One of my favorite bbq recipes of all time is Chicken Halves with Alabama White Sauce! It’s perfect for anytime you are wanting to fire up the grill and bbq for some friends and family. It’s fairly simple and the toughest part of the whole recipe is waiting the 2-4 hour window for the brine to do its work. Yes, wait 2-4 hours because the brine will make your chicken super moist! Okay, let’s get to it!

alabama white sauce

Chicken Halves With Alabama White Sauce

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 Whole chicken 4-5 lbs


  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 8 cups Cold water

Alabama White Sauce

  • 2 cup Mayo
  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Horseradish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Cayenne pepper

Dry Rub

  • 2 tbsp Oregano dry
  • 2 tbsp Thyme dry
  • 2 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Dry mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt


  • Start off by spatchcocking your whole chicken and then splitting it down the center of the breast to create chicken halves. 
  • In a large mixing bowl add 8 cups of water and then add the salt and sugar. Whisk for a min until the water becomes cloudy. Now add the two chicken halves and place them in the fridge for 2-4 hours. 
  • Make your Alabama White Sauce by getting a large mixing bowl and adding mayo, horseradish sauce, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. Whisk together until it forms a constant liquid state. Place in the fridge for the remainder of the time until you need it for serving. 
  • Remove the chicken from the brine and wash it under water. Pat dry and leave out in room temp for 1 hour. Pat dry again.
  • During this time make your dry rub. Add oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, mustard powder, onion powder and kosher salt. Hand mix until it's combined.
  • Use mustard as a binder and cover the surface area of the whole chicken, top and bottom. Season the bottom side, meat side and then flip them. Season under the skin of the breast and thigh and then season the top of the chickens on the skin. 
  • Set your smoker up at 275 and add some hickory wood chunks for smoke. Place the chicken halves on the grill and let them roll. After 30 mins spritz with apple cider vinegar every 15 mins until your chicken is 150 internal. Open up all vents and finish the birds off until 165 internal temp. You want to crisp the skin for the remaining time frame. 
  • Remove the chicken and the next move is optional.
  • Get your sauce and then dunk the whole chicken in the sauce and let rest for 5 mins. Or you can not dunk it in the sauce and carve the bird and let your guests dunk if they want.
  • Serve and enjoy with family and friends! 
Keyword alabama white sauce, chicken brine, smoked chicken, whole chicken


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What temperature should I cook chicken to?

The safest minimum temperature that you need to cook your chicken to is 165 degrees.

How do I keep my grilled chicken juicy and flavorful?

There are many ways to make grilled chicken juicy and flavorful. It depends on which part of the chicken you’re cooking. For breasts, cook them lower and slower. Also, add a marinade. With breast being less fatty than other parts of the chicken, they tend to seem drier than other parts of the chicken. You can also brine your chicken in saltwater.

What is the juiciest piece of chicken?

The simple answer. Thighs. Boneless skinless thighs are a very lean and juicy source of protein. Cooking them on the grill, smoking them or even in the air fryer. They’re all great.

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