The perfect summer BBQ chicken recipe

October 9, 2015

BBQ chicken is a staple for any summer grilling enthusiast. Here's a low-sodium recipe that can produce a perfectly seasoned, and perfectly moist, chicken.

The perfect summer BBQ chicken recipe


  • 1.75 to 2 kg (3 1/2 to 4 lb) bone-in chicken breasts, thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 45 g (3 tbsp) kosher salt
  • 22 g (1 1/2 tbsp) sugar
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 c) Low-Sodium BBQ Sauce (see below)


Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus 2 to 3 hours brining. Cooking time: 35 minutes. Serves 6

  1. Trim any excess fat from the chicken parts.
  2. Put the salt, sugar and 250 millilitres (one cup) of hot water into a large ziplock bag. Shake to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add 700 millilitres (2 3/4 cups) cold water and the chicken parts. Press out the air, seal and refrigerate for two to three hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and discard the brine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with the pepper. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 20 minutes as the grill heats up.
  4. Heat a grill to medium heat. If using charcoal, pile hot coals on one side of the grill leaving the other side unheated. If using gas, leave the burners off on one side of the grill. Your grill's temperature gauge should read around 180°C (350°F).
  5. Put the chicken, skin side up, over the unheated part of the grill. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear , 30 to 40 minutes total. Breasts cook faster, so check them first. The temperature should read about 76°C/170°F for breasts and 80°C/176°F for thighs.
  6. During the last 10 to 15 minutes of grilling, move the chicken over the heated part of the grill to brown all over. Brush with the barbecue sauce during the last five minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken to a serving platter.

Nutritional information

Per serving:

  • 223 Calories
  • 4 g Fat (1 g Saturated Fat)
  • 14 g Carbs
  • 32 g Protein
  • 0 g Fibre
  • 98 mg Chol
  • 814 mg Sodium
  • 25 mg Calcium

Low-Sodium BBQ Sauce

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes 750 millilitres (3 cups).


  • 500 ml (2 c) low-sodium ketchup
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) dark brown sugar
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) cider vinegar
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) yellow mustard
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) smoked paprika
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) onion powder
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper
  1. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in a medium pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one month.

Nutritional information per tablespoon: 14 Calories, 0 g Fat (0 g Saturated Fat), 3 g Carbs, 0 g Protein, 0 g Fibre, 0 mg Chol, 37 mg Sodium, 3 mg Calcium

There are two rules for making perfectly juicy barbecued chicken. First, brine the chicken to keep it moist. Second, brush the chicken with barbecue sauce only at the end of the cooking.

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