This 5-ingredient BBQ Chicken is juicy, beautifully charred, and easy to make using your favorite BBQ sauce. Perfect for your summer cookout!
For the month of July I primarily use my grill to cook. I love the simplicity of this BBQ chicken recipe, made with only five ingredients I am sure you already have in hand. I used drumsticks, but you can also use a whole cut-up chicken, adjusting the time as needed. Also, I left the skin on the drumsticks, but you can omit it. Serve this dish with corn on the cob and coleslaw for an easy meal. For more of my favorite grilled chicken recipes, try these Barbeque Chicken Foil Packets, BBQ Chicken Salad, and Barbeque Chicken Quesadilla.
Do you put BBQ sauce on chicken before cooking?
The best time to put the BBQ sauce on is when the chicken is almost ready. If you do it when the chicken is raw, the sugar in the sauce will cause it to brown faster than the meat, and the outside of the chicken can burn. I brush the sauce on the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.
BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- BBQ Chicken Rub: For the spices start with seasoning salt, like Lawry’s or adobo, and garlic powder
- Sauce: Your favorite BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, and a little water to thin out
- Chicken: Eight skin-on chicken drumsticks, or skin removed if desired
How to Make BBQ Chicken
- Season the Drumsticks: Sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning salt and garlic powder. If you’re keeping the skin on the drumsticks, rub some of the seasoning underneath the skin. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as overnight for maximum flavor.
- Make the Barbecue Sauce: Combine the BBQ sauce, mustard, and two tablespoons of water to thin it.
- Prep the Grill: Starting with a clean grill, preheat it to medium. Once hot, oil the grates and reduce the heat to low.
- Grill the Chicken: Place the drumsticks on the grill, cover, and turn them often to ensure they don’t burn. It’ll take about 18 to 20 minutes for the chicken to become golden brown, tender and cooked through. Check that it’s ready with a thermometer – it should read 165°F.
- BBQ Sauce: Brush the sauce mixture evenly over the chicken and cook for about two more minutes, turning a few times.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken
There are so many ways to eat this easy barbecue chicken. Below are some ideas.
- Classic Sides: Make some traditional barbecue side dishes, like corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese or potato salad.
- Baked Potatoes: Top a baked potato or baked sweet potato with sour cream or Greek yogurt, cheese, and chives.
- As a Main: Pair the drumsticks with some summer sides, like this Creamy Cucumber Salad, Corn Tomato Avocado Salad, or Veggie Kabobs.
- BBQ Sauce: When purchasing a barbeque sauce, look for one that’s lower in sugar. If you don’t have a store-bought one you love, you can make homemade BBQ sauce.
- Chicken: Use chicken breasts or chicken thighs (buy bone-in chicken pieces) or cut up a whole chicken and use all the parts. The cooking time will vary, but check that it’s ready with a thermometer.
- No outdoor grill? Bake the chicken in the oven at 400°F for 35 to 45 minutes and brush it with the BBQ sauce during the last two minutes of cooking.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- The Best Grilled Chicken Breast
- Grilled Chicken Chickpea Salad
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Spinach
- Season chicken with seasoning salt and garlic powder. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce, mustard and about 2 tablespoons water to thin it out.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat.
- Oil the grates and reduce heat to low. Grill the chicken, covered, turning often so they don’t burn, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through in the center, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Brush the BBQ sauce mixture evenly over the chicken and cook, turning a few times until golden, careful not to burn, about 2 more minutes.