Tennessee Honey Barbecued Chicken

Learning to make perfect barbecued chicken on the grill can be a bit of a challenge. Often times, it ends up under-cooked or charred from flare-ups, but this recipe offers a few tips that should help alleviate those problems along with an easy-to-make barbecue sauce flavored with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.

Tennessee Honey Barbecued Chicken

Tennessee Honey Barbecued Chicken

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Make flavorful, juicy barbecued chicken with the indirect grilling method and an easy homemade barbecue sauce made with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.


For the Tennessee Honey Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, use apple juice for a non-alcoholic substitute
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (see instructions below).
  • Prepare the barbecue sauce by combining the ketchup, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, apple cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder and a few grinds of black pepper in a small saucepan.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer half of the sauce to a small serving bowl for passing at the table and put the rest in a separate bowl for basting at the grill.
  • Brush the chicken parts on both sides with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper (or use our Smoky BBQ Rub).
  • Once the grill is preheated, oil the grates and add the chicken, skin side down directly over the flame or coals.
  • Grill, uncovered until the skin is nicely seared, 5 to 7 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes skin side up. Watch carefully and move the pieces around if necessary to prevent flare-ups and charring.
  • Transfer the chicken, skin side down, to the cool side of the grill. Place the thicker, slower cooking pieces closer to the heat, smaller pieces further away. Baste with barbecue sauce, cover and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken skin side up, rearrange the pieces to ensure even cooking, and baste liberally with barbecue sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife. You can also use an instant-read thermometer – breasts are done at 165°F, leg quarters at 170°F.
  • Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and allow to rest for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.

Tips for Making This Recipe

About Indirect Grilling:

Indirect grilling is a technique that enables you to grill larger or slower-cooking cuts of meat without burning or blackening. Essentially all it means is that you preheat the grill to a medium temperature (350°F to 375°F) and only have the flame or hot coals under 1/2 of the cooking area.
If you have a 2-burner gas grill the process is pretty straightforward. Preheat the grill by lighting both sides and heating to a medium setting, then when you are ready to start cooking simply shut off one side.
Charcoal grills make the process a little more complicated. Depending on the size and configuration of your grill, you may want to pile the charcoal either on one side of the fire grate, or around the edges leaving a cooking space in the middle.
Whichever you choose, you want to allow your coals to burn until they are glowing orange and have a light layer of ash coating them. You can tell that the coals have “cooled” to medium heat by holding your hand about 4 inches above the cooking grate. It should take 6 to 8 seconds before you need to pull your hand away.
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