Grilling chicken is fairly easy. But grilling moist, juicy, and flavourful chicken requires more skill and preparation.
These eight tips for grilling chicken will help you do it right. But before you get your grill ready, you need to keep in mind that different types of chicken will cook differently. For example, grilling a whole chicken will take much longer than grilling a chicken leg.
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts will cook much faster, but it will be more difficult to keep them moist and full of flavour. Take a good look at your chicken and get started.
Here are the eight best tips for grilling chicken deliciously:
Tip #1: Prepare your chicken so it will cook more evenly
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are convenient, but they are challenging to grill right since their thickness varies from one end to the other. This means that one end will surely be overcooked. But not if you prepare them first!
You can place each chicken breast in a plastic bag and pound it with a mallet or a pan to even it out. Alternatively, you can butterfly your chicken breasts by slicing them in the middle and opening them like a book, so they will lay flat on the gas grills.
Tip #2: Brine your chicken to keep it moist and juicy
To avoid eating dry and bland chicken, bringing it before grilling it is good. Brining your chicken will help it retain moisture and flavour, truly being delicious.
Preparing brine is easy. Simply fill a container with enough water to submerge your chicken pieces, then add some salt and sugar. Keep your chicken in the brine for at least 30 minutes, rinse it, and grill it.
Tip #3: Marinade your chicken to give it more flavour
Instead of bringing your chicken, you can marinade it so it will soak in a lot of flavours. You can use BBQ sauce or a homemade marinade prepared with the ingredients of your choice.
If you want to make your marinade, mix the same amount of oil and an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice. Then, add plenty of spices, herbs, and sweet and salty ingredients.
Remember that the longer your chicken soaks in the marinade, the more delicious it will be.
Tip #4: Figure out if you need direct or indirect heat
Should you grill your chicken directly over your grill’s flame, or should you place it away from the flame?
To grill boneless chicken pieces, place them directly over the flame. However, it can be easy to overcook your chicken when using direct heat. Leave it no longer than 3 minutes on one side before flipping it.
For chicken that contains bones, such as a whole chicken, legs or wings, you should use indirect heat by placing your poultry away from the grill’s flame. It will take longer to cook, but the result will not disappoint you.
Tip #5: Oil the grates so your chicken will not stick
Chicken is lean meat, and it can easily stick to the grates of your grill, especially when you are using direct heat for cooking it.
To prevent this, be sure to generously oil the grates of your grill before placing your chicken on them. This will ensure that your grilled chicken’s crispy and delicious crust will go on your plate instead of staying stuck to your grill.
Tip #6: Only flip your chicken once
Ideally, you should only flip your chicken once while it cooks. If you keep flipping it from one side to the other, you are more likely to end up with dry meat, which is not what you want.
Tip #7: Use a thermometer to know when your chicken is done
You don’t want your chicken to be overcooked, but you also don’t want to serve undercooked chicken. Before removing it from the grill, use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s done.
Insert the tip of your thermometer into the thickest part of your chicken without touching any bone. When the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F, it’s done and ready to transfer to a serving plate.
Remember to let it rest for a few minutes before serving it.
Tip #8: Wait until your chicken is almost cooked to glaze it
Glazing your chicken with BBQ sauce or any other sauce of your liking is a nice finishing touch. But it should be just that: a finishing touch. If you spread the sauce on your chicken before grilling it, it will burn.
Instead, wait until your chicken is nearly cooked to glaze it with sauce. Then, remove it from the grill a few minutes later, and let it rest for a short while before serving it. The result will be a tender, juicy, and mouth-watering chicken.