1. Light the charcoal. When the briquets are hot, place the chicken pieces on the grill, skin side up. Grill the chicken for 25 minutes, then turn and grill for 15 minutes more.
2. Baste the chicken with the barbecue sauce, turn, and grill for 3 minutes more, until the chicken begins to get dark brown. Baste again, turn, and grill for 3 minutes more. The skin should start getting very dark, but don’t let it burn.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with corn, coleslaw, thick crusty bread, and lots of extra sauce on the side (see Tips).
Tips: Because the dark meat legs take longer to cook than the white meat breasts, arrange the legs in the center of the grill, where it is hotter, and place the breasts around them. If the breasts still finish cooking sooner than the legs, move them to the outer edge of the grill or transfer them to a platter and cover with foil.
Larger chickens may need longer cooking times. To check for doneness, press down on the breast. If it is firm but springy, it is done. If it is very firm, it is overdone. If you’re not sure, cut into 1 of the breasts to see if the meat is white. To check the legs for doneness, prick the thigh area. If the juices run clear (not pink), they are done.
After you have finished basting the chicken with the barbecue sauce, transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and simmer for several minutes. This is to kill any bacteria that may have been transferred while basting from the not-yet-fully cooked chicken. Alternatively, make extra barbecue sauce for serving and discard the sauce used for basting.