If you’re looking for a new griddle chicken sandwich to try, then this BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a homemade onion bacon jam is for you! Fire up the Blackstone, and get ready to make the best barbecue chicken breasts on the griddle!
Griddle chicken breasts are some of the easiest foods to make on the Blackstone. You can cook a large amount of chicken at once, and it really only involves flipping the breasts a few times during the cooking process. I dare say, chicken breasts on the griddle are somewhat of a “set it and forget it” type of recipe.
And with the addition of different seasonings and sauces, you can make chicken on the Blackstone to satisfy any craving, whether you’re in the mood for Southwest griddle chicken breasts or Bourbon chicken.
For this BBQ chicken sandwich on the griddle, just add some barbecue seasoning and sauce, a good brioche bun, and your favorite BBQ sandwich toppings, and you’ll have an awesome griddle chicken sandwich in less time than it takes you to go pick up takeout! Here’s how to make it:
Ingredients for Griddle Barbecue Chicken
For the Barbecue Chicken:
For this griddle BBQ chicken sandwich, we used boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
You will also need a barbecue seasoning or rub and all purpose flour.
For the BBQ Chicken Sandwich:
Since the onion bacon jam is sweeter, try balancing that with more tangy or acidic sandwich toppings.
You can try dill pickles or thinly sliced raw onion, and definitely look for a barbecue sauce that has more of a vinegar base. If you can’t find a vinegary barbecue sauce, then you can also heat your regular barbecue sauce in a small saucepan and stir in some apple cider vinegar to help balance the flavors.
For the Onion Bacon Jam:
If you’re going to try this sweet “jam” for your BBQ chicken sandwich, then you will need these ingredients:
- diced yellow onion
- brown sugar
- balsamic vinegar
- whiskey (optional)
How to Make BBQ Chicken on the Blackstone
Preparing the chicken:
To start, you’ll need to prep your chicken breasts for the griddle. For this recipe, I was wanting my chicken to be a bit thicker because I was testing out our newest seasoning blend, and I wanted the chicken to be able to cook longer on the griddle. However, next time I make this BBQ chicken on the griddle, I’ll pound out the breasts so they are thinner.
Trim the chicken breasts to remove any excess fatty pieces, and cut the breasts so they fit on a sandwich bun. You can also place the trimmed breasts in a Ziploc bag and use the bottom of a heavy skillet to pound out any thicker areas of the breasts. You want the chicken to cook uniformly on the griddle.
Once your chicken is trimmed, coat the top and bottom of each piece with your favorite barbecue seasoning. Taste your seasoning for salt content, because you may need to use less than I have pictured below if your BBQ rub is saltier.
Then, lightly coat each seasoned piece of chicken in flour. You don’t want to do a double dredge or a thick batter fried chicken… you just want to make sure that you get all of the edges and nooks and crannies, and then shake off the excess flour. The addition of the light flour coating helps to crisp up your chicken breasts just a bit, and it helps the barbecue sauce adhere to the chicken after it’s cooked.
Once your chicken breasts are prepped, you’re ready to start cooking the barbecue chicken on the griddle.
Cooking BBQ chicken on the griddle:
To cook the barbecue chicken breasts on the griddle, heat your griddle on low to medium until it reaches about 375 degrees F. Then, add a few tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil to the surface. I prefer to use avocado oil because of its high heat cooking capabilities.
Place the chicken breasts on the oiled surface, and then allow them to cook untouched on the first side for about 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your breasts and the temp of your griddle surface.
For this particular griddle chicken recipe, I was wanting a very slightly crispy outer coating on the chicken breasts, so I went with a shallow fry method. Just use your scraper or spatula to direct the excess oil towards the breasts as they’re cooking, like this:
Once the chicken has developed a bit of a char and a nice golden brown color on the first side, add a bit more oil to the griddle, and flip the chicken to the second side in the fresh oil.
Whenever you’re flipping your proteins on the griddle, I recommend that you flip in to a new area on the griddle rather than the exact same spot where the meat was cooking originally. That’s because the clear space on your griddle will be a higher temperature because it did not have food on it previously.
Continue to use your spatula or scraper to direct the oil towards the chicken breasts as needed, and cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
As the chicken nears the target temp, you can move it to the side of the griddle so that it finishes cooking a bit more slowly. This helps the chicken to not overcook, and it leaves you with incredibly juicy chicken breasts.
Finishing the griddle chicken breasts:
After about 5 minutes of cooking on the second side, you can start to check the chicken breasts for doneness. Use an instant read internal probe thermometer to check the thickest part of each individual piece of chicken like this:
It’s important to check each piece before removing the chicken from the griddle, because the chicken will cook at different times based on the thickness of each piece and where it was placed on the griddle. Most outdoor griddles have areas of hotter and cooler temps, and even if the chicken is placed on the surface just 3 inches apart, one area may be a good 50 degrees hotter than the other.
As each chicken breast reaches 165 degrees F, remove from the griddle to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
Then, when all of the chicken is done cooking, add the breasts to a large bowl with the barbecue sauce (or barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar mixture) and toss to coat.
Homemade Bacon Onion Jam
This griddle BBQ chicken is fantastic by itself, and you can definitely just serve the chicken breasts with your favorite sauce and call it a day. But if you want to up your game a bit, why not try something new?!
This homemade onion bacon jam is sticky sweet and it makes an awesome barbecue sandwich condiment. And even though this type of recipe is usually made in a skillet, you can also cook the jam right on the griddle top.
