How to Grill Chicken: The Easiest, Tastiest Method17 maja 2019
Grilled chicken is synonymous with summer grilling, both for family cookouts and weeknight meals. But chicken is also one of the harder proteins to grill, because the chicken’s skin and even the BBQ sauce are prone to burning in the high heat of the grill.
I’m a grill aficionado, and I’ve burnt my fair share of chicken before figuring out a simpler, tastier way to grill it. This essential step-by-step method is perfect for first-time grillers or anyone who struggles to get delicious grilled chicken every time. Here’s how to do it.
Which Chicken Pieces Are Best for Grilling?
One of the things I love most about this method is that you can buy different cuts of chicken and cook them all at the same time. I often grill chicken breast for meal prep salads, extra drumsticks for my two kids, and flavorful thighs for eating with corn and salad. For the most part, I recommend bone-in, skin-on chicken for the grill, because both the bones and skin help keep the chicken from overcooking and becoming dry. You’ll need about 3 pounds of pieces for this recipe.
You can also use this method for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, although the cook time will be slightly shorter. Use a thermometer to test for doneness rather than relying on time alone.
How Do I Prevent Chicken from Drying Out on the Grill?
To avoid dry chicken (which is often a culprit of being under-seasoned and overcooked), we season with a dry brine, then cook the chicken over indirect heat first, which ensures that the chicken is done before the outside is burnished. These steps yield chicken that’s incredibly juicy with crisp skin, even after you brush it with a baste or BBQ sauce.
The dry brine is a mix of salt and ground spices, including sumac. Sumac has a wonderful acidity, but if you can’t find it, use the same amount of smoked paprika. If you can, season the chicken the night before you grill for added flavor.
What Kind of BBQ Sauce Should I Use for Grilled Chicken?
In lieu of barbecue sauce, I’ve fallen hard for a baste of honey mustard and apple cider vinegar brushed on during the last bit of cooking. But you could use the same technique — diluting a bottled sauce with a bit of vinegar — if you have a favorite BBQ sauce. Just be sure to add it towards the end of cooking, and brush it on intermittently, to prevent burning.
How Long Does It Take to Grill Chicken?
Pieces of chicken cook at slightly different rates depending on the cut, their weight, and whether they are bone-in. Cook the chicken, covered, over direct heat for about 25 minutes, moving it around every five minutes to prevent flare-ups. Begin checking the internal temperature after about 25 minutes and move it over direct heat to finish cooking for eight to 10 minutes for a total of 30 to 40 minutes cooking time.
What Are Some Different Ways to Enjoy Grilled Chicken?
This chicken is so good straight off the grill, but it’s also great for meal prep. Grill the chicken over the weekend, then add it to salads and grain bowls throughout the week. Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy grilled chicken.
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