Jeffs Barbecued Chicken

January 27th, 2006 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Just about any time of year is great for barbecued chicken. The only real way to have barbecued chicken is on the grill. I could write pages and pages on which is better, gas or coals, but I at least will not get into that argument. Myself, I use gas unless I have a lot of stuff to cook on the grill and am having guests. In my opinion, gas is more practical, where coal is messy and time consuming but allows you to control the flavor more and in the end can bring out a better taste in meats.

When I am just cooking for the family, I use the gas grill so I will base this recipe on that type of cooking, but if you use coal, the technique is similar.

The most challenging food to cook on the grill in my opinion is chicken. Chicken is one meat that you do not want to eat rare in any form. Cooking it on a grill and ensuring it is done is a challenge but once perfected is a skill not many posses.

Chicken contains a lot of fat, and cooking it over a flame leads to many flare-ups and burnt meat. The technique I use tries to combat that a little while not sacrificing taste. I boil the chicken until it is about 60% done before I cook it on the grill. Boiling is removes much of the fat without drying out the chicken. It also helps when you are basting the poultry in the sauce over and over as I do in this recipe.


  • 7 – 10 pounds of chicken: drumsticks, thighs, whole legs, and breasts. I do not recommend boneless or skinless chicken.
  • My barbecue sauce for chicken.
  • 1 tablespoon Salt.


Place all of the poultry into a large pot and fill with water until covered.

Add salt.

Bring to a boil.

Preheat grill.

After boiling for about 15 – 20 minutes remove from heat and strain all of the water and if necessary, rinse off any fat with hot water.

Clean out the pot, or get another of the same size and place all of the chicken back in the pot.

Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken and mix well so all pieces are coated. Reserve the remaining sauce.

By this time, your grill should be warmed up. Take the chicken to the grill and place each piece SKIN SIDE UP on the grill. Make sure the flames are not touching the chicken as we do not want black poultry for dinner. 🙂

Let cook for 10 minutes with the grill cover down.

Open grill and with tongs or a fork take each piece of chicken and dunk it into the sauce completely and place skin side down.

Let cook for 10 minutes SKIN SIDE DOWN. Keep an eye that flames are not burning the chicken.

Repeat this three times more with the last time resulting in the chicken being skin side up and let cook until sauce gels. Make sure you dunk the chicken into the sauce each time you flip it.

At this point the chicken should be cooked. You can test with a large piece to be sure but note the sauce is very red and may make the meat appear to be raw when it is not. A good way to test if it is done is just see how easy the meat falls off the bone. If you really have to work at it, then it probably is not done.

Ideally you want the chicken to be a bit crunchy, yet not burnt, but covered with sauce. It may be messy, but it will be delicious.


If you are dead set against boiling the chicken, then cook the chicken on the grill with NO sauce until it is about 60% done, and then start dunking and flipping the chicken as the recipe calls for. You do not want to put raw chicken into the sauce because it can make you sick if there are any bacteria on the chicken, this is one reason why we boil it ahead of time in the recipe.


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