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grilled bbq chicken on sheet pan
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5 from 8 votes

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Hands down the BEST juicy Grilled BBQ Chicken!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken, grilled chicken
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 244kcal


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup hickory wood chips (or mesquite)
  • aluminum foil (or smoker box)
  • 3/4 cup bbq sauce (your favorite brand or homemade)


  • 8 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper



  • Remove any excess fat from chicken breasts and drumsticks. To a large mixing bowl, add brine ingredients (water and salt), and stir until salt has dissolved. Add chicken, cover, and let sit 20-30 minutes.


  • Add the wood chips and enough water to cover them in a mixing bowl and let sit for around 20 minutes.


  • Add all rub ingredients (brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme and black pepper) in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.


  • Remove chicken from brine, rinse, then pat dry. Discard brine. Drain wood chips.
  • Spray chicken with olive oil spray (or brush lightly with olive oil), then sprinkle with rub mixture and literally rub it into the meat.
  • Fill an aluminum foil pouch with soaked wood chips, seal and poke a few holes in it to allow the smoke to come out. Start grill on HIGH, place 1 pouch of wood chips directly over the heat until you see smoke coming through the holes of the foil pouch.
  • Lower heat and keep temperature around 350°F. Move the foil pouch to the side of the grill. Add chicken, close lid and cook for 9-10 minutes, then flip chicken over, close lid, and grill another 9-10 minutes.
  • Baste chicken with bbq sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes (flipping once more), until chicken breasts have an internal temperature of 165°F and the drumsticks are between 165-180°F.
  • Remove chicken from grill and brush with additional bbq sauce if desired.



  1. Since we're not using wood chips and grilling, just add 3-4 Tbsp of liquid smoke to the brine.  If you're not using the brine method, then add a bit of the liquid smoke to the chicken itself before you add the dry rub.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (easy cleanup), and top with a metal cooling rack if you have one. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken to rack without touching (you may need to either cook less chicken or use more than one baking sheet).  Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake chicken for 18-22 minutes or until cooked through (165°F for breasts and between 165-180°F for drumsticks).
  3. The last 3-4 minutes of cooking time, brush with bbq sauce and switch your oven to the BROIL setting.  Broil to get golden brown edges and lightly caramelized bbq sauce.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 8269mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg