• Carly Zimmaro

Perfect BBQ Chicken {using a charcoal grill}

Ready ---- Set........ GO!

Well before set and go - if you are planning to use wood chips let's get those ready first...

I used Applewood Chips - took about 3 handfuls of them and placed in a bowl of water. Let soak for about an hour and then drain.

Simple as that!

Now....for the grill

Get your charcoal grill ready peoples!

Away from any trees or bushes.

Fill with charcoal - I used Match Light Charcoal - 1 bag is about $8 (got at redners) and for two people it'll last 3-4 grillings.

Reason I used March Light is to eliminate lighter fluid - easier, simpler, cheaper... why not? And because...my dad picked it out :)

And filled - say hello to Addie! ha!

I used about 40 coals - the more the better and hotter the heat will be.

You want the whole bottom to be covered and layered a bit.

And now for the most entertaining part - lighting.

If you have a long lighter PERFECT - if you dont and if you have a boyfriend make him light it ;)

Only need to light about 3 charcoals and then they will do the rest of the work.


It's pretty fun. To me at least. Just make sure to keep a bucket of water nearby just in case.

This only lasts about 10 minutes or so and then the fire will die down and the charcoals will turn white.

Don't walk away at any point! - stay around for this part.

When your grill is at this point (with a little fire left) - now is the time to add the applewood chips.

Make sure the chips are scattered all over

Add a little air-

And then your chips should start to slowly catch on fire and start to smoke.

At this stage you're ready to place your chicken on.

Here's the key - use bone in and skin on!!! I used split breast.

They're super affordable and come out mad juicy.

Yep. MAD juicy.

For the seasoning - I used Montreal Chicken - simple.

Now - if you start to see fire - no worries. As soon as you put the lid on it should kill the fire and will continue smoking.

Cook the chicken on the first side for about 15 minutes.

When ready...... uncover and.....

POOF! Ton's of smoke - but that's what you want!! It's absolutely everything.

So now flip over your chicken....

And admire.

Then once you're done admiring - slap on some BBQ sauce

Cover and let cook for 15 minutes. When done - flip over again and coat the other side with BBQ sauce.

My absolute favorite that I will never turn away from - is Bulls-Eye BBQ sauce Memphis style.

It has never done me wrong - but rather make little parts of my life so right.

Leave uncovered and let cook for a final 5 minutes - and then the Final Flip.............

Andddddddd {angels singing}

Absolute perfection.

At this point – no more BBQ sauce is needed – the skin is nicely charred and crispy.

But if you want more go for it!

Now – to check for doneness I use a thermometer.

Thermometers are essential.

Rather than cutting open a beautiful piece of meat before resting – losing all of its juices – a thermometer will eliminate that.

And is extremely precise.

Now – Chicken is usually said to be done at 165 degrees but I take mine off around 152 degrees and let rest for 10 minutes.

If you’re chicken isn’t done cover with the lid and let continue to cook and check every 5 minutes until it reaches 152.

When you take out the thermometer - the juices should run clear.

Congrats! You’ve just learned how to BBQ the perfect chicken!

This could work too on a gas grill but if you don’t have either – invest in a small charcoal!

They’re easy – affordable and entertaining!


  • Charcoal Grill

  • 1 bag of match light charcoal (or 1/3 of a used bag)

  • Lighter

  • Applewood Chips (optional)

  • Tongs

  • Basting Brush


  • 2 Split Bone Chicken Breast with Skin and Bone in

  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning

  • Bulls-Eye Memphis BBQ sauce


  1. If using chips – soak 3 handfuls in water for an hour – then drain.

  2. Pour charcoal into charcoal grill (about 40 coals)

  3. Light 2-3 of them with a lighter – all will start to catch. Be careful!!! The fire will be slightly big. Keep a large pot of water nearby just in case.

  4. After about 10 minutes the fire will start to die down, only a few small flames will be left and the charcoal will be white.

  5. Now – if using them – add in the chips, sprinkling directly over the coals evenly.

  6. Place the grate on the grill and lay on your chicken and cover with lid.

  7. Cook for 15 minutes.

  8. When done – using tongs – flip over the chicken and coat with BBQ sauce.

  9. Cover with lid and continue to cook on the other side for another 15 minutes.

  10. When done – flip the chicken over again and coat with more BBQ sauce.

  11. Leave uncovered and let cook for another 5 minutes.

  12. Flip the chicken and insert a thermometer and once the chicken reads 152 take off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes – this helps to pull together all the juices – also continues the cooking process.

  13. When 10 minutes has gone by – DIG IN!

  14. ENJOY!!!