How long to cook chicken on a grill
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Cooking chicken on a grill
& other grilling tips
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/ How long to cook chicken on a grill etc.

Dry Rubbed Chicken on a grill
Chicken rubbed with Knox's Yummy Chicken dry rub and a couple slabs of excellent ribs.
Photo submitted by: Chris
Iron Pig Competition Cooking Team, SC

Cooking chicken on a grill is a great way to make an easy and tasty meal. There are a couple of simple rules for cooking chicken on a grill listed below. If you follow these suggestions and your recipe you should be able to grill chicken like a pro. Also see cooking temeratures and times, click here.

Suggestion #1
Grill chicken over lower heat (230 degrees F. - 250 degrees F.) for a longer amount of time (45 minutes to an hour or longer depending on your ability to regulate temperature).

  • This will allow you to cook your chicken on a grill so it is cooked thoroughly without as much worry about flames charring the chicken.
  • You will not have to spend as much time moving chicken around while waiting for it to cook through.
  • Possibility of it being cooked on the inside before burning the outside of the chicken.

Suggestion #2
If you have an iron grate on your grill, brush it with olive or vegetable oil before grilling.

  • This aids in preventing chicken from sticking to grill.
  • Mixing a drop of liquid smoke in the oil you brush on grill is not a bad thing either.

chicken seasoning

Suggestion #3
Learn to properly prepare charcoal for your grill.

  • Even cooking surface.
  • Evenly cooked chicken.
  • Everybody is happy.

Suggestion #4
Buy a meat thermometer

  • Boneless chicken is done when the internal temperature is 170 degrees F. and bone in chicken is done when the internal temperature is 180 degrees F. A meat thermometer will accurately tell you this without slicing into chicken on the grill and releasing moisture.
  • Never under or overcook chicken cooked on a grill when using a meat thermometer.
  • No guess work

Suggestion #5
Do not baste with thick sugary sauces, like BBQ sauce, while cooking. Baste with BBQ sauce after chicken is cooked and only for the last 5 minutes or so to carmelize the sauce.

  1. Reduces the chance of a bitter flavor caused by sugars burning in sauce.
  2. After chicken cooks, baste with BBQ sauce and allow to glaze chicken on the grill for a couple of minutes before removing.
  3. This prevents flare ups because of excess sauce.
  4. BBQ sauce really does not have to cook anyway.

Suggestion #6
Use a recipe for cooking chicken on a grill

Suggestion #7
Allow chicken to rest after you are finished cooking it on the grill

  • This allows fluids to evenly distribute through chicken before eating
  • If you cut into hot chicken off the grill the fluids will run out of meat and the chicken will be less moist and succulent. Resting stops this from happening.

Using the above suggestions will make cooking chicken on a grill much simpler. Below is a summary.

  • Cook over lower temperatures for longer times.
  • Oil the grate before cooking chicken on a grill
  • Properly prepare charcoal before cooking
  • Use a meat thermometer
  • Do not baste with BBQ sauce until cooking is complete
  • Use a recipe for approximate times and temperatures
  • Allow chicken to rest after cooking on a grill.

Not rocket science, more of a lesson in patience . The more you cook chicken on a grill the better you will become. Follow these guides and experiment. Have fun and eat well.


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