nashville hot grilled chicken on garlic bread topped with a dill pickle slice

Nashville Hot Grilled Chicken

This Nashville Hot Grilled Chicken has all the super spicy and also sweet and smoky flavors of the traditional fried version of this Southern classic - made simpler and a bit healthier at home for the grill. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Foodtastic Mom


Chicken and Marinade

  • 4 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk not low fat
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Basting Sauce

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients - buttermilk, 1/2 cup hot sauce, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-sized zippered bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

  2. Heat a gas grill on high. Scrap the grill grates clean and turn all the burners to medium-low heat. 

  3. Whisk together the basting sauce ingredients - vegetable oil, honey, remaining hot sauce, red pepper flakes and salt.

  4. Grill the chicken on the first side for about 5 minutes. Flip and baste the chicken with the sauce. 

  5. Continue to grill on the second side for at least 5 minutes. Flip the chicken again and baste with the sauce.

  6. Close the lid and continue cooking the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

  7. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

  8. Slice the chicken and serve with garlic bread, pickle slices and more hot sauce.