Pull up a chair; it’s Classic BBQ Chicken night! There are many fancy chicken recipes out there, and I even have a few myself. But sometimes, you just want good ol’ fashioned BBQ. This chicken is my take on a tried and true recipe.
Juicy chicken is rubbed down with my heavenly seasonings, then cooked to perfection on the Traeger Timberline 1300. You have a winning combination when topped with two of my best-selling sauces! This is a wonderful recipe to serve at family cookouts, gamedays, or when you want a weeknight dinner straight off the pit.
This Classic BBQ Chicken is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It’s excellent for novice pitmasters hoping to hone their skills. A simple dish can always taste gourmet when you include the right seasonings and sauces! The simplicity of this recipe makes it universally friendly. Everyone will enjoy this meal, and you can be sure they’ll ask for seconds.
Start the countdown; this Classic BBQ Chicken comes together with 5 ingredients. You won’t use all your seasonings, so save the rest for another fabulous recipe. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart.
- Whole chicken. Whole chickens are the way to go if you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill! Cutting them yourself isn’t difficult when you’ve got the right knife. We cut our chicken ourselves, but you can always go the pre-cut route.
- Heath Riles BBQ Everyday Rub. Salt and pepper have nothing on this AP rub! My seasoning contains garlic, salt, and a secret blend of spices. It’s amazing! Use it on your fries, veggies, meat, or popcorn.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Rub. This rub holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first one I ever perfected. It’s sweet, with just the right amount of heat on the back end. It contains a fabulous mix of paprika, brown sugar, garlic, onion, and smoke flavoring.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce. My best-selling sauce took 10 years to perfect, and man, was it worth it! If you like ketchup-based sauces, you’ll adore this one. It’s great on chicken, pork, and baked beans.
- Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce. I created this sauce because I wanted something vinegar-based but not overly tart. This sauce is great on its own but shines when paired with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, use it as a dressing!
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main setup I used for this cook. You can find more of my grilling favorites in the Equipment and Tools section.
- Pellet grill/smoker. I used a Traeger Timberline 1300 for this cook. This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Timberline 1300 has many excellent features, like a pellet sensor, a super smoke button, and easy transportation.
- Pellets. I used Traeger Hardwood Hickory Pellets to give the chicken traditional BBQ flair. This option added rich smoke with a mild flavor.
The Process for Making Classic BBQ Chicken
You can see this recipe's detailed demonstration in the video and recipe card. Here’s a quick overview of how I pulled this tasty chicken together.
- Fire up the Traeger. I stoked the Traeger Timberline 1300 with Traeger Hickory Pellets and fired it up to 250℉.
- Prep the chicken. I cut the chicken, so I had 2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 legs, and 2 thighs. I put the chicken in an aluminum pan and refrigerated them for an hour to dry the skin. This step creates crispy chicken with a great texture.
- Season. I seasoned the chicken generously with Heath Riles BBQ Everyday Rub, followed by Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Rub. I flipped the meat over and repeated the process on the other side. I let the chicken sweat in for about 5 minutes before moving on to the next step.
- Cook and baste the meat. I laid the chicken directly on the Traeger Timberline 1300 and let it go for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, I started basting the meat with Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce. I basted the meat every 30 minutes until the internal temp reached 155ºF in the breasts and 165ºF in the legs, wings & thighs. Since we are cooking low and slow, this took my bird about 2 ½ hours.
- Sauce and set. Once the chicken reached temp, I removed it from the grill. I turned the Traeger Timberline 1300 up to 500℉ and sauced the chicken with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce. I put the chicken back on the pit for 15 minutes to get some good char. Then, I removed the meat and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
The Classic BBQ Chicken came off the pit with that gooey sauce BBQ lovers adore. Each bite was infused with the perfect amount of smoke, sweetness, and spice. This recipe was terrific for the 4th of July. You can’t get much better than this!
Serving Suggestions for Classic BBQ Chicken
Storing Classic BBQ Chicken
If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 3 days or freeze them for up to 4 months.
Equipment and Tools
Classic BBQ Chicken | Traeger Timberline 1300
Cut chicken into pieces if you desire, places chicken pieces in the refrigerator to dry
Season chicken on both sides with Heath Riles BBQ Everyday Rub & Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Rub
Place pieces on the Traeger Pellet Grill (or grill of your choice) for 45 minutes at 250º
Baste chicken with Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce every 30 minutes until chicken temperature reaches 155º in the breasts and 165º in legs, wings & thighs.
Remove chicken from grill, increase grill temperature to 450-500º baste with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce and return to the grill for 10-15 minutes to set sauce and for chicken breasts to reach 165º.