Chicken On The Charcoal Grill

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

How to Smoke a BBQ Chicken on a Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill | BBQGuys

The boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe are pounded until they reach an even thickness. The technique ensures even cooking and tender chicken. It is then marinated with lime juice and cilantro to pack in flavor. Slice the chicken breasts and pair it with a green salad and this Mexican Street Corn.

How Much Charcoal Do You Put In A Grill

HOW MUCH CARBON SHOULD I USE? A rule of thumb when working with charcoal is that the more charcoal you use, the hotter your fire gets. A good rule of thumb is about 30 briquettes for smaller or portable grills and 50 to 75 briquettes for larger barrel and kettle barbecues. On cold, windy or rainy days you need more charcoal.

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How Long To Grill Chicken Quarters At 350f

Chicken quarters aand split chickens typically have both the skin and bone still attached. Since they are larger and have more surface area, they will take a bit longer to cook through than boneless chicken breasts or thighs. I recommend grilling chicken quarters and split chickens at 350F for about 15 minutes per side , or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F in the thickest part of the meat.

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How To Tell When Chicken Is Done

With time, you may learn to tell when chicken is done just by touch, but the safest way to check the doneness of any cut of meat is to use an instant-read thermometer. Chicken is done when the thickest part of the flesh reads 165. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute and settle. Youll be rewarded for your patience, since resting yields a much more tender bird, insists Lupaczyk.

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Setting Up A Charcoal Grill

Closeup of making BBQ chicken on a charcoal grill Stock Photo

It is critical to preheat the grill. Hold off putting the chicken on the grill rack until it is hot. Therefore, preheat for at least 15 minutes.

Stack your charcoal in a charcoal chimney. The chimney is a tool that makes it easier to start the coals without lighter fluid. Just fill the chimney with the charcoal, place it on the grill grates and light it. Once the coals are ready, use hot pads to pick it up and dump the hot coals right where you want them for the best grilling.

Create a direct heat and indirect heat zone. The easiest way to do this is to bank the coals to one side. This is the direct heat side which will be very hot. The other side without the coals is the indirect heat zone. This side will be a bit cooler.

Make sure that the grill grates are clean. Once the grill is hot, use a grill brush to make a few swipes back and forth to remove any burnt-on bits of food from the last time you were grilling.

Do oil the grill grates. Just dip a folded piece of paper towel in oil using a tongs and brush on the grates. This helps keep the food from sticking.

Add smokier flavor with wood chips. To do this, take 1/2 cup of wood chips, soak them in water for 30 minutes. When you are ready to grill, drain the water from the chips and add them to the hot coals.

What Temperature is Chicken Done?

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What About Adding Sauces

If you want to baste with your favorite barbecue sauce or hot sauce, wait until the last few minutes of cooking when the chicken is almost cooked through. Adding sauces too early can cause the sauce to burn.

If youre using a BBQ sauce, I recommend brushing it on during the last 5 minutes of cooking. For hot sauce, I like to add it once the chicken is off the grill. This way I can control how much heat I add.

Grilled Chicken Thighs Tips

A few tips to help your chick thighs come out great.

Chicken is safe to eat at an internal temp of 165°F. When it comes to Chicken thighs though I prefer to take them to an internal temp of 170°-175°F. They can handle it and actually seem to be tastier the closer you get them to 175°F.

It is not required but I like to place the chicken thighs on a cooling rack in the refrigerator for 3 hours before grilling. This helps dehydrate the skin and it comes out crispier.

Two-zone cooking is key to getting perfect chicken thighs. It enables you to get to the proper temps without burning your chicken.

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How Do You Grill Chicken Breasts Without Drying It Out

The key is to cook on direct heat for the first 8-10 minutes , but then switch to indirect heat for the last 5-7 minutes. ALSO do not leave it on the grill until it reaches an internal temp of 165 remove it from the grill when it is around 160 and then let it rest off the grill. As it rests, it will continue to cook and the temp can continue to rise nearly 10 degrees! So imagine if you did leave it on the grill until it reached 165? It would continue to cook and might reach 175 before you eat it! It would be over-cooked and dry.

Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade

BBQ Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

Spoiler alert! The best grilled chicken breast marinade isnt an exact pre-measured packet of sauce that you buy at the store. The perfect grilled chicken marinade is one that you can customize yourself.

