Barbecue chicken consists of chicken parts or entire chickens that are barbecued, grilled or smoked. There are many global and regional preparation techniques and cooking styles. Barbecue chicken is often seasoned or coated in a spice rub, barbecue sauce, or both. Marinades are also used to tenderize the meat and add flavor. Rotisserie chicken has gained prominence and popularity in U.S. grocery markets. Barbecued chicken is one of the world's most popular barbecue dishes
In Alabama, egg or mayonnaise-based white sauces are sometimes served with barbecue chicken at the table as a dipping sauce. This has been described in the book 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die as being more common in Northern Alabama, particularly in Northwest Alabama. Per the same book, barbecue in Southern Alabama tends to have sauces that are tomato-based.
California Pizza Kitchen, a restaurant chain founded in California, is the original creator of barbecue chicken pizza.
In the U.S. state of Georgia, slightly sweet sauces with mustard are used on chicken.
In Western North Carolina, thin tomato and vinegar based sauces are common.
In rural Pennsylvania, egg is sometimes used to make the skin on the chicken crispy. In Kentucky, chicken is a favorite meat for barbecuing along with lamb and mutton.
In Texas, barbecue usually refers to ribs, but many barbecue restaurants in Texas serve barbecue chicken seasoned with rub, sometimes called "dalmatian rub", that is made of salt and pepper. The chicken is often served with a very hot vinegar or even beer-based barbecue sauce. Texas barbecue tends to be slow-smoked, rather than grilled.
Beer-can chicken involves the indirect grilling a whole chicken on a barbecue grill using steam from beer (or another liquid) as a flavoring agent and cooking medium.