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You’d be surprised by how easy it is to throw together the perfect barbecue sauce.

Our recipe makes the perfect amount to lacquer onto your poultry for a delightfully sticky texture and a flavorful punch. We prefer making this recipe with thighs and drums–which stay the most tender when cooked, but they do work on whatever part of the chicken you prefer.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 1 hr

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min + 15 min resting time

Serves: 4-6



  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp old-fashioned brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp good-quality apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp ground cumin


  • 6 chicken legs, split into thighs and drums
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • Buttered sliced bread and pickles
  1. Preheat barbecue to medium heat (about 350°F on a charcoal grill).
  2. For the sauce, combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, chili powder and cumin in a medium pot. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For the chicken, sprinkle chicken with salt. Season with freshly ground pepper. Oil grill and barbecue chicken, with lid closed, opening to turn occasionally, for 15 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce and continue cooking with lid closed, brushing with sauce and turning often, until chicken is cooked through and no sauce remains, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest, 15 minutes. Serve immediately with buttered bread and sliced pickles.

Kitchen Tip

Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Barbecue Chicken Sauce
Saucy Barbeque Chicken by Casa de Suna

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