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Making decent barbeque chicken isn’t hard, but there is a trick to it. The problem is that when you get a nice crispy outside, the inside of your chicken is still raw. And if you go on grilling until it’s done, well, then the outside will be overcooked—or even burned. Some folks try parboiling the chicken first but who has time for that nonsense? Here’s the way to do it, all on the grill. This method works for any chicken parts, with skin or without (but c’mon, barbeque chicken needs the skin, people!). It can also work on both gas or coal grills but gas is easier in this case, as you need to have a way to create two sides of your grill, one with heat and the other without, and also a cover. If you have a two-burner gas grill then you’re golden; if you have coal you’ll need to shove the coals to one side and create your hotter part there.

1. Turn on one half of the grill, but not the other half, or, if using coal, let them get hot, then move them to one side. Salt and pepper the chicken on all sides. Once the grill is hot, slap your chicken pieces down on the hot side of the grill, and sear them for 5 minutes on each side.

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2. Move the chicken pieces to the other side of the grill where there is no flame. Close the lid. This is the part when the chicken actually cooks. This usually takes only around 20 minutes; longer if you are using thicker breasts. Keep the heat up high on the other side, though.

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3. Test that the chicken is done (165 degrees), then move it back to the hot side, and pour your barbeque sauce in a small bowl. With a basting brush, brush the sauce on nice and thick on one side of your chickies. Flip the parts over and brush the other side. Wait 1 or 2 minutes or so and flip again, baste again, and repeat this a few more times. Then serve it up, grillmaster!

By Debbie Stoller
Illustrated by Michelle Smith
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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