2 tablespoonsvegetable oil, plus more for coating the grill
Freshly ground black pepper
Barbecued chicken is a staple of summer cookouts—no matter that it’s actually grilled chicken slathered in sauce rather than proper barbecue (the term barbecue is generally reserved for food cooked slowly over a smoky fire). This is a simple back-pocket recipe that, once you get over the naming discrepancies, you can keep on hand for whenever the urge for juicy, saucy, crispy-edged chicken hits.
Watch Lisa Lavery of the CHOW Test Kitchen make this simple chicken dish in an episode of our video series The Easiest Way.
1Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until completely incorporated. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the flavors have mingled and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 to 40 minutes.
2Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate the barbecue sauce for up to 2 weeks.
For the chicken:
1Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium (about 350°F to 450°F) and rub the grates with a towel dipped in oil. Meanwhile, if you’re using chicken breasts (either boneless or bone-in), cut them in half crosswise. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Coat them on all sides with the measured oil, and season with salt and pepper.
2When the grill is ready, place the chicken on it (skin-side down if using skin-on), close the grill, and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of the chicken pieces, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over, close the grill, and cook until grill marks appear on the second side, about 5 minutes more.
3Reserve 1 cup of the barbecue sauce in a separate bowl. Flip the chicken again and brush about a quarter of the remaining sauce on the chicken pieces. Close the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush the chicken, and continue to flip and brush every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece reads 160°F to 165°F and the meat near the bone is no longer pink, about 10 to 15 minutes more (about 25 to 30 minutes total cooking time). Remove the chicken to a clean serving platter and serve immediately, passing the reserved bowl of barbecue sauce on the side.