Start by cooking some chopped bacon on the griddle. You want to cook the bacon by itself first so that you can remove most of the excess grease before adding the onions. Bacon grease is usually your best friend when it comes to adding flavor to griddle recipes, but for this bacon onion jam, you’ll want to scrape most of the grease into the grease trap.
Once the bacon is cooked and a good amount of the grease is off the griddle, add the diced onions to the bacon and mix together. Season the bacon and onions with some fresh cracked pepper, but NOT salt. The bacon contains a good amount of salt already.
Saute the onions and bacon together until the onions have a nice color like this:
Then, add about a third cup of brown sugar, one to two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and about a quarter cup of whiskey. If you want to go a tad heavier on the whiskey, that’s okay also, because the alcohol will cook out of the jam and you’ll only have a hint of the whiskey flavor remaining. Or, if you don’t have any whiskey or bourbon on hand, you can just leave the liquor out altogether.
The mixture should look something like this at this point:
Be sure that your griddle is set to low, so that the onion bacon jam doesn’t reduce too quickly. You want that extra time on the griddle for all of the flavors to come together and the jam to develop a sticky thick consistency.
Then, it’s all about patience. Just continue to work all of the ingredients together until the jam reduces, just like you would in teriyaki sauce. The mixture will eventually foam up a bit, and that’s what you want. You can also add in a bit of thyme or rosemary for a little earthy flavor notes.
After about 10-15 minutes, the liquid should have reduced nicely and you can transfer the jam to a heat-proof bowl… careful, it will be HOT! The bacon jam will thicken as it cools, and it should look something like this:
The Best BBQ Chicken Sandwich on the Griddle
When the chicken and bacon onion jam are done cooking, your awesome BBQ chicken sandwich is almost done!
Toast some hamburger buns cut side down on the griddle and prep your other sandwich toppings.
REMEMBER – If you’re serving the griddle chicken sandwich with the bacon jam, then you’ll probably want a tangier, vinegar-based barbecue sauce to offset the sweetness. If your sauce is sweeter, heat it up in a small saucepan and add some apple cider vinegar to taste. Stir together and use that sauce to coat your chicken. You can also add a few dashes of hot sauce to your barbecue sauce for a little extra kick.
I recommend a light coating of BBQ sauce, and for best results, warm up the sauce first and toss it with your warm griddle chicken in a large bowl.
Then it’s a quick sandwich build. You can add a slice of pepper jack or cheddar cheese to the sandwich also if you wish… it’s fantastic either way!
Serve your Blackstone BBQ chicken sandwich with dill pickles, sliced raw onions, pickled red onions, fresh coleslaw, etc. Enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Sandwich on the Griddle (with Onion Bacon Jam)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- barbecue seasoning of your choice
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil I prefer avocado oil for griddle cooking.
- barbecue sauce of your choice
- 4 hamburger buns I recommend brioche buns.
- BBQ sandwich toppings like dill pickles, sliced raw onion, etc.
For the Onion Bacon Jam:
- 5 slices thick cut bacon diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- black pepper
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup whiskey or bourbon optional
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, and pound out the thicker areas so that the halved breasts are uniform in thickness. Once pounded out, the chicken pieces should be about the same size as your hamburger buns.
- Spread all purpose flour out in a wide-bottomed bowl.
- Heat griddle until it reaches about 375 degrees F.
- While griddle is heating, liberally sprinkle each piece of chicken with barbecue rub or seasoning. Then, lightly dredge each piece with a thin coating of all purpose flour. Shake off the excess flour.
- Add about 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil to the heated surface. Place the chicken breasts on the griddle in the oil and allow to cook on the first side untouched for about 5-7 minutes. When the chicken breasts have developed a bit of char and a nice golden brown color, flip to the second side and continue to cook until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F. As the chicken is cooking on the griddle, use a spatula or scraper to direct the excess oil towards the chicken breasts to shallow fry them. If needed, you can add a bit more oil to the griddle.
- As each piece of chicken reaches 165 degrees F, remove it from the griddle.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat your barbecue sauce in a small saucepan on the griddle. *If you are making the onion bacon jam, I recommend a tangier vinegar-based barbecue sauce to offset the sweetness of the jam. You can also add some apple cider vinegar to taste to your regular barbecue sauce in the saucepan.
- Toast brioche buns cut side down on the griddle until nicely golden.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked warm chicken breasts and just enough barbecue sauce to coat each piece. Toss together and serve immediately.
- Add a spoonful of the onion bacon jam to the bottom of a toasted brioche bun. Top with one piece of barbecue chicken and your favorite BBQ sandwich toppings like pickles or sliced raw onion.
For the Onion Bacon Jam:
- Add the chopped bacon to the griddle and cook, stirring often, until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon is just starting to turn crispy. Reserve about 25% of the bacon grease on the griddle, and scrape the excess grease away from the bacon and into the griddle's grease trap.
- Add the diced onions to the cooked bacon and stir together. Season with black pepper. *Be careful if you decide to add salt, because the bacon already has a high salt content. Saute the onions and bacon together until the onions are translucent.
- Turn the griddle to the low heat setting, and add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to the bacon and onions. *Add the whiskey or bourbon at this time if using. Stir all of the ingredients together and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and has a jam-like consistency. This will probably take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your griddle.
- Transfer the onion bacon jam to a heat-proof bowl and allow to cool. As the jam cools, it will continue to thicken.
- This recipe would also work well with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Before seasoning the raw chicken breasts, taste your barbecue seasoning or rub for salt content. If your rub is on the saltier side, you may need a lighter dusting on the chicken.