Kids in the Kitchen: Perfectly Grilled Barbecue Chicken {Step by Step!}


Heather loves to get in the kitchen with her kids, and she wants you in the kitchen with your kids too! Kids in the Kitchen with Girl in the Kitchen shares tips, recipes, and ideas to get you and your kids cooking together.

kids in the kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen

Meat is a tricky thing to cook. It is one of the most unforgiving of all things that I like to make. You have three outcomes when you cook meat. I will describe these as heard in my own mind:

  1.  It is not done. OMG. I need to throw this all away. I was just about to serve raw meat to my family. #worstmomever
  2. This is so dry and chewy. UGH. If I only would have cooked it about two minutes less…it would have been perfect! I have so much regret right now. My punishment for this crime is eating this incredibly tough meat. #whyohwhy
  3. This is perfect. Perfect. Juicy, tender, delicious! #eatup

Well, obviously, we are all shooting for outcome #3, but more times than not, I am sure many of us get outcomes #1 and #2. I have some good news! I have discovered a perfect, no-fail way to prepare chicken. No more outcome #1 and #2! We can finally sit back and enjoy our perfectly cooked meat!

With summer winding down, we are trying to use our grill as much as possible. It will be winter (shh…I know I shouldn’t have even said it!) soon enough, and the grill will be covered in snow. This chicken recipe can be adapted with other spices and other combinations to help it seem like a fresh and exciting new meal every night!

Achieving perfect grilled chicken will take some time, but the results are worth it! You will begin by creating a brine that will help retain the moisture in the chicken. Pounding the chicken will help the chicken grill evenly and prevent it from drying out. Grilling will give the meat a juicy, tender texture and all that delicious, homemade barbecue sauce…well, I won’t give it away. Try it yourself to taste the delicious results.

Perfectly Grilled Barbecue Chicken Recipe

Step 1 – Buttermilk Brine:

  • 1-quart buttermilk
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Mix together all ingredients. 

bbq chicken recipe
Buttermilk Brine – © H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Step 2: Tenderize

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Meat tenderizer, rolling pin…or anything you can use to pound the chicken
  • Resealable plastic bag or two large sheets of plastic wrap

Place the chicken breast one at a time in the plastic bag or between the plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer, mallet, or rolling pin until chicken is all the same height. Don’t pound it too thin, it will just burn up on the grill. I try to keep it at about 3/4 of an inch thick. Making sure the whole breast is the same is the key. It will then grill evenly which results in juicy, tender meat.

bbq chicken recipe
© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Step 3 – Marinate:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderized
  • Large resealable plastic bag
  • Prepared Brine

Add chicken to plastic bag. Cover with brine. Marinate for 3 hours. 

Step 4 – Prepare the Sauce: 

This is where I throw together my absolute favorite homemade barbecue sauce! If you have the time and ingredients to do this-go ahead now. It will take a little bit of time but will be well worth it! If you want to skip making your sauce homemade, pick up a bottle of your favorite sauce and bring it outside to get ready to baste. Since I don’t really let my kids handle raw meat, this is a great step to include the kids in the kitchen. They can easily measure out the ingredients and whisk them all together. They can even carry it out carefully to the grill to help you out! Don’t forget a basting brush!

bbq chicken recipe
© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Step 5 – Grill:

Begin by making sure you have a clean and oiled grate. Your chicken will be much happier starting that way! Go ahead and preheat your grill to about 350 degrees. Place the chicken on the grill and resist the urge to touch it for 4 minutes. Don’t press it, scoop it up, lift it, cut it – nothing! Just leave it be! When those four minutes are up, flip the chicken. You will cook this side for 4 minutes as well, but go to Step 6 at this point.

Step 6 – Baste:

When you have turned the chicken over, begin basting the one side that has already been grilled. When the 2nd set of four minutes have ended, turn the chicken and baste the other side. Close the grill and cook for about 1 minute more. This could vary so always check for doneness. If cooked through, remove from the grill immediately.

bbq chicken recipe
© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Step 6 – Serve:

Serve immediately with this savory bacon cheddar cornbread and coleslaw. Make sure you serve some warmed barbecue sauce on the side for dipping!

BBQ chicken recipe
© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Check out Girl and Her Kitchen for more delicious recipes like this one!

Want more easy and fun recipes? Find all our favorite recipes here.

By: Heather Williams

Heather is a busy mom of three who loves exploring Lake County with her kids. When she, her husband, and kids are not embarking on new adventures, you will most likely find her cooking and posting some great family-friendly recipes at Girl and Her Kitchen.

Kids in the Kitchen: Perfectly Grilled Barbecue Chicken {Step by Step!}

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