The secrets to perfect barbecued chicken are to use dark-meat cuts like drumsticks and thighs, to cook the chicken slowly over indirect heat so the outside doesn’t burn before the inside cooks through, and to add the sauce just at the end to glaze the chicken (watch the video for step-by-step instructions). If you have a favorite barbecue sauce, feel free to substitute it.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the sauce up to a week ahead. Refrigerate in a covered container.
I never had much luck with bbq'ed chicken, this technique made such a huge difference. The recipe is great as it is, but it works really well as a base to try different rubs/sauces. On a mid-size gas grill, putting the wood chips in a foil packet under the grill on the hot side worked much better then the small cast iron smoker box. Having a good bbq thermometer would make it easier dial in the temperate, but the legs/thighs are forgiving if you're off. I usually only brush the bbq sauce on 1/2 the chicken, as the dry rub alone is really good (add a bit extra).
Lord ALMIGHTY was this good! I even skimped and used store bought BBQ sauce and it was still the best BBQ chicken I've ever had. This was only the second time I've ever grilled chicken in my life, it did take quite a while, and I was good and drunk by the time it was done but holy cow was it worth all the screwing around. Please please do this. You won't regret it. A little foil packet of wood chips (unsoaked) worked just as well. Enjoy!
Excellent! I start the grilling season every year with this. The dry rub and apple/maple BBQ sauce are perfect.
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