Photo: Jennifer Davick; Food Styling: Amy Wilson
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
25 Hours 5 Mins
Makes 6 servings

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved; stir in onion and next 2 ingredients.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews


June 21, 2016
I will try this chicken very soon, but it appears to me that the grill temp should be 350 to 450 like the magaZine article says. Yes/no...

RachelSmith's Review

July 18, 2014
We thought this recipe was awesome. I did omit the garlic and lemon in the marinade, by mistake, but sprinkled some garlic powder over the chicken pieces before grilling. It's a new favorite for us.

magnoliasouth's Review

June 15, 2013

DallasDeb's Review

February 11, 2013
Not worth the price of the ingredients. Chicken was tender but beyond bland and i followed the recipe exactly. Very, very dissapointed since I am looking for a keeper recipe for brined or marinated chicken that I can use as my go to Grilled Chicken recipe. Marinating in a bottle of Italian dressing is way better than this hot mess of a dish.

tinaharter's Review

October 26, 2012

PaulaJager's Review

July 05, 2012
Made for the 4th of July and made exactly as recipe suggested. Very tender and juicy. Not a strong flavor but very delicious. Made with the suggested sides and was very complimentary to it Company enjoyed very much.

fgaertner's Review

July 04, 2012

teamjones's Review

June 12, 2012
The chicken tasted like...... grilled chicken. I used bone-in/skin-on drumsticks and thighs -- did not notice any flavor nor extra juiciness.

Abuddfont's Review

June 10, 2012
I found this brine to be incredibly easy and preserved alot of tenderness to the meat. I did boneless chicken breasts (made cutlets) and drumsticks. I only brined for 12 hrs and still found a nice flavor! Make sure you use buttermilk. If you dont have it, add 2 tsp of white vinegar to 2 cups of milk and let sit for 10 minutes. That way, you should have the rest of the ingredients on hand for dinner without having to go shopping!

boldimp's Review

June 05, 2012
Excellent. Far from bland. I left out the garlic and lemon because I find those flavors too overpowering. The chicken was super juicy and the flavor sort of reminded me of bojangles chicken without being fried. Definitely a new favorite.