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How to make grilled skin-on, bone-in Barbecued Chicken, the easy way!
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!
For at least 6 months of the year, we grill a lot of chicken. 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.
Here’s the best part: it doesn’t have to be laborious and take hours to make while sweating over the grill non-stop. We’re sharing a very simple formula for success. If you don’t want to babysit the grill and don’t really have time, no worries. You can still enjoy amazing Barbecued Chicken!
This fool-proof method allows you to cook the chicken perfectly.
During the first 30 minutes, the chicken pieces are cooked 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.
Next, 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.
This grilling method produces crispy skin and juicy chicken.
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.
What is the best kind of chicken pieces to use in this recipe?
Feel free to 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, it 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 should reach an internal temperature of 175F.
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How to grill skin-on, bone-in Barbecued Chicken
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ 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!
Here’s a few more recipe you might also enjoy:
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.
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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