How To Cook Chicken On The Grill Temperature

Grilling Time And Temperature For Chicken

Cooking on the TRAEGER Grill
Food Type
165 – 180 15 min

Chicken is the most commonly consumed piece of meat in the world because it is cheaper to raise and cheaper to purchase. Also, on the grill, it is one of the fastest to cook with mouth-watering results.

What is the perfect grill temperature for chicken? A minimum of 165 °F will keep you safe from any nutritional problems.

Preheat the grill to 350 °F and be ready to cook varying cuts aiming at the same chicken internal temperature of 165 °F on the minimum working across different chicken grilling times.

If you will be working with an oven or a beer can, you should work with a range of 165 °F to 180 °F as the chicken oven grill temperature and 165 °F to 170 °F as the beer can chicken grill temperature.


These are often the chunkiest of meats and have the tendency of running dry when cooked for long. Chicken breasts serve well with main dishes and are the ideal cuts for chicken kabobs.

In order not to dry out your breasts after a subtle spicing, work with a chicken breast grill temperature of 165 °F 170 °F for between 6 to 8 minutes per side over direct heat.

Direct heat aids the meat to cook faster attaining this temperature in no time to avoid dryness.

What is the perfect temperature for chicken kabobs then? A 150 °F to 170 °F range working between 2 to 4 minutes per side serves as an average estimation for a good cook.

Thighs or Legs

These have larger proportions of meat to bones and are great for main dishes or snacks.


Direct Heat To Finish A Grilled Chicken Breast

The last step to the perfect grilled chicken breast is a direct heat sear. This gives the chicken a few minutes on each side to crisp up and get all of that tasty grilled chicken flavor that we love. The key here is caramelization. The sugars in the marinade and seasoning we used will hit the high heat from the flames and start to bubble and brown.

Be careful to avoid overcooking and burning at this point. It will make your perfectly grilled chicken breasts taste bitter. You are looking for a target internal temperature of 160 degrees. Since chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees F, this last tip is crucial. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover immediately with a tight layer of foil. The carryover momentum from the heat rising within the chicken will create a little steam oven inside the foiled plate and push the final temperature up to 165 degrees F. This process takes about 5-10 minutes.

How To Thin Thick Chicken Breasts

I usually use a meat hammer, but the bottom of a heavy pan will do nicely.

You need to protect yourself and the surrounding area from splatter. Most people will place the chicken in plastic wrap for this, but I like one-gallon freezer bags.

See Chicken To Rinse or Not To Rinse? for more food safety discussion about chicken.

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Fix: How To Defrost Chicken

So, how should you thaw chicken? Whether you are using thighs, breasts or a whole bird, your prep begins the day before your dinner. The best way to defrost the bird is slowly in the fridge. If you do happen to forget, dont worry. Similar to thawing a frozen turkey at the last minute, you can fill your sink with cold water, submerge your frozen chicken and change out the water every 30 minutes until it is defrosted.

Spatchcocked Chicken: How To Grill A Whole Chicken Without Losing Your Mind

grilling chicken temperature

Spatchcocked chickenalso known as butterflied chickenis a whole chicken that has been split by removing the backbone, and then flattened out. Splitting and flattening the bird is dual purposeyou significantly reduce the cooking time, and ensure even cooking. While spatchcocked birds are great for roasting, theyre the hands-down best for grilling. In fact, the dictionary definition of the word spatchcock is literally chicken or game bird split open and grilled.

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Is Raw Chicken Ok In Fridge For 3 Days

Raw chicken lasts in the fridge for 12 days, while cooked chicken lasts 34 days. To detect if chicken has gone bad, check the best if used by date and look for signs of spoilage like changes in smell, texture, and color. Avoid eating spoiled chicken, as it can cause food poisoning even if you cook it thoroughly.

Dry Brine With Kosher Salt

This is a trick to get your chicken skin to tighten up a bit and also get rid of some excess moisture on the surface so that you can get crispier skin.

Simply add a generous amount of salt to the entire part of the chicken quarter. Dont be afraid of the amount of salt, some will not be pulled into the meat and fall of on the grill.

Put the chicken into the fridge uncovered for at least 4 hours. You can go more or less with mixed results. Longer is typically better.

This is an important step if you want to get amazing grilled chicken leg quarters.

Tip: Doing a brine is also a great way to add flavor and crispiness to chicken wings and chicken breasts. And dont forget grilled chicken drumsticks!

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Do You Close The Grill When Cooking Chicken

Just as steaks are better when theyve been grilled with the lid open, chicken benefits from a closed lid. This creates an oven effect inside the grill, which helps cook the chicken all the way through. If you still want nice grill marks and who doesnt? start by searing the cuts on both sides before closing the lid to finish cooking.

