Buttermilk-Brined Grilled Chicken

4.0 12
4 stars
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Food Styling: Amy Wilson
Recipe from Southern Living

Buttermilk-Brined Grilled Chicken is soaked in a mixture of buttermilk, brown sugar, and hot sauce to ensure flavor and juiciness. Add this whole cut-up chicken to your menu at your next summer cookout.


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) cut-up whole chicken


Hands On: 20 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes

  1. 1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved; stir in onion and next 2 ingredients.
  2. 2. Place buttermilk mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  3. 3. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 300° to 350° (medium) heat. Place chicken, skin side up, over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Mary Allen Perry,
June 2012