how to grill chicken

How to Grill Chicken: 8 Grilling Tips to Improve Cooking

Chicken is one of the most dietary and soft meats that you can grill. However, it is also very delicate and takes some skill to cook. Perhaps this is why so many people tend to go with other types of meat like pork or various beef ribs

But just because the chicken is a bit more challenging, that doesn’t mean that you can’t easily learn how to grill the chicken without any problems.

There are plenty of ways to not only improve your chicken grilling technique but also to make your meal a lot more rich and delicious – and we will show you how!

Tip 1: Pick the Right Size

It’s best not to choose large chicken breasts, since a piece of meat that weighs more than 10 ounces requires a lot more time to cook. And that will make your meal stringy and dry. 

The best chicken breasts on the grill come out when they are between five and eight ounces. Moreover, these retain much more moisture and juice, make your meal a lot yummier, and will require less time to cook.

Tip 2: Pound or Butterfly the Meat

Chicken breasts are usually thicker on one end. It’s pretty common to find variations of meat that are almost 2 inches across the ends. Then, the piece can be leveled by butterflying or pounding. This is a very useful process since it reduces uneven thickness and shortens the cooking time.

Pounding Process

Use the pounding method to even the thickness of small or average breasts. 

Here, the meat is dipped into water and set aside in a zipper bag of quart-size. Now, it can be tenderized with a pounder.

Butterflying Process

This is a great process for those looking to learn how to grill chicken thighs and breasts that are larger. 

You begin butterflying by using a knife to make a horizontal cut. This opens up the meat like a book. Now, it can be pounded gently so that the thicker end is reduced. This process has the potential to transform the breast into a heart shape.

Tip 3: Use Dry Rub or Wet Marinade


When it comes to learning how to grill chicken, it is important to marinate the meat for around 20 minutes. Even if the chicken happens to be skinless and boneless, it is important to leave it for a while so that the meat can get even more tender with a lot of flavors infused. 

And if the marinade is used as a dipping sauce, it is better to keep aside a portion for usage later along with the raw food. One of the great solutions for marinade happens to be pickle juice, which makes for a great instant marinade when seasoned and mixed with a small amount of oil. It is also a great choice to use bottled vinaigrettes, but care should be taken to avoid sugar, which can burn quickly while grilling. However, avoid using the raw marinade as a sauce for poultry! You can do it only if the marinade is boiled first to destroy bacteria.

Tip 4: Leave the Skin

Chicken meat is one of the tender choices in the market, but it can be made even better by leaving the skin on – especially in the case of breast meat. If cooked the right way, the skin will make the meat more crunchy and delicious. Moreover, how long to grill chicken won’t change regardless if you want to keep the skin or not – it’s still about 10 minutes. And if you wonder how long to grill chicken thighs, then it would take about 30 minutes at a 165 degrees temperature, with or without skin.

Tip 5: Clean a Grill

The basic first rule of any good grill chicken recipe is to make sure that the grill you preheat must be clean. After all, a dirty grill not only makes for an unappetizing picture, but it can also make the food stick. Apart from making the food stick, the built-up grease can also result in fires and flare-ups. 

So make sure to remove any stuck food particles by heating the grill and using a hard wire grill brush to remove all that’s left on the grates. There may be occasions when the gunk can be even harder to remove. In such instances, it is recommended to use a damp paper towel.

While you can clean whenever you please, keep in the cleaning process should be done once or twice every summer. Also, remember that even all the grill grates need to be brushed aside after every use.

Tip 6: Preheat a Grill

There is a common need to find out according to a traditional recipe. 

In the case of lean meat and gas grill, the preheating process needs to be done for around 10 minutes. However, it would take 30 minutes if you use a charcoal grill.

Tip 7: Ensure Proper Heat Levels

Regardless of whether the meat has skin or bones, it is important to have proper heat on the grill, so that it can cook quickly and still keep enough moisture. The chicken with bones or big breasts that are un-pounded needs to be cooked slowly by applying medium-high heat. This ensures that the outside portions of meat do not burn while cooking, whereas the internal grill temp for chicken should reach 165°F.

Tip 8: Keep an Eye on the Clock

The timing of grilling is one of the crucial elements that many tend to miss. A skinless and boneless piece of meat needs to be cooked with high heat for around 10 minutes. This leaves around five minutes for the meat to cool after it has been placed on the plate. You can check the doneness of the meat by pressing the chicken where it is thick. If there is no resistance, that means it’s well-cooked.

Meanwhile, a chicken with bone needs to be cooked for around 20 minutes.


And that’s all the most important chicken grilling tips we wanted to share! Hopefully, this little information will help you cook only the juiciest and crispy chicken! 

Maybe you know other secrets on how to grill chicken? Then feel free to share them with us and other fellow BBQ lovers in the comments below!

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