How To Cook Barbecue Chicken On The Grill

Average Grill Temperatures And What They Mean

How To Make BBQ Grilled Chicken – Grilled Roadside Chicken Recipe – Weber Grill

When a recipe says grill over medium heat, what do they mean?

If you arent familiar with the various temperature levels used in grilling, heres a handy guideline showing the average temperatures. Make sure you have a good wireless digital thermometer to check and monitor the temperature at the grill grates.

  • Low heat 250-275 °F
  • High 500-650 °F
  • Cremation 650+ °F

Cooking chicken too fast or too hot will end up burning the skin but leaving the meat undercooked, ugh!

So, the correct chicken cooking temperature will be in medium range, to cook it long enough without burning.

How To: Grilled Chicken Breast

How to grill juicy, delicious chicken breasts on a charcoal grill.


Lets get grilling

For grilling chicken breasts, you need a two-zone, medium-hot fire. Fire up a full chimney of Kingsford® Charcoal, or light a pile of about 100 briquets. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a two-zone fire. Replace the top grate, and allow the grill to heat up with all vents fully open. Just before placing the chicken on the grate, dip a folded paper towel in cooking oil and oil the entire grate using long-handled tongs. This will prevent the skinless breasts from sticking to the grate.

Boneless skinless breasts dry out easily, so we highly recommend marinating or brining before cooking. For a basic brine, combine ¼ cup salt to four cups water, and soak the chicken breasts for 30 minutes to an hour in a gallon size plastic zipper bag. If you choose not to brine or marinate, simply season to your liking.

Place the chicken breasts on the hot side of the grate, directly above the coals. Sear the breasts for about three to four minutes per side, turning only once, until golden brown. If the grill flares up, temporarily move the chicken away from the coals. When the breasts are properly browned, move them to the warm, or indirect, side of the grate. Replace the lid and, if using a grill thermometer, bring the temperature up to 350°F.

  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sauce or glaze

Summary: Average Grilling Times For All Chicken Cuts

For your reference, here are the average times for grilling various size pieces of chicken:

  • Chicken breast, boneless, skinless 6 8 ounces will take between 8 and 12 minutes over direct medium heat
  • Chicken breast, bone-in 10 12 ounces 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat
  • Leg or thigh, bone-in 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat
  • Thigh, boneless, skinless 4 ounces 8 to 10 minutes over direct high heat
  • Chicken wings 2 -3 ounces 18 to 20 minutes over direct medium heat
  • Whole chicken 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs 1 1/2 to 2 hours over indirect medium heat

Do keep in mind that these times may vary if you , or add a sauce, or change the chicken in any way.

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Whats The Difference Between Grilling And Barbecue

Whats meant by bbq chicken? Is it grilled or is it barbecue? And what the bid dif? The difference between barbecued chicken and grilled chicken is largely a difference in symanticsand where you position the lid.

BBQ chicken is cooked with the lid of the grill closed to create an oven effect, so the heat circulates around the protein and cooks slower from all sides. Grilling is cooking with the lid open and over a higher, more direct heat source. Thats where youll get that sear so delicious on steaks and burgers.

But when youre using on BBQ sauce on chicken, a hot, direct heat source is NOT what you want. Unless you like your BBQ chicken barbecue sauce charred and burned.

How To Make Grilled Bbq Chicken Thighs:

BBQ Chicken on the Grill!

Place the chicken thighs into a large bowl. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper over the thighs. Toss to coat the chicken in the spices. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or use immediately.

Preheat the grill to medium heat and oil the grates. Once the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down. Do not touch it for 7 minutes, or you can move them at a 45-degree angle to form diamond grill marks halfway through.

Flip the thighs over and let cook for 3 minutes. Brush the chicken on the side facing up lightly with bbq sauce, cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Flip the chicken again, and brush lightly with more bbq sauce on this side. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip one last time, and brush again with bbq sauce, the skin side should be up at this point. Continue to cook until an internal temperature reaches 165°F. About 20 total minutes on the grill.

Serve immediately.

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How To Grill Perfect Chicken Breasts On The Barbecue

When barbecuing chicken breasts, we tend to use a high temperature and direct heat, which makes them dry and tough. To get the most out of this cut of meat on the grill, we suggest a fail-safe four-step cooking method thats easy to apply to all your chicken breast recipesand no more sticking to the grill! Get ready for a summer of chicken perfection.

