Amish BBQ Chicken Recipe

Amish barbecued chicken legs and thighs

Amish Chicken Recipe

Does it get any better than tender and juicy Amish barbecued chicken that is cooked slowly on the grill and slathered with your favorite barbecue sauce? This is the best barbecued chicken to serve for a summer cookout or holiday barbecue.

Amish BBQ chicken is a perfect meat entrée to grill for any occasion. And your family will be delighted to indulge in this finger-licking tasty chicken on any given day of the week.

Amish Chicken BBQ

I grew up in Lancaster County, PA. And chicken barbecue meals were very common among the Amish in our area.

We frequently had chicken barbecue fundraisers.

Our neighborhood had an annual chicken barbecue meal for all the neighbors to get together for an evening of food and fellowship.

Every summer our family spent two days camping in our woods. Our youth group found a spot in somebody’s woods and camped for a day or two. And any time that we had outdoor activities like this, we often had chicken barbecue on the menu.

One of the Amish men in our area constructed a large barbecue pit with two grill racks. The chicken was placed on the bottom rack and the second rack was securely fastened onto the top. Then you could easily flip the rack to turn all of the chicken at once.

It was a great setup to grill a large quantity of chicken. And anyone in the area could borrow it to use for gatherings, etc.

So, I have good memories of eating lots of delicious Lancaster Amish barbecued chicken. And trust me, it is good stuff!!

Amish BBQ chicken leg and thigh

Grilled Barbecued Chicken

What kind of chicken is best for the grill?

Honestly, if you know the difference between how to grill white meat versus brown, any piece of fresh chicken is great to barbecue.

I love chicken breast, and typically I will choose the breast over a leg or thigh. But chicken breast can get very dry if not cooked properly.

And I do not care for dry meat. So if it’s not moist and tender, then it’s not worth eating (in my opinion).

For this barbecued Amish chicken recipe, I recommend using bone-in thighs and legs. If desired, you can use bone-in chicken breast as well. But it probably won’t take quite as long to cook as the thighs.

And the instructions given in this post are for grilling chicken legs and thighs.

My mom used to buy legs and thighs by the 40 – 50 lb. case. And it was good, fresh chicken. But in our area, I have a hard time finding good chicken that has the legs and thighs together. So I just buy one pack of legs and one of the thighs.

You can use any pieces of chicken you like, just don’t overcook it.

How to Prepare the Chicken for Grilling

Sometimes chicken comes with lots of extra fat and skin tucked around it. While you want to keep a layer of skin on the one side to keep in more moisture, you don’t need all the extra skin.

And if there’s lots of fat, it will create too much flame. So I recommend, trimming any extra fat and thick skin that’s hanging loose.

marinade for grilled chicken
chicken in marinade

Amish Grilled Chicken Marinade

In this recipe for Amish chicken, we do not need to marinate it for a long time.

But the chicken gets cooked in the marinade on the stovetop for 15 minutes. This gives the chicken great flavor and starts the cooking process.

If you’d rather not cook the chicken first, you can place it into the cooled marinade for at least several hours before grilling. However, it will require a longer grilling time.

And I love this technique of cooking the chicken first, as it helps to keep it moist and juicy.

Amish chicken on the grill

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How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill

Using charcoal to grill chicken adds an extra depth of flavor. But it is also more time-consuming since it takes a while to get the charcoal hot enough and ready to use.

Hence, the reason that I use my gas grill most of the time. It’s so quick and handy and still produces great-tasting barbecued chicken. And it’s easier to control the heat as well.

To make Amish chicken on the gas grill, I preheat the grill to about 500 degrees. Then place the chicken, skin side down, onto the hot grill. (If desired, you can brush oil onto the grate to keep the chicken skin from sticking.)

Now the key to tender and juicy barbecued legs and thighs is to cook them slowly. So close the lid and cook over low heat.

Using a grill tong, flip the chicken occasionally (about every 10 minutes) and baste or spray with the marinade.

