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Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken is a wonderfully juicy and spicy grilled chicken recipe.

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken on a blue plate.

This is maybe my favorite way to grill chicken and we eat alot of grilled chicken, especially during the summer months.

Brine Then Grill

The chicken is first brined in a mixture of buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, a little brown sugar, and garlic. The chicken is left in the brine for 24 hours. The brining process not only flavors the chicken, it helps it cook up wonderfully juicy and moist.

Grill Over Indirect Heat

The chicken is then grilled over indirect heat for over an hour. Cooking it for a long time over indirect heat keeps it from drying out, but you do have to be patient.

Grilled Chicken piled on a plate.

Easy Spicy Sauce

The last few minutes of grilling the chicken is basted with an easy sauce made from ketchup, hot sauce, butter, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. It’s a spicy, tangy finish for the chicken.

Which Hot Sauce To Use?

You can use whichever hot sauce you most like. I really like Crystal Hot Sauce for this recipe.

Recipe Tip

Large chicken breasts will cook better if you cut them in half.

How To Serve Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken

I love to serve this grilled chicken drizzled with blue cheese. Great sides are Easy Macaroni Salad, Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs, Southern Potato Salad, and Southern Hot Honey Butter Corn.

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken on a plate.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Brined Chicken is a wonderfully juicy and spicy grilled chicken recipe.
PREP: 12 minutes
COOK: 1 hour 10 minutes
Brine: 1 day


  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 to 5 pounds chicken breasts, thighs, and legs (skin on, bone-in)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar


  • Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl until salt has dissolved.
    Add chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade.
    Blot chicken dry. Season with pepper.
  • Heat gas grill to medium (350 degrees to 450 degrees.) Keep burner turned off on one side of grill so you have an indirect heat area.
  • Place chicken skin side up on the indirect heat area of the grill. Cover and grill until a meat thermometer in the thickest portion registers 165 degrees F. This will take a little over an hour. Check both white meat and dark meat. The white meat will cook faster.
  • While chicken grills, whisk together the sauce ingredients.
  • When chicken has reaches 165 degrees, brush it with sauce and flip it over, placing it over direct heat for 2 minutes.
    Brush with more sauce and flip for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve chicken with the remaining sauce.


Note: If breasts are really large, cut them in half.
I love to serve this chicken drizzled with a little blue cheese dressing. So good!


Calories: 510kcal
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: chicken, grilled

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Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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