Perfect Barbecued Chicken


Chicken (sometimes called “yard bird” in grilling and smoking circles) is the dish grill jockeys love and hate. They love it because there’s nothing like grilling to crisp the skin, smoke the meat, and turn out a chicken that’s tender and juicy.

They hate it because all too often, the skin turns out flabby or scorched, the meat is undercooked near the bone, and the flames from the dripping fat cause trouble almost the moment you put the bird on the grill. Well, if you have encountered these pitfalls, here’s a grilled chicken that’s guaranteed foolproof. In fact, you couldn’t burn it if you tried.

I’ve taken all the risk out of the recipe by moving the fire to the sides of the grill—away from where the chicken cooks. You still get that smoky live-fire flavor, but without the risk of the bird burning. Pit masters will recognize this technique as indirect grilling, and it produces some of the tastiest barbecued chicken this side of Memphis. And to make you feel like a pro, I’ve included a mop sauce (a thin vinegar mixture you apply to the chicken with a barbecue mop), so you can hold your own with the big boys on the barbecue circuit. The barbecue sauce is applied the last few minutes of grilling, then sizzled directly over the fire to set the sauce.

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About the Book


Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the Barbecue! Bible series, embarks on a quest to find the soul of American barbecue, from barbecue-belt classics-Lone Star Brisket, Lexington Pulled Pork, K.C. Pepper Rub, Tennessee Mop Sauce-to the grilling genius of backyards, tailgate parties, competitions, and local restaurants.

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