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bbq chicken thighs on cutting board
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4.75 from 12 votes

Grilled BBQ Chicken

The marinade for Grilled BBQ Chicken has been in my family for about 50 years. It looks like regular BBQ sauce, but it's not. We used it on steak, chops and chicken. Easy and always delicious.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
marinating time (variable)30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or 2 bigger portions)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (or boneless breasts)
  • salt and pepper


  • 3 tablespoon French dressing (or Catalina or California dressing)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
  • 2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar or to taste (if you like it sweeter, add 3 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced (one small clove)
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp sriracha; 1/4-1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano.


  • MAKE MARINADE/SAUCE: Put all marinade ingredients into a small measuring cup and mix well. Taste and adjust flavors. You will have between 1/4-1/3 cup.
  • MARINATE CHICKEN: If chicken thickness is uneven, pound to even thickness. No need to make the chicken thin (just even for even cooking). Tip: I do this with the heal of my hand on a cutting board. Combine marinade and chicken in a bowl or ziploc bag, reserving about 3 tbsp to use as a finishing sauce. Marinate for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. If marinating for longer - up to a day - refrigerate chicken, covered.
  • HEAT GRILL: Spray grill with oil or grease grill with a paper towel dabbed with oil. Heat grill to medium high - about 450-475F.
  • GRILL CHICKEN AND SERVE: Grill chicken with lid closed 3-4 minutes depending on thickness. Turn chicken pieces over. Baste with reserved marinade/sauce. Close lid. Grill for another 2-4 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Instant thermometer will read 160F. Temperature will rise as chicken rests for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


Make Ahead: The recipe can be made a day ahead and grilled just before serving. Alternatively, grill the chicken ahead and serve it at room temperature or chill it and serve it cold. You can warm it up if you like in the microwave or oven. If you do, I suggest, under cooking it a bit.
Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg