How To Properly Grill Chicken

Best Fire To Use: Two

How to Grill Chicken

There are two goals when you’re cooking chicken on the grill. The meat needs to cook through to the center, and the skin needs to be well rendered and crisped. The order in which these two goals are best achieved is up for debate, and something I’ll address in the next section.

For now, we can agree that the goals are not necessarily in harmony with each other.

See, for the moistest, juiciest meat, slow and gentle cooking is ideal. The hotter the temperature at which a chicken cooks, the bigger the temperature differential between the very center and the exterior. At very high temperatures, the outer layers of a delicate chicken breast will overcook, turning dry and stringy before the inner layers even have the chill taken off of them.

On the other hand, crisp skin requires some degree of high heat. The process of skin crisping involves first removing moisture and rendering excess fat, followed by setting and browning of proteins. This last phase requires relatively high temperatures to achieve.

What this means is that in order to get both results, you need the adaptability of a two-zone indirect fire. That is, a fire with all the coals piled up on one side. This gives you a cooler side to cook gently on, and a hotter side for crisping.

How To Grill Chicken Breasts

Two ways to ensure a perfectly grilled chicken breast is the proper cook temperature, 165º F, and starting with a uniform thickness breast. The latter is key. If one part of the breast is larger, it will need a longer cooking time meaning the thinner part will cook longer and dry out.

  • Pound the chicken: Place a chicken breast on a sturdy surface, smooth skin side down. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet, or even a rolling pin, until the breast is an even 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Grill over direct medium heat until the chicken breast reads 165º F with an instant-read thermometer. Flip once. Approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Meaty Good For The Whole Family: Broilers And Fryers

    Broilers and fryers are the next two sizes up and are the most common chickens sold in the US. Six to eight weeks in age, they have a good balance of flavor and tenderness, and are sized just right to feed four.

    I can fit a couple of fryers on my grill at the same time, making them ideal for larger dinner parties.

    Also Check: How To Grill A Steak On A Traeger

    How Long Do You Grill Chicken Breast For

    A boneless, skinless chicken breast usually weighs between 5 and 8 ounces. The cooking time is only 12 to 15 minutes. Turn them every 5 minutes to see that it does not burn. Its best to use a medium direct heat.

    Grilling bone-in, skin on breast will take twice as long as boneless and skinless. Figure about 25 minutes.

    Use indirect medium heat for the first half of the cook then finish on direct heat taking care not to burn the skin.

    How To Grill A Whole Chicken

    Grilled properly, chicken drumsticks are delicious and tender, with ...

    I love to grill a whole chicken on Sundays. It can be a fantastic dinner to wrap up the weekend or a vehicle for leftovers or meal prep for the week ahead.

    Heres what to do:

  • Generously season the chicken inside and out. If you want extra crisp skin, consider salting the chicken overnight, leaving it uncovered in the refrigerator.
  • Consider spatchcocking. If you want to grill a whole chicken in the least amount of time, consider spatchcocking. To spatchcock is to remove the chickens backbone, allowing it to lie flat on the grate. The increased surface area of the chicken exposed to heat results in a faster cook time with equally tasty results.
  • Otherwise, truss the chicken. If you want to just go for it with a whole bird, follow this guide for how to truss a chicken.
  • Roast over indirect medium heat for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Chicken is done when the internal temperature of the breast reads 165º F with an instant-read thermometer. A 4- to 5-pound chicken will take no more than an hour and fifteen minutes of grilling time.
  • Using a charcoal grill? If grilling on a charcoal grill, be sure to place the chicken on the grill with the legs towards the lit coals. The darker meat of the chickens legs and thighs can take on more heat than the lean meat of the breast. This orientation allows the breast meat to come to temperature without worrying about overcooking the rest of the chicken.
  • Recommended Reading: Veggie Grill Invite Code

    How Do You Grill Chicken Without Drying It Out

    Prevent dry, rubbery chicken by brining it before grilling it. Brining is simply the process of immersing chicken in a salt-water solution before grilling it. It also aids in the creation of beautiful grill marks, since the increased surface moisture and sugars brown the chicken rapidly on the grill, preventing it from overcooking on the grill.

    When Is Chicken Done And Safe To Eat

    According to the FDA, chicken is done at 165° internal temperature in the thickest part. A higher temperature will dry, and a lower temperature is unsafe. An instant-read thermometer is required to get this right.

