Better than BBQ Chicken

Instead of searing the BBQ sauce on the chicken during grilling, I marinate it, cook it in the sous vide bath with the marinade, and then finish it on the grill dry (no sauce). Then I pour the BBQ sauce over the finished chicken breast, or have it on the side as a dip. You don't waste a bunch of sauce through the grill grates, cleaning up is a lot easier, and you can regulate exactly how much BBQ sauce you want. Win win win.


Makes enough marinade for 2–4 chicken breasts.


  • 2–4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • BBQ Sauce, as much as you'd like


Sous Vide Temperature: 143° F
Marinade time: 6 hours–2 days
Bath time: 60–90 minutes
Finish time: 6 minutes


Combine the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and pepper into a small bowl and whisk until combined. It'll be a syrupy consistency. Seal the chicken in with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 2 days.

Chicken Breasts sealed in their bag with the marinade

Place in a sous vide bath set to 143° F for 60 minutes (or closer to 90 minutes if the chicken breasts are particularly thick).

Remove from the bath and finish by searing in a hot cast iron skillet, or over a very hot grill, for about 2–3 minutes per side. I say skip the step where you baste the chicken with BBQ sauce on the grill — it only makes the grill harder to clean up and I don't think it really adds that much.

Serve with a side of BBQ sauce for dipping, or pour the BBQ sauce right over the chicken after it's on your plate. Go for the good stuff here — you aren't letting anything drip through grill grates. I think a lighter, tangy BBQ sauce pairs really well with this, but use whatever your local favorite is.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager BBQ Sauce