Cornell Chicken

This Cornell Chicken, also known as Fireman’s BBQ Sauce, is a tangy and salty grilled chicken that is produced using a very simple marinade!

Cornell Chicken

This grilled Cornell chicken is by far one of our favorite ways to enjoy chicken! We’ve prepared this dish hundreds of times; it’s been in my husband’s family for decades. This is a go-to dish that we know we’ll always appreciate, whether it’s for parties, BBQs, family meals, or even simply when we’re not sure what to cook. This chicken has probably been served to everyone in our life who has attended a BBQ or party that we have thrown at our place! Additionally, it pairs well with any side dish and is a crowd favorite!

Ingredients Needed

  • Any cut of chicken will work for this. Naturally, the cooking times will change, but we’ve tried it with different kinds of chicken and it’s delicious. Both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs are our faves. Bone-in cuts: I suggest quickly boiling the chicken and boneless grill!
  • Apple cider vinegar: This zesty vinegar serves as the foundation for this marinade.
  • Oil: For this recipe, vegetable or canola oil with a high flash point and neutral taste works best. We’ve used olive oil previously, but it adds a taste that isn’t exactly appropriate for this dish and alters the cooking’s flash point.
  • Egg: The alkaline nature of the egg white aids in the meat’s tenderization.
  • Kosher Salt: The amount of salt in the recipe is correct; in fact, it adds a lot of taste!
  • You might not have poultry seasoning on your spice shelf in the cupboard, but you should!
  • You might not have white pepper, but make careful not to use it in place of black! Unlike black pepper, white pepper has a distinct flavor that is brighter, more earthy, more herbaceous.
Cornell Chicken

How to Make Cornell Chicken

Cornell Chicken

The simplicity of preparation is one of the nicest things about marinades. Making them takes only a little bit longer than opening a bottle of pre-made product, but you know precisely what’s in!

Beat the egg, it’s crucial to this recipe! Get your egg foamy using your preferred whisk or fork. This aids in the vinegar, oil, and egg emulsification process.

Cornell Chicken

I promise you that whisking the egg will ensure that the marinade is thoroughly combined.

Although it’s completely optional, parboiling chicken will shorten the cooking time. To save grilling time, we parboil whenever we utilize a bone-in cut. It’s not at all required; raw chicken may be marinated; grilling it will just take longer. Making ensuring the chicken has completely cooled before adding the marinade is the most crucial step in the parboiling process. Here are boiling timings and further details.

After that, all you have to do is add it on your chicken! We put everything into a big ziplock bag, and this handy dandy little gadget is essential to make your life simpler when putting liquid into a bag!

Cornell Chicken

The longer the marinate, like with most marinades, the more flavor it imparts. This is normally prepared the night before for supper the next day. However, it’s not an issue if you don’t have that much time. However, give it at least an hour; 12 to 24 is fantastic.

Grill Cornell Chicken

It’s time to grill the meat once it has marinated! We love to grill chicken (indeed, we love to grill most meats), but the secret is to cook it low and slow using indirect heat. To do this, turn on the grill and turn down all of the burners. To prevent the meat from getting direct heat, place it on the grill grates (skin side or smooth side up), but not immediately above the burners. Instead, place the meat in the gap between the burners.

If using parboiled chicken, grill for approximately fifteen minutes on one side, or until well browned, and then turn. Try not to flip things all the time! Use the remaining marinade to bast, bast, bast while it’s cooking!

After browning on one side, turn and continue cooking, basting often!

When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, it is done. An instant-read thermometer is highly recommended if you’re ever unsure about the doneness of your chicken (or any meat). It’s among my best kitchen utensils!

Grilling FAQs

For what reason does indirect heat exist?

Because the fat will burn when it drips directly onto the burner after it renders out of the chicken, burning your chicken.

Why Is Everything Slow and Low?

having the ability to constantly baste the chicken, which really enhances its flavor! It also lessens the chance of the chicken drying out or burning.

Do You Turn Often?

as minimally as feasible! Until the chicken is browned, leave it on one side. For parboiled thighs, that can take as little as 15 minutes, and for raw chicken, it can take up to 30. Then turn over, complete cooking, and cook for a further 15 to 30 minutes while basting.

What should I do if my grill gets too hot?

Move the meat away from the burners that are still in use and turn off one burner.

Why shouldn’t I turn the meat frequently?

Actually, you should only turn your meat once. Frequently doing so would not only lengthen the cooking process overall, but it will also make it more difficult to achieve a good, crispy exterior and run the danger of drying out the meat.

Cornell Chicken

Perfectly grilled! Grilling produces a skin that is flawlessly crispy and a bird that is very flavorful, sour, and salty.

Other Ways / Cuts to Cook:

Our favorite chicken to grill is skin-on, bone-in thighs. Of course, you can use any other cut of chicken, and there are a ton of other ways to prepare them!

  • There are two alternative methods to maintain crispy skin: oven and skillet.
  • Great but best used for a skinless cut is the Crock Pot.
  • The Instant Pot works well with skinless cuts as well since the skin doesn’t become crispy.
  • As always, make sure your chicken is well cooked and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, regardless of the cut or cooking technique.
Cornell Chicken

More Recipes You Might Like

Cornell Chicken

This Cornell Chicken, often known as Fireman's BBQ Sauce, is a tangy, salty grilled chicken that is cooked using an incredibly simple marinade!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 8 bone-in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup oil vegetable or canola
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


  • To parboil chicken, bring a big pot of water to a boil. Boil for five minutes after adding the chicken. Take out of the water and allow to cool fully.
  • Add the egg to a large basin. Using a fork or whisk, mix vigorously until frothy.
  • Incorporate all of the ingredients by adding them to the bowl and whisking again.
  • Give the chicken a dose of marinade and leave it to sit for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to low. Grill the meat for 15 minutes on one side over indirect heat, basting every 5 minutes with the leftover marinade. Then, turn the meat over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Should the chicken not be parboiled, it will require around half an hour on each side.
  • Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees and the skin is crispy.
  • Present and savor!


Alternatives: You may use black pepper and white vinegar in place of these ingredients. However, it won’t taste as nice!
Alternative methods of cooking:
Oven: Transfer chicken to baking dish and preheat oven to 350°F. For chicken thighs with the bone in, roughly 35 minutes.
Crock Pot: Cook on low for 6–8 hours or on high for 3–4 hours after adding the chicken and enough marinade to cover the meat at least partially.
Instant Pot: Place six to eight thighs into the Instant Pot and set the pressure cook setting for twelve minutes.
Skillet: For thin chicken thighs or tenderloins, this is the ideal option.
Keyword Cornell Chicken

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