This combo honey brine and Ghost Pepper Barbecue Sauce is one of our new favorite mix and match grilling go-tos for chicken. Using a brine adds flavor to the chicken itself and keeps the meat tender and moist. We tossed our chicken directly in the barbecue sauce, but you can use it as a basting sauce, dip, or however you like to use your favorite bbq sauces.

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Brining with Honey

Recommended Honeys for Brining

Brining is an excellent way to impart flavor to meat and keep it from getting too dry - either in the oven or on the grill. While brining is a common step in prepping a Thanksgiving turkey or a Sunday chicken roast, most of us often skip the brine and go straight for a rub or sauce when it comes to grilling. But we highly recommend trying out a honey brine on your next skin-on-, bone-in grilled chicken to seal in the flavor!

Which honey you choose for your brine will depend a little bit on what other flavors will be accompanying your meal. Keep in mind that lighter honeys will be more delicate in flavor while darker honeys will have more robust and pronounced flavor notes. While we recommend sticking with a monofloral honey for your brine for the most part, infused honeys like Mango or Ghost Pepper can be a lot of fun, too!

Honey Brine & BBQ Sauce

Ghost Pepper BBQ Chicken

Honey Brine Ingredients:

10 cups water
1/4 cup honey
100g kosher salt
2 sliced lemons
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp oregano
Fresh Herbs (if available)

Ghost Pepper Honey BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

12oz tomato paste
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp Ghost Pepper Honey
3/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper

7 Lbs Chicken


Make the Brine:

Bring water to a simmer, stir in salt and honey until fully dissolved. Add lemon, oregano, fennel, black pepper, garlic and any fresh herbs that are available (mint is always a great addition!). Simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool fully before adding chicken. Let chicken sit in brine, refrigerated, overnight. Strain and pat the chicken dry before cooking.

Make the BBQ Sauce:

Add the tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Ghost Pepper Honey and water to a pot, and heat over medium heat until simmering. Add in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cracked pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, heat the grill. Grill the chicken on all sides until the internal temperature reads 165°F. Remove the chicken into a large bowl, scoop in the sauce and toss gently. Serve with lots of napkins!

Serves 8

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