On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Perfectly Grilled BBQ Chicken Recipe

Ending up with a dry piece of chicken with burnt BBQ sauce? Not anymore! We perfected this grilling recipe so you can enjoy juicy, moist, tangy, and sweet BBQ chicken every single time.

Perfectly Grilled BBQ Chicken Recipe

Juicy, moist, tangy, sweet… 

All that you could ever want in a BBQ grilled chicken breast!

But without proper execution, you may end up with dry chicken with a gummy or burnt BBQ sauce coating. 

Fortunately, this grilling recipe is a sure way to enjoy juicy, moist, tangy, and sweet BBQ chicken every single time.

Find out how to grill chicken to BBQ perfection with one delicious summertime recipe! 

Yield: 4 servings 

Nutrition per serving*: 220 calories, 7 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g total carb, 1 g fiber
*Includes 1 piece of chicken and homemade BBQ sauce (recipe below!)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes


• 4, 5-ounce chicken breasts, boneless
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1 cup BBQ sauce (healthy homemade recipe below!)


1. Though not a necessary step, brining the chicken helps enrich the flavor and yield a juicy product. Fill a pot of warm (not hot) water and dissolve in a small handful of salt. Let the chicken soak in the brine for at least 15 minutes but not more than 2 hours. Take out the chicken, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. With a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the thickest part of the breast until the piece is relatively even. This helps ensure even cooking.

3. Add chicken to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil or other favorite cooking oil. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat so all chicken pieces are evenly oiled and seasoned.

4. Fire up a clean grill to medium heat. Place chicken skin-side down on the preheated grill over direct heat. Position the chicken at a diagonal to create those beloved grill marks.

5. With the lid covered, grill chicken for about 5 minutes then flip. If the chicken sticks to the grate, cook for another minute or so. It should eventually peel off and flip.

6. Cook for another 5 minutes, baste with barbecue sauce, flip, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip again and baste on the opposing side so the entire chicken is covered. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. The chicken is cooked when juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

7. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and serve with BBQ favorites, including grilled vegetables and cabbage slaw.

BBQ sauce gifts grilled chicken a slightly tangy and slightly sweet flavor, though it often comes with a major downfall….

Bottled BBQ sauce purchased from the grocery store tends to be overloaded with refined sugar and other unwanted ingredients. 

Skip out on the store-bought BBQ sauce and prepare a homemade version. Not only do you gain total ingredient control, but are left with one satisfying BBQ sauce packed with fresher flavor!


• 1, 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, no salt added
• 6 oz tomato paste
• 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 4 Tbsp rice vinegar 
• 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp dry mustard powder
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Stir all ingredients together and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

3. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. 

Use BBQ sauce on the chicken, to top other favorite grilling recipes, or as a dipping sauce. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week for utmost freshness and quality. 

Weather non-permitting? Do not let it rain on your parade! 

Take BBQ chicken indoors by baking in the oven. The ingredients are the same and the steps closely follow. Here is what to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Line chicken breasts onto a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper on each side. 

3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes then brush with BBQ sauce. Return to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes more.

4. Flip the chicken, coat with BBQ sauce, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The chicken is cooked through after reaching an internal temperature of 165°F.

5. Let the chicken rest about 5 minutes before serving with favorite sides. 

Also feel free to use other chicken pieces, including chicken thighs and wings. But do not let the concern of dark meat fly you off just yet… 

Dark meat cuts are higher in saturated fat and calories compared to white meat. But they tend to offer more iron, zinc, and other nutrients while also being great sources of protein. 

All-in-all, both white and dark meat chicken can be included in a well-balanced diet and grill up nicely!