Have you ever wanted to make grilled skin-on, bone-in Barbecued Chicken without burning the outside while the middle is still undercooked? This recipe can help!
We grill a lot of chicken for at least 6 months of the year and it’s usually boneless, skinless thighs or breasts.
But every now and then I want to sink my teeth into a saucy, crispy, juicy finger-licking-great piece of real-deal barbecued chicken. And here’s the best part, it doesn’t have to be laborious and take hours to make sweating over the grill non-stop because we’re sharing a very simple formula for success. Maybe you’re thinking you don’t want to babysit the grill forever either and don’t have time. No worries. This fool-proof method allows you to cook the chicken for the first 30 minutes over indirect heat and you don’t even have to watch it. This easy first step helps render the fat in the chicken skin without causing flare-ups and the resulting burnt, undercooked pieces of chicken. Rendering the fat also helps create crispy skin and juicy chicken, yum!
Since most of the fat is dripped onto the cooler side of the grill, you won’t have to hold the spray bottle of water on stand-by to extinguish flames and flareups. Cover the grill and set your timer, then after about 30-40 minutes on indirect heat (depending on the size of the pieces) move the chicken closer to the hot side of the grill. Begin to baste the chicken with an amazing sauce like our Easy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe. Flip and baste the chicken every 5 minutes for about 20-25 minutes. This builds the awesome-sauce factor by layering flavor and caramelization.
Now all you need to do is lower the heat on the main burner, move the chicken over to the hot side of the grill and continue cooking, basting and flipping for another 10-15 minutes. The reward is phenomenal juicy pieces of barbecued chicken with crispy skin, and cooked-all-the-way through deliciousness.
Use any kind of chicken pieces you want, but for this post we used all chicken thighs. If using assorted pieces, you’ll have to adjust cooking time for the bigger, thicker breasts, etc. If you have an instant read thermometer on hand, that will take out all the guesswork about whether or not the chicken is cooked through. Chicken breasts should register 165F, and dark meat like legs, thighs, and drumsticks 175F.
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Here’s another grilled recipe you might enjoy and a link to our (not yet famous) Easy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe too!
Easy Honey BBQ Sauce – great as a marinade or for basting and slathering on grilled chicken, pork or beef.
Grilled BBQ Pork Tenderloin – marinated in our homemade sweet and spicy Honey BBQ Sauce then grilled to juicy perfection, this simple main course is a summer staple.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or dry Sriracha powder, or other spicy blend
- 3 cups barbecue sauce
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut away any extra large, long pieces of chicken skin or fat hanging from the thighs. Sprinkle each with the salt, pepper and seasoning.
- Preheat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn one side off and leave the primary burner (and any secondary burners) on medium-high. Using tongs and folded paper towels dipped in vegetable oil, grease the grate over the side that was turned off.
- Place the chicken pieces on the cool side of the grill, skin side down. Cover the grill and cook until chicken begins to brown, about 35-40 minutes. Move the chicken closer to the hot side of the grill in a single line if possible. Flip the chicken and baste with the BBQ sauce. Continue to grill, turning and basting every 5 minutes until the chicken becomes crusted, about 20-25 minutes.
- Turn the burner(s) down to medium-low (or low if needed to prevent burning) and move the chicken to the hot side of the grill. Baste again and cook, turning frequently, for about 10-15 minutes more or until the internal temperature registers 175F . Discard any remaining sauce not used when basting.
- Serve and enjoy!
Our gas grill has three sections with individual controls. I had two sections on while cooking the chicken.
Use your favorite chicken pieces and adjust grilling time as needed to reach 165F for chicken breasts and 175F for legs, thighs and drumsticks
Great slathered with our Easy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe
Here’s a link to an instant-read thermometer that may help when cooking chicken on the grill – click on the photo for more information.
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia