[Foodie Friday Recipe] Simple & Sugar-Free Barbecue Chicken

Get your summer grill on with this simple and delicious sugar-free barbecue chicken recipe!

Would summer even feel like summer without barbecue? One of my favorite things that my husband grills every summer is his delicious barbecued chicken. With a simple rub or homemade barbecue sauce, fresh, locally-sourced pasture-raised chicken makes an amazing summer evening meal!

The sugar-free barbecue chicken recipe below actually comes from the local farmer who keeps our freezer stocked with delicious and responsibly raised chicken year-round.  Rather than the typical brown-sugar-based barbecue sauce, this version uses honey and blackstrap molasses – both staple sweeteners at our house when I was growing up. Combined with onions, garlic, and spices, plus the endlessly-useful apple cider vinegar, these ingredients pack some potent potential health benefits.

For example, according to their blog:

Due to being a lower glycemic food (55), blackstrap molasses can help stabilize sugar levels – it naturally slows the metabolism of glucose and carbohydrates. This lower index increases glucose tolerance, giving you a stable energy level as opposed to refined sugars feeling of a ‘crash’.

Stress can be reduced by consuming Blackstrap Molasses due to it’s vital nutrients of B6, calcium and magnesium.

Potential Cancer Reducer: A 2009 article published by the Journal of the American Diabetic Association suggests Blackstrap Molasses may reduce cancer due to it being a high antioxidant food which reduces free radicals roaming inside our bodies.

It may also help lower cholesterol since it contains potassium, as well as helping with arthritis (anti-inflammatory), and bone-health (calcium).

The sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance and refrigerated until ready to use, making this a relatively quick and easy weeknight dinner idea.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

Sugar-Free Barbecue Chicken Recipe

(Serves 4)


2 Tbsp FreshORR Family Farms Lard

1/2 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped

2 Fresh Cloves of Garlic, minced

4 Tbsp Molasses

6 Tbsp Local Honey

1 6oz Can (or homemade) Tomato Paste

6 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tsp Garlic Salt

2 Tsp Lemon Pepper

1 Tsp Paprika


  • Over medium heat, melt the lard and add the onion. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Then add the garlic – only cook for about 30 seconds (you should begin to smell the garlic), followed by the rest of the ingredients.
  • Reduce to low and allow the ingredients to mingle for at least 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • After this, you can then store it in the fridge for later use or allow it to hang out cooking on low heat while the chicken begins to cook.


4 pasture-raised chicken thighs (although this works great with wings and drumsticks as well – use 10 wings or 6-8 drumsticks)

Your Favorite Rub (Homemade is best – we use a very simple recipe we found in Mother Earth News)


  • Coat both sides of the chicken parts with your Rub (medium coat) and set aside for a few hours, up to 24 hours (longer is better).
  • Using indirect grilling – Place all your coals on only ONE side of the grill (you will NOT cook the chicken directly over the coals).
  • Once your grill is ready to go, place the chicken, skin side up, on the side of the grill without coals. NOTE: Place the thickest part of the meat in the direction of the coals/fire and the thinner part of the meat farthest from the coals/fire – this will ensure the thinner section of the meat doesn’t overcook.
  • Rotate the chicken parts every 15 minutes (flip over, rotate and move around the grill – keeping the chicken away from the coals/fire).
  • After 1 hr (45 minutes for wings), it’s time to start glazing with the BBQ sauce you made. By this time your fire should have lessened (if using a gas grill, turn your heat down some).
  • With skin side up, apply the sauce and allow for a little char. After 10 minutes, flip the chicken over and apply the sauce to the other side. After another 10 minutes, flip again, and coat with sauce.
  • After another 10-15 minutes, you should have a nice, gooey coating on your chicken parts and the internal temperature of the meat should read 180-195 degrees. This temperature range will ensure the meat will separate from the bone easier.

A Quick Note:

If you eat meat, buying local is the best way to ensure that the food you are eating was responsibly and sustainably raised. All the labeling in the world can’t replace actually meeting the farmer who grows your food, and observing how it is raised. As an added bonus, not only is pasture-raised chicken (and beef) healthier for both you and the environment, it also tastes better too!

Find a local meat farmer near you via LocalHarvest.org, visit your local farmer’s market, or if you live near central Ohio, check out FreshOrr Family Farms – they are awesome and their food is amazing, I promise!  🙂


Recipe Source: FreshOrrFamilyFarms.com



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