    Lower temperatures with specific rest times at those temperatures can be used if you want to research those. As a retired doctor, I treated many cases of food poisoning and do not recommend anything lower than 165° since people cheat on timing.

    You May Like: Ticket Prices For Studio Movie Grill

    Prepare With A Meat Pounder

    With a rolling pen or meat pounder, gently pound the chicken on a counter or table surface. Do this until theyre about half an inch thick across the breast. Do this for each breast.

    Why do we do this? Well like with a lot of cooking methods, one of grillings biggest challenges is cooking meat evenly through. If we make our meat uniform in thickness then we help prevent the issue, while also making it easier to eat and cut.

    Can You Put Raw Chicken On A Bbq

    How to Grill Chicken | How to Grill with Grillabilities from BBQGuys

    You may roast the meat or poultry in the oven before finishing it on the grill to add flavor if youre cooking for a large group of people. Utensils, chopping boards, and other surfaces that will be used to cook raw chicken should be well washed and cleaned. Following contact with raw chicken, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.

    Read Also: Coleman Roadtrip 285 Water Pan

    Does The Weight And Thickness Make A Difference In Cooking Time

    When it comes to cooking a whole bird, size definitely matters. The heavier the bird, the longer it takes.

    A good estimate is 18 to 25 minutes per-pound.

    The heat must penetrate the skin, the meat and finally the bone before its properly cooked through. The thicker the meat, the longer it takes for the heat energy to transfer.

    How To Season Grilled Rooster Breasts

    On this recipe Im utilizing a easy combos of garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. That is my go-to seasoning for rooster breasts as a result of its easy, versatile and scrumptious!

    I normally dont measure once I make grilled rooster breasts. However, no worries mates! I did measure for the sake of writing out this recipe for you guys. That being stated, be at liberty to make it your personal!

    For examples of variations, I like to make use of recent herbs and recent garlic. Or Ill change it up and add some cumin to present it a Tex Mex flare.

    I alter up the herbs typically too! Rosemary and thyme are a terrific mixture as properly. And Ive tons of each rising in my yard.

    Read more: Ina garten roasted chicken breast

    However actually most days I simply want one thing fast. So I made this with dried herbs to maintain issues easy and straightforward.

    Additionally, salt and pepper to your style, however I accomplish that fairly liberally. Rooster breast is just about a clean slate , so I salt and pepper generously.

    Don’t Miss: Internal Temp Of Grilled Pork Chops

    Grill Different Chicken Parts

    The advantage of grilling different types of chicken pieceslike the breast, leg, thigh, and wingis that everyone eating can pick the piece they want the most. The problem, however, is getting all the pieces grilled perfectly so that no one piece is over or undercooked. Understand how to handle each cut of chicken:

    How Do You Keep Chicken From Sticking To The Grill

    Easiest Grilled Barbecue Chicken!

    For starters, brush a thin layer of olive oil and pepper directly onto the chicken to help prevent it from sticking together. Second, keep the grill temperature between 425 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high, the chicken will become stuck to the pan! Grill the chicken breasts for approximately 4.5 minutes per side on a hot grill.

    Also Check: Char Broil Grill Cleaner

    Stay Away From High Heat

    Chicken is not steak or burgers, where you want a fairly high heat to get a good sear on the outside. Since chicken needs to cook thoroughly but you dont want the skin to burn, its wise to cook it over medium, indirect heat for most of the cooking time. For a charcoal grill, this may mean building a two-level fire or only having coals on half of the grill, and for a gas grill, a medium heat works best.

    Should You Oil Chicken Before Grilling

    Use a medium-low heat when cooking with gas to grill the chicken. As soon as your BBQ is ready, thread the whole chicken onto the spit and secure it in place according to the manufacturers guidelines. Start the rotisserie motor and cover the grill until the skin is browned and the thigh juices flow clear when a fork is inserted into the thigh meat.

    Also Check: Is Macaroni Grill Still Open

    Can I Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Bbq

    If youre using gas, cook the chicken over a medium-low heat until its done. As soon as your BBQ is ready, thread the whole chicken onto the spit and secure it in place according to the manufacturers directions. Toss the chicken thighs in the rotisserie machine and cover the grill for 30 minutes or until the skin is browned and the thigh juices flow clear when punctured.

    Can You Grill Chicken At 400f

    How To Grill Chicken

    Cooking chicken at 400F 450F will give you a nice crispy skin, but it can also cause the outside to overcook before the inside is cooked through. This is why I prefer to cook chicken at a lower temperature at medium heat . It gives me a little more wiggle room in terms of time and ensures that my chicken is cooked all the way through.

