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Barbecue chicken on a white platter.

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Grab the napkins: This easy Grilled BBQ Chicken is finished with a dunk in sweet-spicy barbecue sauce. Learn how to turn any grill into a smoker, then prepare to savor a smoky, saucy chicken dinner that will have the entire block wishing they were invited to your yard for dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 377kcal


For the rub:

For the chicken:

  • 1 (2 1/2-3 pound) whole chicken quartered (see note 1)
  • barbecue sauce (see note 2)
  • Wood chips soaked for 30 minutes and drained


  • To make the herb rub, in a small bowl combine garlic powder, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper). Rub generously all over the chicken pieces, and let sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  • Preheat a charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat (see note 3). Sprinkle the wood chips on the coals, or add in a perforated foil packet to a gas grill.
  • Coat grill with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill the chicken directly over medium-high heat, turning once, until well browned, 3-5 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the pieces to the unheated portion of the grill, close the grill cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Brush both sides of the chicken pieces liberally with barbecue sauce and cook for 5 minutes longer.
  • Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F on a thermometer and bits of caramelized sauce have begun to cling to the outside of the chicken. As pieces finish cooking (the breasts will be done first), transfer them to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil until ready to serve.


  1. Chicken: Start with a 2 1/2- to 3-pound chicken cut into quarters. Either ask your butcher or the staff behind the meat counter to assist with the task, or to quarter a chicken, check out my Recipe FAQ below.
  2. Barbecue sauce: Save time with your favorite store-bought condiment, or try my Sweet Baby Ray's copycat Barbecue Sauce recipe. It takes just 20 minutes to DIY a 4-cup batch!
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 4 servings of Barbecue Chicken: 2 servings are chicken breasts, and 2 servings are leg quarters. Depending on the size of your chicken, the servings should be about 1 cup cooked chicken per person.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1 breast or leg quarter | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1113IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg