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Fastest Barbecued Chicken

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

This is easy fare for informal outdoor gatherings. You can make the rub and the sauce up to a day in advance.


  • 6 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chile powder
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup low-salt soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco or other chipotle hot sauce; more to taste
  • Quickest Slaw (optional; see below)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 2980
  • Carbohydrates (g): 36
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 29


  • Heat a gas grill to between medium and medium high. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar with the chile powder, dry mustard, and 1 Tbs. salt. Spread the chicken thighs on a large baking sheet and rub the spice mix all over them.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk the remaining 4 Tbs. brown sugar with the ketchup, soy sauce, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed. Stir in the Chipotle Tabasco, adding more to taste.
  • Spread the chicken thighs out on the grill, cover, and cook on the first side until they turn a deep reddish brown and begin to blacken in places (they’ll also shrink and plump up), 4 to 5 minutes (rotate the thighs once 90 degrees on each side for the most even cooking). Flip the thighs and continue to cook on the second side until they’re firm, deeply colored, and slightly blackened in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a brush, dab a generous amount of sauce over the top of the chicken, cook for 1 minute, flip, slather the other side with sauce, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Arrange on a platter and serve with any remaining sauce and the slaw if you like.

Quickest Slaw

  • Toss 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced (about 4 cups), with 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice, 1 tsp. granulated sugar, and 3/4 tsp. kosher salt. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.


Rate or Review

Reviews (11 reviews)

  • Star_1 | 01/09/2021

    Very quick and easy and very tasty. Good for a summer BBQ or weeknight when you need something fast and that doesn’t require marinating.

  • jenzdezine | 09/29/2015

    This recipe is amazing. While the sauce was cooking, I wasn't sure...I didn't change a thing and what a lovely surprise! Wish I had made more. This will be a favorite in our home.

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