Reduce The Sauce For Faster Cooking

Up to a certain point, we are going to cook the chicken and the BBQ sauce separately. It might sound a little fussy, but it guarantees us a few things. First, cooking the chicken on its own makes for crispy chicken skin. It also helps the chicken cook faster theres no sauce impeding cooking or opening and closing the oven to slow the cook time. Meanwhile, well be simmering the BBQ sauce on the stovetop to make it thicker, stickier, sweeter, and ready for a final basting. No burnt sauce or undercooked chicken here!

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Best Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled chicken breasts can be the epitome of boring. Too often they’re dried out or rubbery. But when soaked in a super-quick with balsamic, brown sugar, and dried thyme you’re guaranteed deliciousness. Not to mention, grilling the breasts will lock in all those amazing flavors while providing some serious char.

How long can I keep the chicken in the marinade?

We’d recommend no longer than 24 hours! Technically you can keep raw chicken refrigerated for up to 2 days, but we don’t recommend marinating that long.

How do I keep the chicken from sticking on the grill?

As long as you give each side enough time, it shouldn’t! When your chicken gets those nice charred lines, it naturally releases from your grill grates. If you try to flip and the chicken feels stuck, try giving it another minute or two! It’ll release naturally, when it’s ready.

What should the internal temperature of my chicken be?

According to the FDA, all chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°. We prefer our chicken breasts closer to 150° because we’re rule breakers. Jokes aside, the real reason we don’t go all the way to 165° is because boneless skinless chicken breasts have basically no fat, so in order to maintain some juiciness we pull them a little early.

Can I adapt the marinade?

How hot should my grill be for chicken breasts?

What should I serve with this?

Made this recipe? Tell us how ya feel! Rate & comment below.

Freshly ground black pepper

How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs

How to make BBQ Chicken – Easy Basic BBQ Grilled Chicken

As with all types of chicken, the USDA recommends it is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The best way to gauge this is by using a meat thermometer. Here are estimated grilling times for chicken thighs, based on a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: 5 to 6 minutes per side
  • Bone-in chicken thighs: 8 to 10 minutes per side

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How Long To Cook Chicken On A Grill

Since the BBQ chicken time depends on many factors, we are here to help you understand how long grilling each part of chicken can take.

Although such time estimates are almost correct in most cases, its important to remember that the type of marination, choice of sauce, etc., are all factors that could affect your chicken grill time.

In fact, its best to make use of a thermometer to monitor the accurate internal temperature of the chicken at all times to ensure the best results.

Part of Chicken
1 ½ to 2 hours

What Is The Best Internal Temperature For Chicken

If you only remember one temperature, its 165 degrees F . This is the minimum safe internal temperature of chicken.

While you want to cook your legs and thighs a bit higher, you will know that theyre safe to eat.

Some recipes will tell you to cut the meat, and if the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. Clear juices are not a reliable indicator of doneness. Depending on the age of the bird, juices might not run clear until its way overcooked.

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How Do You Grill Juicy Chicken

The key steps to really juicy grilled chicken are kitchen essentials lessons that even the most seasoned griller should revisit each year. Pound the chicken thin for more even cooking, brine or marinade for flavor and color, and grill over direct heat for grill marks, but finish over low heat to keep them juicy.

Homemade Bbq Sauce Ingredients:

Barbecued Chicken Recipe

This may seem like a long list, but trust me, you have most of these things already! Just dig around in that spice cabinet and in the door of your refrigerator. You will most likely have them. If you do need to grab a few things, buy them in bulk because you will be making this homemade sauce a lot once you see how amazing it is!!

  • Ketchup: Adds sweet and tangy flavor to the sauce.
  • Molasses: For sweetness and a warm, smoky flavor.
  • Brown sugar: Rich sweetness
  • Cider vinegar: Balances out all the sweetness with its tartness.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Savory and sweet tangy sauce.
  • Paprika: Adds an unmistakable red color and very mild pepper flavor.
  • Chili powder: For spice!
  • Onion powder: Sweet and savory flavor of onions are perfect in this sauce.
  • Salt: To taste
  • Liquid smoke: I love the smokiness the BBQ sauce gets from adding this!

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How To Grill Bbq Chicken:

Grilling BBQ chicken is really simple, but doing it the right way requires a little bit of technique. This recipe utilizes a quick brine, a flavorful dry rub, & indirect grilling, a simple combination that yields perfectly tender, juicy, & flavorful BBQ chicken every time. Youll be making the absolute best BBQ chicken on the grill in no time!

Note: full Recipe Directions are provided in the Recipe Card, below.

