Grilled chicken is a one of those meal staples, but perfectly browned, succulent grilled chicken is an art form. There are a few tricks you can try to make sure it’s delectable.
Don’t Skin It
It’s pretty hard these days to find chicken with the skin still on and the bone still in, which is ideal for the grill. If you have the skinless variety, try brining (link) it overnight to tenderize the meat. Otherwise, chicken with skin is best.
Set up the Zone
You’ll want to set up your grill for two-zone cooking (link) so you can use indirect heat to cook your chicken.
Bring It to the Room
Make sure your chicken is room temperature before you get started. Fifteen minutes out of the fridge should be best, but don’t leave it out for more than an hour or you could risk contaminating it.
Keep it Low
Start the chicken skin side up on the indirect side of the grill (low heat side) with the grill at medium temperature. Make sure you oil the grate before you begin. Then shut the lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
Not Until 10
Don’t glaze or add sauce to the skin until about ten minutes before grilling is done. Meat should be about 165 degrees. Sauce burns easily, so put it on at the end.
Once the fat renders on the skin, turn it skin side down on the grill. If it sticks to the grill when you pull it up, it’s not quite ready. The skin should come up easily when it’s fully cooked, especially if you oiled your grates.
Your grilled chicken should be moist and juicy on the inside and beautifully browned and crisp on the outside. Serve it with your favorite sauce or side.
Tip: Remember that smaller chicken parts take less time than breasts.