“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.”
3hrs 10mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the spice rub- mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  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. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let cool, store in the refrigerator in a tight-lidded jar for months.
  6. BBQ Chicken- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
  7. Sprinkle on the rub generously.
  8. Get your BBQ (gas or charcoal) very hot.
  9. If you have some hickory chips or apple chips, feel free to add them.
  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. If you have a gas grill turn off one side and put the chicken on that side.
  12. You don't want the chicken over direct heat.
  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. If your grill doesn't have a thermometer, use an oven thermometer to monitor the heat.
  15. After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with apple juice.
  16. Continue to cook and baste until the chicken is done, about 3 hours.
  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. DON'T!
  19. Trust me- just keep going.
  20. You will think nothing is happening and wonder if this recipe is wrong, wrong, wrong.
  21. Just let it go- it will cook.
  22. Baste every half hour or so with more apple juice.
  23. Check for doneness at 2 1/2 hours.
  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. Serve with more of the sauce, lots of napkins, some beer, and prepare for applause.
  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. I made it in the oven and it turned out great.
  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.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a