Barbecued Chicken

The sauce in this recipe is a bit sweet but packs in extra flavor and a bit of kick from a rub that is applied to the chicken before cooking.
The cooking method is based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that results in moist meat.
Course: Grill, Main Course - Chicken - Poultry
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


Chicken Rub

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 6 pounds skin on, bone-in chicken pieces (leg quarters or thighs will be moister, or split breasts) remove excess skin and fat (only 6 thighs will fit on our grill)
  • 1 jar Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 disposable aluminum pie plates or small pans


  • Combine rub ingredients. Arrange chicken on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle both sides evenly with rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Using a gas grill, place the disposable aluminum pans each filled with 1 1/2 cups water directly on 1 burner of gas grill (opposite primary burner). Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s). Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 325 - 350 degrees.
  • Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken, skin side down. Sear 2 minutes then turn over and sear 2 minutes on second side. Move chicken to cooler part and brush both sides with 1/3 cup sauce. Arrange chicken, skin side up, with leg quarters closest to fire and breasts farthest away. Turn burner 1 off and turn burner 2 to adjust temperature to 300°F. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Brush both sides of chicken with remaining 1/3 cup sauce and continue to cook, covered, until breasts register 160 degrees and leg quarters register 175 degrees, 25 - 35 minutes longer. At end, to crisp skin, over medium heat cook 2 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.