Basic Grilled BBQ Chicken

Chicken breasts, believe it or not, are actually fairly difficult to barbecue well. And when overcooked, they get that awful, dry, gritty texture that totally ruins the taste. Here's a recipe for basic grilled BBQ chicken. It's not hard, but it does take a bit of preparation time to get good results.

What You Need

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  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp table salt

Preparing the Chicken

Important note: pre-heat your barbecue to high heat before you start preparing the chicken. The chicken needs to put on the grill right after removing it from the brining solution.

  • Trim the chicken of fat or any loose meat.

  • Rinse the chicken breasts under cold, running water. Pat dry.

  • Pound the chicken flat, to a uniform 1/2" to 3/4" thickness. One of the difficulties in grilling chicken properly is the natural shape of the chicken -- there's the big thick part, which tapers off to a skinny section. So it's easy to overcook parts of the breast while undercooking another part.

  • Combine the water, sugar, and salt (this is the brining solution). The sugar and salt needs to be completely dissolved in the water. If you're having trouble with this, you can heat up the water to help it along - just be sure to cool the mixture thoroughly before using it.

  • Now add the chicken breasts and the liquid mixture to a ziplock bag, or use a shallow dish (so long as the chicken is covered).

  • Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Don't leave it too long, or your chicken will be too salty!

Barbecuing the Chicken

  • Preheat the grill to high heat (this needs to be ready for the chicken immediately after it's removed from the brining solution).

  • Grease the cooking grate.

  • Remove the chicken from the brining solution and immediately place on the grill.

  • Cook for 6-10 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is done.

Brining the chicken and then barbecuing it quickly over high heat are the keys to this basic, tender, grilled BBQ chicken. Check out some side dishes for BBQ to go with the chicken.



This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!