Sugar-Free Grilled BBQ Chicken


Wowsie, sometimes I really miss BBQ—you know the sweet, yet spicy/tangy, taste of BBQ ribs from Outback or pulled pork from a street vendor at the fair? And when I start feeling that way, I know that it is time to pull out my Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce and make something yummy!


And in grilling season, this is just the perfect dish—without any of the guilt or sluggishness associated with sugar-laden BBQ sauces (okay, and that sweet bread AND bloomin’ onion AND homemade croutons AND…you get the idea!).


This grilled BBQ chicken might look like it has a lot of steps, but take heart:


(1) You can omit the marinating if desired (especially if using bone-in chicken with skin and/or dark meat);


(2) If you have the BBQ Sauce Base in your pantry, making the BBQ sauce is really not any harder than mixing up any other one-bowl-one-whisk concoction. (So make that base!);


(3) You might not feel the need to pre-cook your chicken like I do. I get nervous about getting chicken done on the grill without precooking. That is a personal choice.



So…many steps or few—this chicken is worth the extra time to make amazing grilled BBQ chicken!



Sugar-Free Grilled BBQ Chicken

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

Sugar-Free Grilled BBQ Chicken
  • Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce (two times if you like things really saucy and you are going to marinate your chicken)
  • 15 lbs mixed chicken pieces, bone in/skin on
  • Monterey Marinade one time (if you want to marinate your chicken that day; if you are using skinless chicken rather than the skin on listed above, I recommend marinating)
  1. Make BBQ sauce as directed here two times for fifteen pounds of saucy chicken.
  2. Optional: Save out one cup of the BBQ sauce and make Monterey Marinade if you will be marinating your chicken for a few hours ahead of time.
  3. Optional: Make Monterey Marinade one time.
  4. Optional: Place your chicken in a large bowl or huge crock pot insert and pour marinade over all. Let sit in fridge for an hour or more to marinate. (Do not marinate out on counter—even if your chicken is frozen as some will defrost sooner than others and you risk spoilage of the early-defrosted chicken.)
  5. Optional: Place crock pot in the base and cook until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees or so. (For my super-hot crock pot, this is two hours on high followed by two hours on low.)
  6. Note: I always start any chicken in the crock pot on high for an hour or two (even chicken I am shredding for casseroles, etc.,). I feel it is safer than having chicken in a warm environment for too long (rather than in a “cooking state,” which it gets into more quickly on high for an hour.
  7. Optional: If you want to precook in the oven, that is another option, making sure it reaches the internal temperature listed.
  8. Transfer chicken to grill and use a brush to slather the BBQ sauce over both sides of the chicken.
  9. Cook on medium heat for twenty to forty minutes, depending on your grill and how precooked your meat was (longer if you did not precook!).
  10. Turn frequently and sauce often. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (I always use a meat thermometer for chicken—and I have been known to get my married kids meat thermometers every year for Christmas…you know, in case they lost last year’s!)
This can also be made in the oven. I would recommend baking it a hot oven then broiling at the end to get the BBQ sauce cooked into the skin just so!


Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!






Recipe Keys


Low Carb (LC): Carbs are minimal (just from the tomato paste and a tiny bit from the broth and the molasses).


Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): This does not taste the least bit sugar free or low carb! My “this is sugar-free, isn’t it, Mom?” adult kids all really enjoy it! And there is something wonderful about skin-on BBQ chicken—the way the BBQ sauce sticks to the skin. The way the skin crisps up on the grill. Yeah, this is yummy stuff!


Store-Bought-Stella (SBS):  Very homemade—but very worth it! Of course, SBS may also purchase store-bought sugar-free bbq sauce and use that in place of my homemade version. Just be sure you try it ahead of time as the store bought ones vary greatly in how “sugar-free” they taste!


Homemade Hannah (HH): Go on, Hannah, you know you want to do all the steps! 🙂


Freezer Cooking (FC): This chicken can be flash frozen after it is grilled and then dropped into zip-lock bags for one or two serving use. To flash-freeze, just place the finished chicken pieces on cookie sheets (I would line with parchment…always parchment!) and slide into the freezer. Leave there uncovered until chicken is frozen solid. Then remove and place in freezer bags or containers. To use, you would just defrost in a dish (if you defrost in the bag, all of your sauce will come off on the bag as it defrosts!) in the fridge, heat in the microwave or oven, and enjoy!


Oldie Goldie Family Recipes (OG): This “pre-cooking in a BBQ-based marinade” is how I have always fixed my BBQ chicken! Love that flavor infusion!


Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) ( As it is written, this recipe is an S with the skin on the chicken (and the combination of dark meat and white meat) and with the oil in the marinade. To make this an E, you would need to be sure you do not marinate in oil (broth and BBQ base only) and you would need to use boneless, skinless breasts. I highly recommend marinating if you are using chicken without skin and/or white meat only.


Cycle Cooking (CYC): I don’t usually do BBQ chicken in my cycle cooking as grilling takes longer than a cycle cooking day allots!


Sugar Free (SF): Sugar-free and amazingly yummy!


Gluten Free (GF):  Be sure all of your products are gluten-free, and you will be great!


Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This uses my BBQ Sauce Base mix! Love my “Low Carb Mixes and Fast Fixes”!



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