For perfectly cooked chicken, I recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Insert the thermometer into the fattest part of the chicken.

165 degrees is considered a safe temperature for chicken legs and thighs, but personally, that is not done enough for me. I don’t like the rubbery texture of undercooked chicken.

So I cook my chicken legs and thighs to an internal temperature of 180 degrees. And I find that to be the proper temperature for barbecued chicken legs and thighs. It’s still juicy and cooked to perfection.

It takes about 45 minutes on my grill. But rather than going by time, I suggest going by internal temperature to tell when it is done.

brushing barbecue sauce onto the grilled chicken

When Should I Brush Barbecue Sauce on my Chicken?

Brushing grilled chicken with barbecue sauce gives it that sticky finger-licking coating that makes a juicy piece of chicken perfect.

But if you add the bbq sauce too early in the grilling process you may end up with burnt sauce. So you can baste the chicken with the marinade after flipping it the first couple of times.

Then slather it with your favorite barbecue sauce for the last several minutes of cooking. Sweet Baby Ray’s is my go-to barbecue sauce.

checking chicken for doneness with thermometer

What to Serve with Amish Barbecued Chicken?

There are so many different sides that pair well with Amish grilled chicken. I feel like the list could be endless.

But a few of my favorite sides for a summer chicken barbecue are homemade Amish potato salad, delicious baked beans, scalloped potatoes, homemade cole slaw, macaroni salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad, etc.

I could name many more sides to serve with this grilled Amish BBQ chicken. But have fun and create a meal that your family will love.

More Amish Chicken Recipes…

Rice Krispie Chicken Recipe

PA Dutch Chicken Croquettes Recipe

Amish Chicken Roast Recipe (Amish wedding chicken and stuffing)

PA Dutch Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to let me know. I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment and a star rating below.

grilled Amish chicken

Amish BBQ Chicken Recipe

Moist and delicious Amish barbecued chicken recipe for the grill. This juicy and finger-licking tasty chicken is perfect for a cookout, summer barbecue, or any day of the week.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
resting time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Amish
Servings 7 people
Calories 719 kcal


  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 5 – 6 lbs. bone-in chicken legs and thighs
  • Barbecue sauce


  • If your chicken has lots of extra fat and skin, I recommend trimming some of it off. But you will want to leave a covering of the skin on for the best juicy chicken.
  • In a large cooking pot, mix and heat the marinade ingredients until the butter is melted.
    1 c. water, 1 c. vinegar (white or apple cider), 5 Tbsp. butter, 1 1/2 Tbsp. salt, 1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Add the chicken and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook the chicken for 15 minutes.
    5 – 6 lbs. bone-in chicken legs and thighs
  • Remove from the heat and let it sit for another 15 minutes.
  • Place the chicken onto a hot grill (around 450° – 500°) with the skin side down.
  • Reduce the heat to low and barbecue slowly for the best juicy chicken. Flip the chicken occasionally and baste or spray it with the marinade.
  • Baste the chicken with your favorite bbq sauce for the last several minutes of cooking.
    Barbecue sauce
  • Barbecue to the desired doneness. Chicken is supposed to be safe to eat at 165°F when inserting a meat thermometer, but I prefer mine a little more well-done than that (180° is perfect).
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and place it into a heat-proof dish. Cover, and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
  • Leftover chicken is great to eat the next day. Although I don't really like to reheat chicken on the bone, so I usually remove it from the bone before chilling. And remember, chicken needs to be chilled before placing it into an airtight container.


The instructions in this recipe are for chicken legs and thighs.
If barbecuing bone-in breasts, keep them on the coolest spots on your grill. And breasts usually don’t require as long a cooking time.
*Nutrition is approximate.


Serving: 1 – leg and thighCalories: 719kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 60gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 248mgSodium: 665mgPotassium: 637mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 509IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Amish BBQ chicken recipe, Amish grilled chicken, grilled chicken legs and thighs
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