BBQ Chicken Competition Tricks

Chris Grove
"Nibble Me This"
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BBQ Chicken, Corn, and Baked Beans
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Competition cooks do all sorts of magic tricks to try to make their one bite of chicken stand out from the crowd. As a Certified BBQ Judge and occasional BBQ competitor, I have seen all kinds of chicken turn-ins.  No step is too much to try to get that extra 10th or 100th of a point in appearance, taste and tenderness — the deciding factor in a close victory. With this recipe we are going to borrow a few of those tricks to make your backyard BBQ chicken stand out the next time you have your friends over to grill out.


wood chips, chicken, BBQ


Competition-ish Chicken: 4 Competition Tricks to Use On Your BBQ Chicken at Home


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: --

Calories per serving: --

Fat per serving: --

An easy way to make BBQ chicken like the pros.


  • 12 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • Spray margarine or butter
  • 1-2 cups wood chips
  • For the Rub
  • 2 tablespoons coarse garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • For the Glaze
  • 3/4 cup smoky sweet BBQ sauce
  • 3 ounces chicken stock
  • 3 ounces honey


  1. Set up your grill for indirect heat and preheat your grill to medium low heat (325°F). Place wood chips on the grill 10-15 minutes before putting the chicken on the grill.
  2. Prep the chicken thighs as noted below.
  3. Mix the garlic salt, brown sugar, paprika and black pepper together in a small bowl and season the top and bottoms of the chicken thighs. Note: If you don't have coarse ground garlic salt, lower the amount to 4 teaspoons of regular garlic salt.
  4. When the wood begins to smoke, place the prepped chicken thighs over the burners that are not turned on. Close the lid and maintain the temperature.
  5. After 30 minutes, spritz the chicken lightly with the spray butter, just enough to moisten the skin. Repeat at 45 minutes into the cooking time.
  6. Mix together the BBQ sauce, stock, and honey in a medium bowl.
  7. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 175-180°F degrees, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes total cooking time.
  8. Remove the chicken from the grill. Pour the BBQ glaze over as soon as the chicken comes off the grill and serve.


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