Best Barbecue Chicken You’ll Ever Make

If you follow this recipe, I promise it will turn out the best barbecue chicken you’ll ever make. It is outstanding!

best barbecue chicken (smoked or grilled) EVER!

  • When I say that this recipe will yield the best barbecue chicken you’ll ever make, I am dead serious. It contains all the elements of a good barbecue: a long brine/marinade, simple seasonings, lots of hickory smoke, and a delectable sauce.

I think  “North Alabama BBQ” is the best.

Anyone from North Alabama is sure to declare that this is home to the BEST BBQ; I totally agree! It is the barbecue that I grew up eating, and I’ve never found anything else that compares. This recipe is from The Cotton Country Cooking Cookbook, one of the best cookbooks ever, chock full of recipes from Decatur, Alabama, cooks. 

What you’ll need to make this chicken:

  • A smoker. We have a Big Green Egg, but any smoker will do. You could also use a charcoal grill along with hickory chips. 
  • Container for Marinade: The marinade is key to the flavor and tenderness of the chicken, and I always marinade the chicken overnight for best results. As you can see in the very old photos (my kitchen looks totally different now), you will need a large container to marinade the chicken. If you don’t have one, perhaps 2 gallon freezer ziplocs will work.


Is this really the best chicken you’ll ever make? The answer, at least for me, is a resounding yes! If you have all the supplies, please give this recipe a try. You won’t be sorry, and your fam will be super impressed at your grilling skills:-)

Suggested accompaniments: Our favorites are these yummy cheese grits, this green salad, and yeast rolls (I like Millie’s~don’t make my own). As always, we serve up glasses and glasses of our favorite peach iced tea.

If you try this, please let us know how it turns out and share any tips you learned along the way. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Best Barbecue Chicken You'll Ever Make

Best Barbecue Chicken You'll Ever Make

Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours


  • 2 whole chickens, bone-in, skin-on, cut up
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • salt, pepper & red pepper to taste (I use lots of both peppers)
  • hickory chips (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup black pepper (more to taste)
  • sugar to taste (start with 1 TB and add as needed)



  1. Wash chicken, butterlying breasts.
  2. Sprinkle with salt & peppers.
  3. Place in container with marinade, completely submerging pieces.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.


  1. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put hickory chips on smoker; heat to between 200-250 degrees F.
  3. While smoker is heating, place chicken (covered) in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  4. When smoker is heated,, add chicken to grill/smoker, covered, and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Cook until temperature reads at least 165 degrees in thickest part of breasts.
  6. Remove from heat; wrap in foil. Let sit for at least one hour.
  7. Keep covered with foil in warm oven until serving. Serve with white sauce
  9. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  10. Store in the fridge, covered, up to one week.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 10
Amount Per Serving Calories 703Total Fat 53gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 39gCholesterol 149mgSodium 480mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 42g


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  1. Good morning. I’m a little confused about the marinade. Step 3 says place chicken in marinade. Is the marinade just the quart of vinegar and the melted butter?

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