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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Ultimate BBQ Chicken Recipe
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    Ultimate BBQ Chicken

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    3 hrs 10 mins

    10 mins

    3 hrs

    P4's Note:

    From Fine Cooking Issue #39, recipe and method by Paul Kirk, a BBQ genius! I had never ever had any luck making BBQ chicken until I read this article and followed it to the letter. Now, I am famous for my BBQ chicken. This recipe is ridiculously easy, and requires very little effort on your part, mostly just monitoring the grill. The sauce and rub are just mixing everything together. I guarantee you will love this chicken.

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    Units: US | Metric


    BBQ Sauce


    1. 1
      For the spice rub- mix all ingredients in a bowl.
    2. 2
      Store in an airtight container.
    3. 3
      For the sauce- put all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar (keep a screen handy- it spits).
    4. 4
      Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. 5
      Let cool, store in the refrigerator in a tight-lidded jar for months.
    6. 6
      BBQ Chicken- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
    7. 7
      Sprinkle on the rub generously.
    8. 8
      Get your BBQ (gas or charcoal) very hot.
    9. 9
      If you have some hickory chips or apple chips, feel free to add them.
    10. 10
      When the grill is ready, put the chicken, skin side up, on the grill: if you have a charcoal grill push all your coals to one side and put the chicken on the other side.
    11. 11
      If you have a gas grill turn off one side and put the chicken on that side.
    12. 12
      You don't want the chicken over direct heat.
    13. 13
      Put the lid on the grill and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes, maintaining an internal temperature of 230- 250 degrees by adjusting the vents (opening the vents lets in oxygen and raises the temperature).
    14. 14
      If your grill doesn't have a thermometer, use an oven thermometer to monitor the heat.
    15. 15
      After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with apple juice.
    16. 16
      Continue to cook and baste until the chicken is done, about 3 hours.
    17. 17
      At first, the chicken will appear that it isn't cooking at all, and you will be tempted to crank up the heat.
    18. 18
    19. 19
      Trust me- just keep going.
    20. 20
      You will think nothing is happening and wonder if this recipe is wrong, wrong, wrong.
    21. 21
      Just let it go- it will cook.
    22. 22
      Baste every half hour or so with more apple juice.
    23. 23
      Check for doneness at 2 1/2 hours.
    24. 24
      When it is done, baste each piece with the sauce and let it cook a few more minutes to let the sauce adhere to the chicken.
    25. 25
      Serve with more of the sauce, lots of napkins, some beer, and prepare for applause.
    26. 26
      Note: I was once hungry for this chicken in January (brrrr!) and with 2 feet of snow, didn't feel like trudging out to the grill.
    27. 27
      I made it in the oven and it turned out great.
    28. 28
      Just keep the oven temperature on 250 degrees, put the chicken on a cookie rack set over top of a sheet pan covered in aluminum foil.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on March 06, 2003

      Dolores, the reason the skin was like leather was because you didn't follow the method I laid out, or use the rub that I specified. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but browning the skin before grilling it was guaranteed to give you leather skin, and the rub I posted is the right one for this method. I stand by this recipe, and the method as written.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on March 18, 2003


      Did this using the oven method and had exellent results. Yes, it did seem like not much was happening for a while, but in the end the chicken was cooked nicely. The guys here gave out compliments, so it had to be yummy! (Sorry, I don't eat meat so can't give a personal review for the taste but trust me... if the guys here give a compliment I KNOW it's gooood!)

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on March 19, 2003


      I must tell you this recipe went over very well here. We loved it. The smoking process is the best part of it.Love the apple jucie is great. We just loved the process of cooking and the tender tender chicken was the very best with the best tasting BBQ sauce. I have to tell you we love it and will use it over and over.Thank You

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (35)


    Nutritional Facts for Ultimate BBQ Chicken

    Serving Size: 1 (386 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 1005.2
    Calories from Fat 438
    Total Fat 48.6 g
    Saturated Fat 13.4 g
    Cholesterol 308.3 mg
    Sodium 1018.0 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 41.3 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
    Sugars 37.0 g
    Protein 97.5 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    seasoning salt

    lemon pepper

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