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Honey BBQ Chicken is made with my homemade Honey BBQ sauce and tender boneless skinless chicken thighs. So easy to do on the grill, oven, cast iron skillet…or even the air fryer! Do you love BBQ Chicken? Try my Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sliders!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
I think we can all agree that quick and easy dinners are always a good idea! Especially ones that don’t heat up the kitchen during the warmer months of the year. With summer in full swing, you’ll find me grilling outdoors as much as possible. I was stumped the other evening on what to make for dinner so I asked the family for suggestions. Someone yelled out Honey Barbecue Chicken! While I’m pretty sure he meant fried chicken, this is the recipe that popped up in my head. This BBQ chicken is tangy, sweet and juicy tender! Full of flavor chicken thighs slathered in a homemade honey bbq sauce is absolute yum!
What other Cuts of Chicken Can I Use?
While I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they are juicy and hard to overcook, you can definitely use whatever cut of chicken you have on hand. Keep in mind that the thicker the cut of chicken (like chicken breast) the longer it’ll need to cook and reach 165° F. You could also use a bone-in chicken thigh or legs, but those will take much longer to cook through so keep that in mind.
Do I Have to use Dark Brown Sugar in the Honey BBQ Sauce?
It depends. If you’re wanting that deep savory bbq sauce flavor, then yes I would say you do need to use dark brown sugar. You can make your own if you have light brown sugar and molasses. For this recipe you would use 1/4 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 tsp of molasses, and stir together with a fork.
How to Make Honey BBQ Chicken
For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe card down below. I’ve also included cooking variations down below if you want to try this in the oven, on the stovetop or air fryer! Here is step by step what you can expect when making Honey BBQ Chicken:
For the Honey BBQ Sauce
Heat oil or butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until it just begins to brown, careful not to burn it.
Add the remaining ingredients (ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, black pepper, dark brown sugar, and lemon juice) to pan and simmer on medium low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Keep warm until ready to use.
For the Chicken
Rub oil on chicken to fully coat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Place chicken on a hot grill or Blackstone and sear until golden brown on one side. Flip to brown other side.
Brush on BBQ Sauce + Finish Cooking
Once chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 155° F, brush BBQ Sauce on generously and flip to caramelize on grill. Repeat on other side and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 165° F. Should take less than 20 minutes depending on your grill.
Serve + Enjoy!
Serve warm with extra BBQ Sauce drizzled over top or on the side.
While I enjoy cooking outside on the grill as much as possible while the weather is nice, there are several ways to cook BBQ Chicken!
Stovetop: I recommend using a heavy cast iron skillet. Place on medium high heat to get a good sear on meat and follow the rest of above instructions (just like it was a grill).
Oven: You will not get a good sear on the meat, but you can definitely make these in the oven at 400° F, baking for about 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Instead of waiting until the end to add BBQ Sauce, go ahead and do it right from the beginning to the sauce caramelizes as it bakes.
Air Fryer: Preheat Air Fryer to 380° F. Oil and season chicken and place in a single layer in air fryer basket or shelf. Set the cook time for 12 minutes. Flip chicken and air fry for another 6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove, toss in BBQ Sauce and serve.
Tasty Side Dishes for Honey BBQ Chicken
- Macaroni Salad – you can’t go wrong with this classic pasta salad!
- Coleslaw – a classic tangy coleslaw.
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon – a summer salad favorite and great side to BBQ Chicken.
- Corn on the cob – have you ever grilled your corn? I have a great tutorial on how to grill the perfect corn on the cob.
- Ambrosia Salad – a sweet fruit salad!
- Famous Butter Rice – the best way to make rice!
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries or Air Fryer French Fries – easy and perfect paired with chicken.
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container or resealable bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. Extra BBQ sauce can be stored separately in a container and in the fridge for up to a week! Add it to some other grilled meat or seafood too!
To Reheat: heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals until desired temperature is reached. You can also reheat this bbq chicken in an air fryer to bring back some of that crispy texture.
To Freeze: store leftovers in an airtight, freezer safe container and into the freezer for up to 3 months! Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try!
- Grilled Chicken Wrap
- Grilled Asian Sweet and Spicy Chicken Skewers
- Italian Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Bruschetta
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Skewers
There you have it, friends- another easy dinner that everyone will be coming back for seconds! I would love to hear what you think in the comments. Have a great day!
Honey BBQ Chicken
for the Honey BBQ Sauce
- Heat oil or butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until it just begins to brown, careful not to burn it.
- Add the remaining ingredients to pan and simmer on medium low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Rub oil on chicken to fully coat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place chicken on to hot grill* and sear until golden brown on one side. Flip to brown other side.
- Once chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 155° F, brush BBQ Sauce on generously and flip to caramelize on grill. Repeat on other side and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 165° F. Should take less than 20 minutes depending on your grill. Serve warm with extra BBQ Sauce drizzled over top or on the side.