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Best BBQ Chicken Recipe

Best BBQ Chicken Recipe has my super simple secret method for making the moistest, flavorful, delicious BBQ chicken you will ever eat.  When I make this chicken for a party or get-together, I never have to worry about leftovers.  It is that good.  

Serve it with my Potato Salad: Red, White, and Blue for a summer holiday BBQ picnic. 

BBQ chicken on a plate

Summer is synonymous with family BBQs and summer parties.  Whenever I am hosting the party this Best BBQ Chicken Recipe is a favorite of everyone.  I love making it because it takes a small amount of time to make and is amazingly moist, tender, and flavorful.  

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chicken rub seasoning mix in jar

What is the secret to making the Best BBQ Chicken Recipe?

The flavor for this chicken starts with my DIY chicken seasoning or rub.  Mix up a double batch and you will have enough to last you all summer.  Use 1 – 2 teaspoons per chicken leg-quarter.   This rub is loaded with flavor and my secret ingredient makes the flavor really “pop.”  Umami Powder (shiitake mushroom powder) enhances all the flavors that are in the rub.  (click here)  for where to purchase Umami powder.  It is very versatile and enhances the flavor of soups, stews, sauces, and vegetables.   It is so good.  

The secret for making the chicken moist and tender is baking before BBQing, the chicken.  Baking the chicken first, keeps it from becoming chicken jerky on the BBQ.  The chicken is finished on the BBQ for about 5 minutes.  Just long enough to give it that BBQ flavor and crisp up the outsides of the piece of chicken.  Because the chicken is so moist and ,tender, is is very important to use a grill basket.   Without a grill basket the chicken may fall apart on the BBQ and be lost to the flames. 

BBQ chicken on a plate

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BBQ chicken on a plate

Best BBQ Chicken Recipe with Video

Learn my secret technique for super moist and tender BBQ chicken.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, BBQ Chicken
Servings: 2
Calories: 348kcal


  • 2 chicken leg quarters or any chicken pieces, breast, drum, or thigh
  • BBQ sauce make your own or use your favorite purchased BBQ sauce.

Chicken Rub

  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried garlic flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp paprika smoked if you have it.
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper ground
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Umami powder (shiitaki mushroom powder - flavor enhancer)


  • preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mix the Chicken Rub ingredients together and season the chicken leg quarters with the rub
  • Place the leg quarters in a baking pan and cover with aluminum foil
  • Bake for 1 hour covered. Turn the oven off and uncover the chicken. Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes in the oven. This dries out the skin, and keeps the skin from coming off when you put the chicken on the BBQ.
  • Remove the chicken leg quarters and cover with BBQ sauce. I use a grill basket to grill the chicken. The chicken is fully cooked and so moist and tender that it may fall apart and be lost to the flames, if you don't use a grill basket. The BBQ crisps and chars the outside of the chicken.
    chicken leg quarters in a grill basket
  • Grill on the BBQ until the outside is crispy with areas of char. Usually 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Serve with additional BBQ sauce
    bbq chicken on a plate



There will be more chicken rub/seasoning than you need for this recipe.  Save the leftover rub in an airtight container for a later date. 
If you don't have time to make the chicken rub use McCormicks Montreal Chicken Seasoning.  


Serving: 1leg quarter | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 2442mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    It was really helpful that you mentioned baking the chicken before barbecuing them to make them more tender. I’m planning on inviting my husband’s family from the south to his birthday and they’re all very fond of barbecues. Since I’m not a very good cook, I’ll be sure to look for a catering service that has offers different kinds of barbecues and meats.

    1. growwithdoctorjo

      I prebake both my ribs and chicken before BBQ’ing it. It makes it super tender, and sooo fast to finish in a grill basket with sauce. Farmer Fred can BBQ enough chicken and ribs for a large party in less than 30 minutes when everything is prebaked. The BBQ gives it that smokey flavor and beautiful char that we all love about a great piece of BBQ meat.

  2. Anonymous

    This post is very helpful. I love BBQ and this tip of yours to prebaked it before grilling is very good. I like to grill my chicken on a gas grills. I would like to try these recipes of yours.

    1. Doctor Jo

      Thank you.

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