#1 Start with an easy grilled BBQ chicken marinade.

Before you panic about the need to mix up a complicated marinade for your chicken, let me assure you were keeping things really minimal here. This grilled BBQ chicken marinade is actually a simple brine!

Because chicken is pretty lean, marinating or brining it before you barbecue it is key. A quick brine will help ensure your grilled barbecue chicken stays totally juicy & doesnt dry out on the grill.

2 brine options:

  • Beer brine: Even if youre not a beer lover , soaking chicken in beer adds an incredibly rich, deep flavor to the chicken. Its my favorite grilled chicken trick. For best flavor, use a full-bodied, dry & hoppy beer, such as an IPA.
  • Buttermilk brine: If beer isnt your thing , you can use buttermilk, which is totally classic & has the added benefit of tenderizing the chicken. If you dont have buttermilk on hand, you can DIY it by adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to regular ol milk.

#2 Layer on the best grilled BBQ chicken rub.

#3 Get grilling!

Grilling BBQ Chicken:

Can I Put Bbq Sauce On Raw Chicken

Common mistake would be to marinate the chicken in that sauce, and then save the sauce and pour it over the cooked chicken after its done. Dont do that, because any sauce that touched raw chicken is contaminated. Until it gets cooked. Your cooked sauces potential bugs are as dead as the chickens potential bugs.

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How Long To Grill Chicken Wings

Like thighs and breasts, the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Using an instant-read thermometer is the best way to know when your chicken wings are done, but you can use this estimated cooking time as a guide:

  • Whole chicken wings: 25 minutes total, flipping occasionally

How Do You Grill Bbq Chicken Without Burning It

Delicious BBQ Chicken on a Gas Grill – Basic Backyard Grilled Chicken

One of the best ways to prevent burning is to make sure your meat doesnt stick to the surface of the grill. So make sure you brush the grill with oil or cooking spray before you heat it up. Its also a good idea to brush some oil on all sides of your chicken or soak it in an oil-based marinade before grilling.

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How Long To Grill Chicken Breasts

According to the USDA, all poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Using an instant-read meat thermometer is really the only accurate way to gauge your chicken’s doneness. But in the case that you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the chicken and ensure that the juices run clear. Here are the estimated grilling times for chicken breasts, based on an internal temp of 165 degrees F.

  • Boneless chicken breasts: 7 to 8 minutes per side
  • Bone-in chicken breasts: 15 minutes per side

Should You Marinate Brine Or Rub Before Cooking Does It Affect The Cooking Time

Wet marinades and wet brining add flavor but can increase the cooking time for the skin on chicken. It takes longer for the skin to dry before it can brown.

Boneless cuts of chicken take the same amount of time, marinated or not.

Dry rubs for chicken will help the skin to dry and will not affect cooking time.

Keep in mind that good old salt and pepper are the simplest yet best grilling seasonings. The smoke from the charcoal while grilling will overpower more delicate flavorings like herbs. And, if you plan on slathering with sauce at the end, youll just mask the other flavors from the marinade or rub.

While this guide works well, it still comes down to what thermometer says. You cant rush quality.

I hope the information here helps you the next time you grill your chicken, whole or parts. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and I hope you found this article helpful.

Happy grilling!

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How To Grill Chicken: Temperature And Time Guide

There are plenty of good reasons why chicken is Americas favorite meat. Its versatile, easy to prepare, and a nearly-universal crowd pleaser. According to, red meats like beef, pork, and lamb generally have more saturated fats than skinless chicken. Opting for chicken instead of other proteins for several meals a week is a simple way to improve your heart health. Whether youre throwing a barbecue in the backyard for family and friends or trying to impress a new date with your culinary skills, chicken is an MVP when it comes to grilling.

Just because it is done often doesnt mean its always done right. Get careless and youll end up with an undercooked thigh or a breast thats dry and tasteless. But were here to help you avoid a chicken faux pas. And our tips are simple a quick crash course on temperature and timing can be the hidden secret for a tender and juicy piece of chicken.

If youre already a seasoned grill master and chicken expert, then skip the how-to and check out this Grilled Maple Bourbon Chicken recipe to really up your game.

Not sure you have the right tools for the job? Dont worry, chicken cooks beautifully on a variety of different Coyote grills such as a pellet grill, flat top grill, or S-Series grills . Really, we all know the best grill to prepare your chicken on is whichever grill is your favorite.

Ready To Hit The Grill

Grilled Butterflied &  Barbecued Whole Chicken

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