A great barbecue sauce is a really a matter of opinion – and opinions run high – which is why it comes in so many varieties. In fact, different regions of the country typically have their own favorite version of barbecue sauce that highlights that region’s particular taste preferences – whether sweet or vinegary, runny or thick, or some variation in between.
Personally, we enjoy a Southern-style sweet-n-tangy sauce with rich molasses undertones and just a slight nuance of kick. I’ve shared our favorite BBQ sauce recipe below, incase you’d like to give it a try this summer. However, if you prefer a more tomato-based Kansas-style sauce, my friend Diana developed a real food version that’s especially delicious.
Tips for Foolproof Grilled BBQ Chicken
Whichever sauce you choose, let me share a few secrets with you for foolproof BBQ chicken that will turn your next backyard barbecue into a deliciously memorable event that will have your family and friends begging for more!
• Consider a rub – Most BBQ gurus recommend seasoning chicken pieces with a tasty spice rub prior to grilling. Think of it as layering flavors. The result is an amazingly delicious depth of flavor. You can use any number of spice rubs, but our personal favorite is to sprinkle on a little bam. Trust me, a little goes a long way! Then, allow the chicken to sit at room temp, while you preheat the grill as described below.
• Preheat – When it comes to any kind of cooking, preheating is key and grilling is no different. Preheating your grill at least 10-15 minutes before cooking is vital to getting a good sear. This not only helps to prevent sticking, but even more important, results in a more flavorful and moist outcome.
• Indirect heat – Cooking bone-in chicken over indirect heat rather than an open flame results in moister, more tender chicken. Indirect heat is also crucial when it comes to ensuring that your sauce caramelizes rather than burns. If using a gas grill, turn on just one side of the grill to high. Allow the grill to preheat 10-15 minutes and then place your favorite bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs or breasts) on the opposite side of the grill (not over the flames). Cover and allow the chicken pieces to cook until they start to turn golden brown (about 20-25 minutes), making sure to follow the tip below.
• Even heat – Movement is key to ensure all of the chicken cooks evenly. So make sure to switch the pieces halfway through the cook time so that the ones closer to the flames trade places with the pieces that are furthest from the flames. This will ensure all pieces are equally cooked.
• Bring on the sauce – Once the chicken is golden and near done, move the pieces closer to the flames and start brushing the sauce on, making sure to turn the chicken often. It’s important at this point to remain stationed at the grill – brushing, turning, and moving the pieces around. Giving the final stage your full focus will ensure everything cooks evenly and is thoroughly covered in a perfectly caramelized sauce.
• Ready to Eat! Once the chicken’s internal temp reads 165°F, remove the pieces from the grill and place them on a serving platter. Tent with foil and allow the chicken to rest about 5 minutes. Then serve and enjoy some finger-licking good barbecue!
With the tips above (and the great sauce below), now it’s your turn to fire up that grill and get your summer BBQ on! For more great summer grilling tips, be sure to check out “The Top 10 Best Grilling Tips.”
That gorgeous Citrus Salad sure looks good, hey? You can find the recipe here. It makes a delicious sweet-n-tangy addition to any summer barbecue!