My Best BBQ Chicken Recipe

There are lots of ways to BBQ chicken – and I have tried them all. But the best way I have found is to brine and slow-smoke your chicken. This gives you moist, flavorful meat that is better than anything you have ever cooked. I like to use chicken thighs because the dark meat stays moist longer, but you can use whatever cut you prefer.  Any cut of chicken will work really well with this method – but you just need to check your internal temp at the end – larger pieces of chicken may need an additional 20 – 30 minutes. First thing you want to do is trim any excess fat, but leave the skin on and in-tack. Next you make a brine to place the chicken in for at least 4 hours. It can be as simple as Italian dressing or you can make your own brine with 1 gallon of water then add 1 cup kosher salt, I cup brown sugar, ½ cup molasses, thyme, rosemary, oregano – you can add or substitute any of those spices to give the brine a unique flavor. Place the chicken in brine for at least 4 hours – but up to overnight. This process will produce a tender, juicy final product. After it’s brined you drain it really well and pat it dry. You will notice a change in the meat – change in color and over-all look. This is because you have taken the first step to flavorizing your meat. Next coat it with a BBQ dry rub.  You can make your own, or purchase one at a grocery store. When I’m not competing and I want a good quality rub that I don’t have to make myself, I will use PlowBoys Yard Bird. Get your smoker to 250-275 and place the chicken on there for 1 hour. Next I take a sm. Aluminum food service pan and melt 4 sticks of butter (to make a butter bath). Place your chicken in the butter bath and put back on smoker for an additional hour.  Butter should only come up half way on those pieces – they should not be submerged. After 1 hour on the smoker and 1 hour in the butter bath, carefully remove each piece from the butter bath and place back on a rack in the smoker. Then lightly re-season with dry rub for color and flavor. Continue to smoke for 30 minutes and check internal temp. When your internal temp reaches 165, it’s time to start saucing. Brush each piece with your sauce. You can use anything, but I recommend blues hog original. Sauce and let it continue to smoke for 30 minutes – making sure the sauce isn’t burning. Take your chicken off the grill, lightly brush sauce on again and it’s ready to serve. You can add a light finishing rub if you want to give it that extra punch at the end. It needs to be sweet and spicy – and it needs to easily “melt” into your sauce. Try this out this weekend – I guarantee you it is worth the trouble! It is the best BBQ chicken you will ever eat! view this full recipe with pictures at

1st place BBQ chicken

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One response to “My Best BBQ Chicken Recipe”

  1. a.pond says:

    thanks for your tips, been cooking in comps for few years. I have had some success but obsessed with winning. Heading into my first comp of the season this weekend feeling even more confident thanks to some of your tweeks.

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