Every great marinade has 5 key elements that make your chicken absolutely lip-smacking and the best part is that you can build it to your liking. The basic recipe looks like this:

  • Acid. White wine vinegar goes great with chicken but other vinegars, wines, fruit juices, Worcestershire sauce or a combination of these are tasty options as well.
  • Fat or oil. This recipe uses olive oil, a solid choice, but you can use other affordable options here as well
  • Flavor and seasonings Snag some pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan cheese for this recipe, or add your own favorite fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, or peppers.
  • Salt. Tossing in some good ol kosher salt or sea salt is a great option. You can also use savory ingredients like soy sauce to add some salt to your marinade.
  • Sugar. White sugar is all you need for this recipe, but Im fond of using brown sugar, honey, or molasses in my marinades as well.

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Pound Boneless Chicken Breasts Before You Grill

Unless you buy tenderloins, chicken breasts are fairly uneven. When you grill them, the unevenness means one end cooks faster than the other. If you dont address it, your meat could be dry or stringy in some areas.If you pound your chicken breasts beforehand, you can avoid uneven cooking. Pounding your chicken breasts will flatten them out, correcting the uneven shape.When you flatten your chicken, itll cook more similarly to a steak. Youll have more control over the internal temperature and you can avoid drying it out.

Cooking Boneless Chicken Breast Over Indirect Heat

When the chicken reaches 150 or so move it to the grate directly above the coals. Now, after 30 or so minutes of grilling this area wont be high heat.

It will more likely be a medium low heat which is just what you want. Grab a basic BBQ sauce and slowly brush it on each breast.

During this phase of the grilling you can leave the grill dome open and stand there attending to the chicken. It will only take about 5 more minutes.

Brush the chicken, flip the chicken and repeat. Enjoy this time at the grill. Keep doing this until the chicken is nicely coated with sauce and is cooked to 165 degrees F.

I use an instant read thermometer to make sure that I know exactly what the temperature is.

Oh yeah, look at that. Perfectly sauced, lightly smoked chicken breast.

In summary, this method of grilling juicy boneless skinless chicken breast includes: adding a BBQ dry rub, using smoke wood or smoke briquettes, grilling with the reverse sear method and brushing a BBQ sauce on while the chicken finishes cooking over direct heat .

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Flavorful Grill Smoked Chicken Recipe

Making grill smoked chicken isn’t all that hard to do. All it takes is a little knowledge, some chicken breasts, and a charcoal grill. My favorite for grill smoking is the Weber kettle grill I bought from It was shipped quickly and arrived in great shape!

When smoking in a charcoal grill,the coals need to be positioned to one side of the charcoal grate.Weber makes charcoal baskets just for this purpose, or you can place abrick about 6 inches from the side of the grill to keep the coals inplace.

Pro Tips On How To Cook Chicken On A Charcoal Grill

How to Barbecue Whole Chickens on the Charcoal Grill

Here are my tips on how to grill chicken with amazing results.

Dont overcrowd the grill. The chicken will cook evenly when there is room for the heat to get around the meat.

Start on direct heat and move to indirect heat. The direct heat will help sear in the juices and give those beautiful grill grate marks on the meat. Moving it to the indirect heat allows the meat to cook at a bit lower temperature without the change of flareups. This will help keep the juices in too.

Heat to the correct temperature. Use a digital meat thermometer to make sure that the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.

Let the chicken rest. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the grill and let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it. This resting time is important. It allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for juicier chicken.

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How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken Thighs Completely

Transfer the mold to the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken thighs have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the skin is crispy. Place the chicken on a plate, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Should I Pre Cook Chicken Legs Before Grilling

Bake or microwave the chicken as close to the time that you will grill it as possible. If you must precook the chicken an hour or more before you finish it on the grill, allow the chicken pieces to cook completely before you pack them away. Keep them cool or harmful bacteria might grow on the partially-cooked chicken.

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How To Grill Chicken Breasts:

1. Preheat the grill on high for 10-15 minutes, then use your grill brush to scrape any previous remnants off your grates.

2. the fully thawed chicken breasts. A clean and easy way to marinate the chicken is to place it in a large plastic zip top bag, add your marinade and make sure your entire chicken breast is covered. In this particular instance, I used olive oil and added a few fresh basil leaves.

3. Here’s how long to grill chicken on a gas grill. Once you have preheated your grill for 10-15 minutes, prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat at 425-450°F and get your iGrill probes inserted into the chicken.

