how to grill chicken

How to Grill Chicken: 8 Grilling Tips to Improve Cooking

It is common for chicken on the grill to have sometimes a bad reputation, as a faulty procedure can often result in a chicken breast that tastes almost the same as a wet towel, only less tender. However, it is possible to get a grilled chicken that is moist and flavourful throughout the summer.

Tip 1: Pick the Right Size

It is not preferable to go with larger chicken breasts. Usually, a slab of meat that weighs more than 10 ounces requires a lot of time to cook. This results in a meal that is stringy and dry. The best chicken breasts on the grill come out when they are between five and eight ounces. These are capable of retaining much more moisture. And you will need less time to cook them.

Tip 2: Pound or Butterfly the Meat

Chicken breasts are usually thicker on one end. When picking up the larger gobbets, it is common to find variations of almost 2 inches across the ends. The piece handled can be levelled by butterflying or pounding. This is a process that reduces the uneven thickness and also 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 dedicated pounder.

Butterflying Process

This is a great process for those looking to learn how to grill chicken thighs and breasts that are large. The procedure begins with 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. 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. Don’t forget to avoid using marinade from raw poultry as a sauce! You can do it only if 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. There may be a different answer to the question ‘how long to grill chicken?’, when the skin is intact, but the deliciousness scale is ramped up a lot. The combination of the juicy meat and the crispy chicken can be irresistible. The idea of getting boneless breast with the skin at a supermarket is close to impossible, but there are split chicken breasts available in the market.

Tip 5: Clean a Grill

A dirty grill not only makes for an unappetizing picture, but it can also make the food stick. Any good grill chicken recipe mandates the removal of stuck food particles by heating the grill and using a hard wire grill brush to remove the remains from 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 this can be done as often as necessary, the cleaning process should be done once or twice every summer. Apart from making the food stick, the built-up grease can also result in fires and flareups. The grates need to be brushed aside after every use.

Tip 6: Preheat a Grill

There is a common need to find out how long to grill chicken thighs 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. With a charcoal grill, it should be extended to 30 minutes. It is important not to add any food to the grill when it is not at its optimum heat, as this can lead to food sticking to the grate.

Tip 7: Ensure Proper Heat Levels

Irrespectively 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 breast that are un-pounded need to be cooked in a slow manner 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°.

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. The doneness can be checked by pressing the chicken where it is thick. If there is no resistance, it indicates well-cooked meat. A chicken with bone requires a medium heat for around 20 minutes.


So here we listed all the most important tips for cooking juicy and crispy chicken for you to enjoy your meal and have a high time with your friends and family during a barbecue. If you follow our advice, you can even become a local expert on grilling chicken. And give the greatest backyard parties for your neighbors. Maybe you know other secrets for making the tastiest chicken and don’t mind sharing them with us? If so, don’t be on the fence and write to us.

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