Your patience will be tested, but avoid opening that lid to see whats happening. Every time you do, heat escapes, which could make the cooking uneven or take longer.

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Key : Use A Thermapen

Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill Setup for an Easy Indirect Chicken Thigh and Drum Cook

A Thermapen®;Mk4 is essential in finding the lowest temperature in the meat. Visually gauging the thickest part of the meat wont;necessarily give you the thermal center where that lowest point will be. The ability to take the temperature quickly in several places will help you know if you chicken is cooked safely and properly. If youre doing a lower, slower cook, a leave-in probe thermometer like the ChefAlarm®;can be used to track the temperature, but you will still need a Thermapen to check the thermal canter to ensure safety.

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Top Tips For Making Chicken Breast

So, what are our top suggestions for making great chicken breast every time?

The most important thing is the sauce. Alone, chicken is pretty plain, which means you can pair it with anything that takes your fancy. Experiment with marinades and basting sauces, and keep experimenting until you find recipes you love.

A second tip is to marinade if your chicken is a bit dry or tough.

The acids in the marinade will break down the flesh and soften it . The flavors will revitalize the flesh. Make use of marinades any time you think the meat is low quality, and youll have a much better experience with chicken.

Thirdly, always check that your meat has reached a high enough temperature to ensure food borne bacteria has been killed, and handle raw chicken according to best practice. Store chicken both cooked and uncooked in the fridge or freezer when not cooking or consuming it.

Grilling Time And Temperature For Pork

Food Type
3 min

Just like beef, the pork grill temperature and times follow a similar trend.

The consumption of pork is one of the oldest to hit the earths surface and has not disappointed in taste and aroma over the centuries.

When grilling pork, the first key thing to take charge of is marination. Pork has the tendency of exuding a foul odor when not treated well, therefore to avoid this, marinate with stronger spices like garlic, ginger and soy sauce to override the odor.

Now, prep up the surface of the grill to between 300 °F 400 °F for a great start without the food sticking.

Pork Chops

This cut of pork is mostly leaner than most parts of the pig and often includes some rib bones. Hence, the question to ask is what temperature is best to grill pork chops? Straight up on that, we suggest sticking to a medium internal temperature of 145 °F .

It is a faster cooking portion as compared to the other cuts, so to achieve the various levels of doneness, the grill time can be altered between 2 to 7 minutes for such results.

Pork Tenderloin

This is a long thin cut of meat best used for bigger serving sizes. It is fast on the cook and requires as much attention as needed for other portions of meat.

The pork tenderloin grill temperature follows the same suit as the pork chops at 145 °F but requires a cooking time of between 10 to 25 minutes per side for the range of doneness.

The meat grill times chart for this goes longer due to the case of length.

Pork Ribs

Pork Loins

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What Pellets Should I Use For Smoking Baking Potatoes

When it comes to baked potatoes on a pellet grill, the type of pellet you use wont make a huge difference. Apple, fruitwood, and cherry are always good choices when youre smoking any vegetable, but again, use whatever you have to hand. You can also mix and match your wood pellets if you cant decide on one flavor!

As with all cooking, though, its ultimately up to you and what type of flavor youre looking to give your smoked potatoes.;

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

Perfect Temperatures for BBQ Chicken

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 the 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 Long Do You Cook Chicken On Pellet Grill

Turn the heat to 350 degrees and close the lid for 15 minutes while it warms up. Put the chicken, spiced side down on the grill and liberally season the underside of the chicken. Cook for 12-13 minutes with the lid closed. Turn the chicken over and cook another 10-12 minutes or until cooked to 165-170 degrees.

Chicken Grilling Time And Temperature Chart

Chicken and other poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F . Keep in mind, clear juices are not always a good indicator of doneness. Depending on the age of the bird, juices might not run clear until it’s overcooked. Also, as you see from the chart, boneless cuts of chicken cook faster than bone-in pieces of chicken.


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How To Grill A Spatchcocked Chicken

Your chicken has been prepped, rubbed with a paprika-garlic spice mix, and the grill is hotnow what?! Your work is nearly overits time to let your grill do the rest. Our grilled spatchcock chicken recipe works perfectly on either a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Here are a few things to know:

  • If youre grilling your spatchcocked chicken on a gas grill: start with medium-high heat for the first few minutes of cooking, just until the skin is a nice crispy, golden-brown. Then crank that heat to low.

If youll be grilling a whole chicken over charcoal: begin cooking the dry-rubbed, spatchcocked whole chicken over direct heat to give the skin a lovely char. After a few minutes, flip and move the chicken so that it finishes cooking over indirect heat.

