Rating: 4.5 stars 4.6
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
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Buttermilk is a very popular marinade for fried chicken, but for whatever reason, it isn't often used with other chicken cooking methods. Which is kind of surprising, especially when you taste just how effective it is for something like this beautiful barbecued chicken. Yogurt, a very similar product, is quite popular in grilled chicken marinades. So, why not use buttermilk? This goes great with coleslaw, potato salad, and a squeeze of lemon.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
45 mins
6 hrs
7 hrs 5 mins
1 whole chicken


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Marinade:


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, pepper, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and salt together in a bowl.

  • Trim wing flats from the chicken. Cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the neck; remove backbone. Make a 1/4-inch-deep cut through the piece of cartilage in the center. Open up both sides to reveal breastbone; lift out. Cut chicken in half through the center line.

  • Place both halves in a resealable zip-top bag and pour in the buttermilk marinade. Place the bag in a bowl to catch any leaks. Press air out and seal. Marinate in the fridge for 6 to 18 hours.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove chicken from marinade and transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate. Blot off excess marinade.

  • Place chicken on the grill cut-side down, skin-side up; cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  • Flip chicken over and continue grilling for 7 to 10 minutes. Flip once more and grill until no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Chef's Note:

If you can't find buttermilk, just used some thinned-out yogurt.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

323 calories; protein 40.2g; carbohydrates 15.4g; fat 10.5g; cholesterol 116.9mg; sodium 2120.2mg. Full Nutrition