4. Place marinated chicken breasts on grill over direct medium heat.

Reverse Sear Method For Grilled Chicken Breast

Crispy Chicken Thighs on a charcoal grill

The reverse sear method is when you cook meat over indirect heat and then finish the cooking over direct heat .

So the general plan here is to put the rubbed chicken breast on the indirect side of the grill and let them sit there without flipping until they reach about 150 degrees F internal temperature.

It will take about 30 minutes to get the chicken cooked to about 150. Youll want a dome temperature of about 400-450 degrees F.

To get this youll need about ½ of a charcoal chimney lit and ashed over. Also, you need to add a handful of wood chips or a product such as Kingsfords new smoke briquettes.

This really adds some nice flavor. Dont worry about soaking any wood or being all fancy.

Just throw in some wood chips or smoke briquettes on top of the coals and youll get about 10-15 minutes of moderate smoke.

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Here Is A Dry Rub List For Grilled Chicken:

  • Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
  • Cajun or Blackening Seasoning
  • Italian or Green Seasoning with Onion Powder and Garlic Powder
  • Salt with Sage, Thyme, Savory, or Rosemary
  • Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika , Cumin for Southwestern Flavors, a Dash of Cayenne for Spicy
  • A package of dry dressing mix like Ranch or Caesar

I prefer a spice rub to a marinade but thats just personal preference!

Know When You Need To Open And Close The Charcoal Grill

Once you close the charcoal grill, it will heat your meat more evenly. Closing the lid is good if you have large chicken breasts with bone, which you have not pounded. If you leave the lid open, the heat will collect at the bottom of the charcoal grill, which is a good idea for thinner boneless chicken breasts. Leaving the lid open allows the chicken breasts to get a hood char without drying the meat from the top.

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Cooking A Whole Rotisserie Chicken Over Charcoal

It seems lately the trend is to spatchcock chicken every time you cook them.

There is a time and place for doing that , it really doesnt take that much longer to cook a chicken whole over charcoal.

Thats where my favorite add-on for the Weber Kettle comes in to play.

For every 2.2lbs of chicken, it will take around 45 minutes to cook over medium heat charcoal.The good thing about rotisserie cooking, if you want to cook two birds at once, it doesnt affect the cooking time. The 45 minutes per every 2.2 pounds is per bird, not in total.

The other added benefit is as the bird spins, it is basting itself in all of the juices. The smell that comes off a rotisserie bird is pretty hard to beat.

Season, smoke and spin, you really cannot make it any easier than that.

We have a full video of this recipe if you prefer to watch how everything is done.

How Long To Cook Chicken On A Charcoal Grill

Rotisserie Chicken Recipe on a Charcoal grill

Are you one of many people playing the guessing game when trying to cook chicken on a charcoal grill? Dont be embarrassed, youre not alone.

We act like grilled chicken is easy, and its popularity would certainly make you think so, but the fact is that no one actually takes you out back and shows you exactly how it all works.

But, thats exactly what I am here to do.

Ive been a chef for over a decade and grilling chicken is problematic and confusing due to the many variables involved.

How much charcoal should you be using? How long should you wait before the charcoal is ready?

Not to mention that the many different cuts of chicken available all have different cook times and what visual cues let you know that they are ready to come off the grill?

Charcoal grilling is special because the intensity of flavor goes beyond what a gas grill can do.

Its smoky, fire-kissed food thats delicious on a primal level and this guide will answer all the questions you may have on how to master grilled chicken.

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How Long To Grill Chicken Quarters On A Charcoal Grill

Chicken quarters are larger pieces of meat with more surface area and a bone, so they require a little more cooking time than the others. At 350 degrees, its a good idea to allow chicken quarters to cook for about 15 minutes on each side for a total of 30 minutes of cooking time.

We start with 10 minutes cook time for each side, and finish over indirect heat until an internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. The chicken cooks faster on the outside and roasts slower over the indirect heat until a digital meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

Do You Grill Chicken Over Direct Or Indirect Fire

Put the chicken on direct heat. Boil on each side for about 6 minutes, or until you see the desired crust, then over the indirect fire to finish cooking, turning each piece occasionally. Continue cooking until the internal temperature is 160 to 162 degrees F, measured on an instant reading thermometer.

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How To Grill A Whole Chicken

Grill a spatchocked chicken for best results, and note that the timing will change depending on the size of the bird.

  • Beginning with a clean, greased grill, sear the chicken skin side down over direct, high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it has developed a golden crust.
  • Flip over and transfer to the indirect area, continuing until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165. This step will take around 45 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
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