Southern BBQ Chicken Recipe -
Southern BBQ Chicken Recipe
  • READY IN 9+ hrs

Southern BBQ Chicken

Recipe by  

"Slow-grilling over indirect heat keeps this chicken moist and tender. Giving the drumsticks a long rub with seasonings makes them taste great. Always baste at the end of grilling to prevent the legs from burning."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    55 mins

    9 hrs 10 mins


  1. Mash brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Spoon paste into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, coat with the paste, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours to overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir ketchup, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into onions; bring to a simmer and cook until flavors blend, about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.
  4. Cook chicken on the preheated grill until lightly browned on all sides, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Turn off one of the grill burners or move the coals and move chicken so there is no heat source diretly below it.
  6. Baste drumsticks with the sauce and cook another 10 minutes; turn and again and baste the chicken with the sauce. Continue to drumsticks until juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C)
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  • Cook's Note:
  • You can also blend the brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor to make the marinade paste.
  • Nutrition:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 06, 2014

I really like the concept of this recipe. Although, I would like the bbq sauce a little sweeter, saltier, or smokier. This is a little more vinegary. Maybe, I had the unfortunate experience of growing up too much on the bottled stuff. The prep for this recipe is very easy, even the bbq sauce. I only had a package of 6 chicken legs, so I halved the recipe to try it. I also cut the sauce cooking time in half. The chicken takes considerably longer than the 1 minute suggested. I recently had bbq'd chicken legs at a party, which made me choose this recipe. I would definitely consider something like this, to attempt again, to feed a group for a bbq along with other meats. It's very affordable to make and there is much more meat than typical chicken wings. ty

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 27, 2014

This was my first time trying to barbecue, and it was pretty good. I made a few modifications along the way. First, I doubled the spice rub, (something I highly suggest) to make it more flavorful. I cut the cook time for the sauce down a little bit because it had started to burn. My biggest problem was the complicated cooking over indirect heat. After cooking the chicken as long as I could without burning it, I realized that it still wasn't cooked in the center. I ended up putting it in the microwave to make it safe for consumption! If I were to make it again, (which I don't think I will), I will probably cook it the way I would normally, basting along the way!

Jun 07, 2014

I made this recipe for my daughter's birthday party. It was a huge hit without a piece remaining. I did breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks all with the same recipe and they turned out great. I do agree with doubling the sauce. We will definitely be making this one again.

Feb 07, 2015

Our 11 year old daughter, who loves to cook, made tgis for the family tonight and it was THE BEST chicken drum sticks we have ever had...seriously. My husband even told her to print this out because he wants it again!!!

Jun 05, 2014

This was my first attempt at BBQ chicken legs. It was easy and the results were good. My only thing, and this is not the recipes' fault, is that it took a lot longer than 45 minutes to get the legs up to 165 degrees. Now that I've done it once, I know I need to turn my grill up a bit higher next time. That's not why 4 stars though; it was good, but I usually give 5 stars to recipes that absolutely amaze me. This was a good primer on BBQ legs, and I'll probably do it again :). Thanks!

May 26, 2014

This was very good and simple to make. I doubled the sauce recipe because we like to have some on the side...especially for reheating.

Mar 13, 2014

We liked this recipe. I cooked 2 (joined) legs and thighs. I did add 1 TBS. each of molasses and brown sugar to the sauce. Browned leg quarters about 7 minutes on each side then turned and basted every 10 minutes. Very good and moist.


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  • Calories
  • 424 kcal
  • 21%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18.2 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 128 mg
  • 43%
  • Fat
  • 21.3 g
  • 33%
  • Fiber
  • 0.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 39 g
  • 78%
  • Sodium
  • 1528 mg
  • 61%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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