-10 minutes covered loosely with foil before serving.

overhead view of grilled bbq chicken on a platter with sauce and basting brush

FAQs

What are the best cuts of chicken to grill?

It’s best to grill bone-in chicken because it’s less apt to dry out and the bone adds a ton of flavor.
My suggestion is to buy a whole chicken and break it down or ask your butcher to do it as it’s the most cost effective — it gives people options.  If you’d rather not buy a whole chicken, pick up a variety of your favorite cuts of chicken.
If you prefer to cook boneless, skinless chicken breast, pound it out to an even thickness of 1/2 – 3/4″ for best results.

How to season BBQ chicken

Typically, I season my barbecue chicken with just salt and pepper, but a dry rub is also a great way to add more flavor. 
Every now and then I’ll use my bbq dry rub, or use your favorite.

Do you put BBQ sauce on chicken before you grill it?

You shouldn’t put bbq sauce on chicken before grilling as it will more than likely burn.  
I slather the barbecue sauce over the chicken when there is roughly 10-15 minutes of cooking time left.

What temperature to cook BBQ chicken on the grill?

You’ll achieve amazing grill marks on your chicken if you preheat the grill to high heat.  Once hot, place the seasoned chicken on the grill and reduce the heat to medium, or about 350 degrees.  Continue to cook on medium until the chicken is cooked through. 
Once you’ve basted the chicken with barbecue sauce, you can reduce the heat to medium low if you’re worried about the chicken burning, or even turn off one burner and cook the chicken over indirect heat. 
Cooking time will be longer if you reduce the heat or cook it over indirect heat.

How long does it take to cook BBQ chicken on the grill?

The cooking time for bbq chicken varies depending on the cuts of chicken that you use.  Bone-in always takes a considerable amount of time longer, but also results in the juiciest, most flavorful chicken.

Below are the grilling times for each different cut of chicken at a temperature of 350 degrees:
bone-in chicken breast:  30-40 minutes depending on size, and boneless chicken breast takes 12-16 minutes, pounded to even thickness for more even cooking
chicken thighs:  boneless chicken thighs take 12-15 minutes and bone-in take 20-25 minutes
chicken legs: 30-40 minutes
chicken wings: 10-15 minutes

How can you tell when grilled chicken is done?

The best way to determine whether grilled barbecue chicken is cooked through is by using an instant-read thermometer.  
Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast or the thickest part of the leg or thigh without touching the bone.  Chicken breast is done at a temperature of 165 degrees, and chicken thighs and legs are done at a temperature of 170 or 175 degrees.

front view of grilled bbq chicken thigh on a platter

Serving suggestions

Grilled BBQ chicken is great served up a number of ways!

Recipe notes

  • Pro tipBone-in chicken breast is much more forgiving than boneless. The cooking time is longer, but it’s guaranteed to be juicy every time!  Purchasing a whole chicken and breaking it down is the most cost effective. You can also have your butcher do it for you!
  • Grilling times for each cut of chicken at a temperature of 350 degrees are as follows: bone-in chicken breast:  30-40 minutes depending on size, and boneless chicken breast takes 12-16 minutes, pounded to even thickness for more even cooking; chicken thighs:  boneless chicken thighs take 12-15 minutes and bone-in take 20-25 minutes; chicken legs: 30-40 minutes; chicken wings: 10-15 minutes
  • If using skin-on chicken, a dry brine is a great way to get even juicier, more flavorful chicken!  Simply salt the chicken all over 1-2 days in advance and leave uncovered in the fridge until your ready to barbecue.
  • If at any point your chicken starts to burn or you encounter a flare-up, turn down the heat, or turn off one burner completely and cook the chicken over indirect heat until it’s done.
  • BBQ chicken will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
close up front view of grilled bbq chicken thigh

See all of my Grilling recipes for more inspiration.

More chicken recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

over head view grilled bbq chicken on platter

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grilled BBQ Chicken is an easy guide with tips on how to grill juicy, flavorful bbq chicken breast, thighs and legs on a gas grill!
2
reviews

Leave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chicken (whole chicken cut into 8 pieces or a combination of chicken breast, legs and thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Bourbon bbq sauce or your favorite store bought brand

Instructions 

  • Salt and pepper the chicken generously or apply a dry rub, and place on the counter to bring to room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour before grilling.
  • Preheat the grill over high heat. Place the chicken on the grill and lower the temperature to medium. See the notes below for cooking times for various cuts of chicken.
  • Brush the chicken with the bbq sauce during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.
  • Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the breast is 165 degrees, or thickest part of leg or thigh without touching the bone and registers 170 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from heat and let rest covered loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Bone-in chicken breast is much more forgiving than boneless. The cooking time is longer, but it’s guaranteed to be juicy every time!  Purchasing a whole chicken and breaking it down is the most cost effective. You can also have your butcher do it for you!
  • Grilling times for each cut of chicken at a temperature of 350 degrees are as follows: bone-in chicken breast:  30-40 minutes depending on size, and boneless chicken breast takes 12-16 minutes, pounded to even thickness for more even cooking; chicken thighs:  boneless chicken thighs take 12-15 minutes and bone-in take 20-25 minutes; chicken legs: 30-40 minutes; chicken wings: 10-15 minutes
  • If using skin-on chicken, a dry brine is a great way to get even juicier, more flavorful chicken!  Simply salt the chicken all over 1-2 days in advance and leave uncovered in the fridge until your ready to barbecue.
  • If at any point your chicken starts to burn or you encounter a flare-up, turn down the heat, or turn off one burner completely and cook the chicken over indirect heat until it’s done.
  • BBQ chicken will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 643kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 66g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 257mg, Sodium: 571mg, Sugar: 12g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

Sharing is caring!