Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Hours 25 Mins
Serves 6

The secret to extra moist grilled chicken is an overnight soak in a hot sauce-laced buttermilk marinade.

How to Make It

Step 1

Whisk together buttermilk, water, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup of the hot sauce, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved; stir in lime slices and garlic.

Step 2

Place buttermilk mixture and chicken in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; seal bag, and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat dry with paper towels.

Step 3

Heat a grill to medium (350°F to 450°F) with an area cleared of coals (for charcoal grill) or a burner turned off (for gas) to make an indirect heat area. Place chicken, skin side up, over indirect heat, and grill, covered, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Step 4

Whisk together ketchup, butter, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 teaspoons brown sugar.

Step 5

Brush ketchup mixture onto both sides of chicken; transfer, skin side down, to direct side of grill, and grill, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy; turn and grill, uncovered, 1 to 2 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Chef's Notes

Allow 24 hours for brining.

Ratings & Reviews

Excellent brine - wonderfully crispy, moist chicken!

July 25, 2016
This was truly a great brine - the chicken was flavorful (not too salty or spicy) and incredibly moist.  It crisped up so nicely on my gas grill, using indirect heat.  I didn't make the sauce but grabbed my Sweet Baby Ray's for convenience so I can't comment on that, but the chicken itself was superb.  

Incredibly moist and barely spicy

June 27, 2016
Between the brining time and the indirect cooking time, this isn't a quick fix recipe.  But it's worth it.  Extremely moist and tasty.  I made the recipe using Texas Pete's hot sauce.