BBQ Chicken Sliders

BBQ Chicken Sliders

BBQ chicken sliders are full-flavored and smoky with a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce! Instead of one cut of chicken, this recipe uses a whole chicken, so you get a little bit of everything. The chicken sliders also feature a cool, creamy slaw for richness and crunch.
Servings 6
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • Z Grills 1000D3E Wood Pellet Grill
  • Z Grills Cherry Wood Pellets
  • Meat Fork
  • Tongs
  • Hand Mixer



  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • 1 (10-ounce) bag shredded cabbage
  • ¼ cup matchstick cucumber
  • ¼ cup matchstick carrot
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 12 slider buns, toasted if desired



  • Preheat your Z-Grills (preferably with branded wood pellets) or other wood pellet grill to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the giblets from the chicken, rinse under cool water, and pat dry.
  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika to make the dry rub.
  • Apply the rub all over the chicken, including the cavity.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and lemon to the chicken’s cavity.
  • Transfer the chicken to the grill, close the lid, and smoke for 2 hours and 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Meanwhile, add the cabbage, cucumber, and carrot to a large bowl.
  • Whisk the remaining slaw ingredients together in another bowl, then add to the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the chicken is ready.


  • As the chicken smokes and the slaw chills, heat the oil for the sauce over medium heat.
  • Sauté the onion for 4 minutes or until softened and fragrant, then add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
  • Stir in the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, molasses, water, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the saucepan and stir. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth. Alternatively, remove it from the heat and use a stand blender or food processor.
  • Return the sauce to a simmer once again, leave it for 5-7 minutes, then remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside.


  • Remove the chicken from the pellet grill using a meat fork and tongs. Set it aside to rest and cool slightly.
  • Carefully remove the skin, then remove the meat from the bones.
  • Shred the chicken using two forks or transfer it to a large bowl to shred with a hand mixer (on low speed). Toss the shredded chicken with about half of the sauce.
  • Divide the chicken between the slider buns, drizzle with leftover sauce, and top with slaw.
  • Serve and enjoy.


To toast buns, increase the heat on your grill to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, brush the cut side of each bun half with melted butter, and toast for 30 seconds to a minute.
Calories: 720kcal
Cost: 20
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, Chicken, Sandwiches, Sliders

About The Author

Z Grills

Z Grills

Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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