Types Of Food To Grill

Grilled Chicken Breast Temperature Experiment – Which is the perfect Grilled Chicken Temperature?

As clear as the name sounds and as adventurous and creative as you can be, grilling allows you to barbecue just anything as you will want.

For the sake of commonality and easy understanding, we use basic food types that can be easily related to. So in here, we talk about beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, and veggies. Choose your lot!

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Chicken Thighs And Drumsticks:

Thigh and leg meat are rich in flavor. They take longer to cook than breast meat, about 25 to 30 minutes on the grill. Cook to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.

Tips for Grilling Chicken:

  • Always thaw frozen poultry in the refrigerator or microwave oven, not on the kitchen counter. Chicken may also be thawed by running it under cold water.
  • Keep all poultry in the refrigerator or in a cooler until ready to grill.
  • Before marinating or grilling, wash the chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands, utensils and work area after preparation.
  • It is best to grill on a clean rack. Heat the grill and scrape away any food or debris with a stiff brush.
  • Oil the grates or use a non-stick cooking spray to prevent the chicken from sticking. Dont spray the cooking spray directly into the fire.

*Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.

Grill The Chicken Quarters

Now that your chicken and grill are both ready go ahead and place your chicken quarters onto the grill. Place the skin side of the chicken down onto the grates first.

After about 7-10 minutes you can flip the grilled chicken legs over to grill the other side. If the skin is sticking to the grates then it isnt ready to be flipped so allow a few more minutes.

The skin will naturally release from the grates when it is crisp and cooked. Flip them over and allow for them to continue cooking.

Flare ups

If your grill is prone to flare-ups then you want to make sure that you keep a close eye on the chicken.

Create an area with some indirect heat so that you dont burn the chicken.

Especially because we are cooking with the skin on you will have more fat dripping which can cause flare-ups.

Check temperature

You always want to make sure that you cook your chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. When cooking bone-in chicken leg quarters be mindful that the bone will retain heat.

You can take the chicken off the grill around 160°F as it will continue to cook while it rests as well. Instant-read thermometers are great when grilling so you know just what temp you are at.

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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

What Are Chicken Leg Quarters

Infographic: Grilling Times and Temperatures

Chicken leg quarters are the thigh and drumstick, also known as the leg, of a chicken. The thigh and leg is also a quarter of a chicken hence the name chicken leg quarters.

Both the thigh and the drumstick contain dark meat which can be fatty and juicy. Both being fatty and juicy bring a lot of flavor to the chicken.

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Tip #: Pound The Breasts Before Grilling

Chicken breast is a very unforgiving meat. As soon as it tips over its ideal temperature, it will almost immediately begin drying out. The physical shape of the breast isn’t kind in this respect, as its uneven height means the bulky center cannot be cooked through without the thinner portions of the meat overcooking first.

There’s an easy solution to this problem: Even out the height. This involves giving the chicken a nice beating, which is also great for relieving any pent-up aggression.

I like to put the chicken in a resealable plastic bag for the poundingthe thick plastic won’t break when whacked, and the sealed bag ensures chicken juice doesn’t splatter all over the kitchen.

Once it’s safely in a bag, I go at it with a heavy skillet or a meat pounder, bashing the thicker parts of the breast until they match the height of the thinnest part. But don’t go too thin here; keep the height around three-quarters of an inch. A chicken breast that’s pounded out too thin will be more susceptible to drying out over high heat.

Grilling Tips For The Best Chicken Thighs

Wondering why you still cant get it right? Maybe these techniques will help:

  • Buy good quality chicken. A healthy and hormone-free chicken will obviously taste MUCH BETTER than one thats pumped with chemicals. Go for all-natural and free-range options for amazing flavorno matter the cooking method.
  • ALWAYS season your chicken well. Sprinkle on enough salt and pepper before grilling the chicken, so that its natural flavors become much more pronounced. When marinating, leave the sauce on for a few hours for the best results!
  • Monitor the grill temperature. Some grills temperature readings arent so accurate, so pay attention to the heat. If your chicken is browning too quickly, decrease the flame!
  • Keep a CLOSE eye on your chicken. If your grill is prone to flare-ups, move the chicken around so that it doesnt burn. Make sure its cooking evenly throughout the whole process!
  • Use a meat thermometer. This handy kitchen tool is SO HELPFUL because it takes guesswork out of the equation. Although you can slice the chicken to check for signs of pink, using a thermometer is more effective to determine doneness.
  • Try basting LAST! Although you place marinated chicken directly on the grill, some sugary sauces burn FAST, giving your final dish an unpleasant taste. Try basting when the chickens almost cooked through to avoid this!

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