    You May Like: Pork Chops On Propane Grill

    What To Serve With Chicken

    Chicken legs are a great protein that is delicious and easy to eat. You can serve them as a meal or with a meal.

    There are a million possibilities when it comes to sides to serve with chicken.

    From Roasted Red Potatoes to Garlic & Thyme Roasted Carrots. Steamed broccoli, or even chop the chicken up and serve as a chicken salad slathered with ranch dressing!

    One of our favorite lunches to make are these Sriracha Chicken Wraps. Theyre just easy and delish!

    You might also like:

    Preheat grill to medium-high 400 degrees F.

    Trim any chunky fat off the thighs if you wish

    Pat chicken dry with paper towel

    Oil grill grates

    Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper

    Place legs on grill for 5 minutes.

    Turn and continue grilling and turning every 5 minutes for about 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.

    To get a char, apply your favorite BBQ sauce at the 20-25 minute mark, flip and apply more as you wish.

    So 185 degrees is the magic number for grilling chicken legs use a thermometer to get this internal temp correct. The chicken leg meat will fall off the bone and be juiciest at this temperature.

    Turn the chicken legs every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning the skin and assure youre cooking the chicken legs evenly.

    Tip: Grill with lid closed. If youre lookin you aint cookin!

    Youll want to apply the BBQ sauce early enough that you can apply more to the other side after flipping, and get a nice char all around.

    Grilled Chicken Thighs With Adobo Sauce

    Flip the chicken and place it back on the same hot spot for the same amount of time. When the other side has achieved your preferred coloring, move the chicken to the top rack or a cooler part of the grill. Use a thermometer to check that each thigh has an internal temperature of 155 F, and then remove from the grill. While it rests, the chicken will continue cooking to 165 F.

    Recommended Reading: Traeger Steak Temperatures

    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!

    How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs


    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

    Read Also: How To Prep Charcoal Grill

    How To Grill Chicken Thighs

    This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger. Amy Bobinger has been a writer and editor at wikiHow since 2017. She especially enjoys writing articles that help people overcome interpersonal hurdles but frequently covers a variety of subjects, including health and wellness, spirituality, gardening, and more. Amy graduated with a B.A. in English Lit from Mississippi College in 2011 and now lives in her hometown with her husband and two young sons.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article’s instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 21,378 times.Learn more…

    Grilling chicken thighs is an easy way to make a delicious meal. Season the chicken however you like it, then place the thighs on the grill, paying careful attention to the temperature and time so the chicken doesn’t get dry. Once the chicken thighs are cooked, you can add your favorite sauce and some garnishes to make this tasty dish even better.

    Mistake: Not Using A Meat Thermometer

    One of the top restaurant secrets home chefs need to know is that you cannot cook by color or feel. A piece of meat can look great from the outside all grill marks and crispy skin but then you take a bite and discover a horrifying truth: Its raw. Its also easy to just let your chicken cook and cook and cook, leaving you with a rubbery, dry piece of meat at the end of the day. The only solution is to use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is food safe without being dried out.

    You May Like: Temp To Grill Pork Chops

    What Makes A Good Grilled Chicken Breast

    A perfect grilled chicken breast is a study in contrasts: a lightly crisped exterior, but a soft, moist interior. It is cooked throughno pink, uncooked chicken insidebut just so that it is cooked but not dry and stringy. Attaining this mix of a perfectly crisped exterior and a cooked yet not overdone interior can be tough, but its not impossible. You just need to set yourself up with the right ingredients, equipment, and technique.

    How Long To Grill Chicken Wings

    How to Grill Chicken

    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

    You May Like: Weber Charcoal Grill Parts And Accessories

    How To Grill Chicken Legs

    So you picked up a pack of chicken legs to grill drumsticks and thighs and you want to cook them on the barbecue.

    What temperature do you grill your chicken legs to?

    How high should you set your grill? How do you get a nice char?

    All these questions and more will be answered in this quick and easy, no crazy recipe, how to grill chicken thighs tutorial!

    If you have a food smoker, try these smoked chicken wings, too!

    Last week I grabbed a pack of chicken legs at the grocery store that had thighs and drumsticks in it.

    The next obvious question is, how do you cook them on the BBQ grill? Youre in luck, Im here to show you!

    Also See:How To Grill Beer Can Chicken

    Popular Articles

    More Recipes Like This