How to BBQ Chicken to Perfection

Here are three (3) quick and easy tips to help you grill BBQ Chicken perfectly every time.

Tip #1: Simplify Your Prep.

It really is okay - after you wash your raw chicken thoroughly and after you pat it dry - to apply just 3 simple ingredients before putting your chicken on the grill. The 3 ingredients are:


Rub a generous amount of olive oil all over each piece of chicken. Season each piece with salt and pepper. For extra flavor, go ahead and add your favorite dry rub or mix up a quick one with garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.

Also, as part of your prep be sure to clean your grill grates, then heat them up and oil them before adding your meat.

Tip #2: Sear Chicken on All Sides first.

Once you put your chicken on the grill, be sure to turn it every 2-3 minutes at the beginning to sear the meat and lock in the juicy goodness.

Tip #3: Baste Sauce on Chicken During the Last 10 Minutes of Cook Time.

The drumsticks shown here cooked about 30 minutes total. The sauce went on at the 20 minute mark, and once sauce was added, we moved the chicken to a higher grill rack to move it farther away from the flames. Doing this keeps the sauce it's rich tomato-ey color, and you avoid the black char that is so commonly seen on grilled meats. If you don't have a higher grill rack, you can lower the heat on the burner directly under the chicken on a gas grill or just move it away from the direct flame.

The reason adding sauce late is a key to grill bbq chicken successfully is that direct flames which are around 2000 degrees will burn the sugars in most rich tomato-based sauces fast.

By saucing late, you will minimize this charring effect and greatly improve the look and taste of your bbq chicken and all your grilled meats.

If you're cooking other meats with a shorter cook time, the rule of thumb from our Chief Grilling Officer at Outta The Park, also known as my husband Scott, is to "add sauce during the last 1/3 of your cook time."

For best results on taste and appearance, we simply recommend saucing your meat late. That said, please know that you CAN marinate your meats in rich tomato based sauces for sure, and you can also sauce early, but to do this well and to be happy with your results on the grill, you'll need to be skilled at indirect grilling and you'll need to be diligent during the entire cook time about keeping the meat off the direct flame.

Got any great grill tips and tricks you'd like to share? We'd love to hear what works for you!