Chicken/ Grilled

Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken

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We’ve got a tasty twist on a weeknight classic: Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken. Who doesn’t love sweet + sticky BBQ chicken for dinner? Each piece of chicken is coated with our homemade honey citrus sauce made with zesty fresh oranges and lemons. This chicken dinner is a hit.

Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken | Buy This Cook That

Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken

My family loves to grill, and chicken is one of our go-to favorite dinners. For this recipe for Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken, we pick up a pack of chicken drums and thighs. Then, we whip up a fast and zippy homemade BBQ sauce that is mouthwatering.

You won’t believe how easy this recipe is. But it is also pretty messy. From the sticky honey to the tangy sauce…then of course, the sticky hands. Brawny® Tear-A-Square® Paper Towels are great to have on hand for all of your kitchen messes and easy clean up. I love the new options to select either a  full-size sheet, half-size sheet, or quarter-size sheet. Just Tear-A-Square® and clean up is a breeze. (Plus this cuts down on kitchen waste.)

For big spills or drying my hands, I pick the full-size sheet. For smaller oopsies, the half-size does the trick. The quarter-size is my favorite, because I don’t always need to use a whole paper towel. I pull off a quarter size for little drips, holding messy food, and more.

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Ingredients Needed for this BBQ Chicken Recipe:

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Orange juice + zest
  • Lemon juice + zest
  • Honey
  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Liquid smoke
  • Grated fresh ginger
  • Salt, pepper, and spices (Get the complete list of ingredients in the recipe at the bottom of this post.)

TIP: A mixed pack of chicken thighs and drumsticks is very affordable compared to other cuts. Plus, they are very juicy and flavorful cuts of chicken.

Ingredients for honey citrus barbecue sauce, including oranges, orange zest, lemons, and honey.
Homemade bbq sauce made with honey and fresh citrus juice and zest

How to Make Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken

  1. Preheat your grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then lower heat to around 400 degrees.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken pieces.
  3. While the grill is heating, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, citrus zest, honey, and all other sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.
  4. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Cool and transfer to a jar.
  5. Cook the seasoned chicken on the heated grill, turning frequently to cook through.
  6. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the honey bbq sauce. Turn and baste again several times until the chicken is sticky and well coated.
  7. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Rest 5 minutes before serving.
Chicken thighs on a gas grill basted with bbq sauce.

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Be sure to keep an eye on the grill heat because you don’t want the chicken to burn. Cook until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink near the bone.

Due to variations in grills, cooking times, and chicken size, always refer to the USDA guide for proper internal temperatures when grilling.

Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken | Buy This Cook That

More Tips for BBQ Chicken

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is properly cooked. (But don’t overcook it because it will be dry.)
  • The honey citrus bbq sauce makes a little over a cup of sauce which is enough to baste the chicken and have just a little left over for serving. The sauce recipe is easily doubled and can be stored sealed in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • Turn the chicken frequently while grilling to promote even cooking.
  • Don’t sauce / baste the chicken until the last few minutes of cooking or else the sauce may burn.
  • If your grill gets too hot, move the chicken away from direct heat and let it “roast” versus direct grilling. Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by washing and drying your hands often while preparing the chicken. Also be sure not to use utensils and dishes that have touched raw chicken for the cooked chicken.
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Your family is going to love this tangy sweet bbq chicken. The sauce is bursting with the flavor of fresh oranges and lemons and the right hint of honey-sweet. Serve with a tossed salad and corn on the cob for a delicious meal.

Here are 3 Side Dishes to try with this recipe:

Butter Basil Corn

Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Grilled Citrus Spring Salad

A platter of bbq chicken covered in sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print

Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken

A tasty twist on bbq chicken. Featuring an easy homemade honey citrus bbq sauce with fresh citrus juice and zest.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq chicken
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 309 kcal
Author Buy This Cook That

Buy This

  • 4 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 orange juice and zest
  • 1/2 lemon juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook That

  1. Preheat your grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then lower heat to around 400 degrees.

  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken pieces using all of the salt and half of the pepper.

  3. While the grill is heating, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, citrus zest, honey, and all other sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.

  4. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Cool and transfer to a jar.

  5. Cook the seasoned chicken on the heated grill, turning frequently to cook through.

  6. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the honey bbq sauce. Turn and baste again several times until the chicken is sticky and well coated.

  7. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Due to variations in grill, temperature, and size of chicken, please use a meat thermometer to determine proper doneness.

Nutrition Facts
Honey Citrus BBQ Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 498mg 21%
Potassium 330mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 16g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 6.5%
Vitamin C 13.2%
Calcium 2.2%
Iron 6.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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