How Hot To Grill Chicken

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Can You Grill Raw Chicken

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Step 4: Start Grilling

Turn the heat up to medium, then use tongs to place the chicken breasts on the grill. If you can keep it there comfortably for 4-6 seconds, its at medium heat. Cover the grill and let the chicken cook for 5-7 minutes, then use tongs to flip the breasts over. Grill for 5-7 minutes longer.

How Long Does It Take To Grill Bone In Chicken Breasts On A Gas Grill

Cooking the chicken breasts for an hour in a brine is followed by seasoning them with pepper. Once the grill grates have been cleaned and oiled, cook the chicken over the hotter area of the grill until it is gently browned on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes for a charcoal grill and 10 to 14 minutes for a gas grill. 3.

The Best Chicken For Grilling

For the juiciest, most flavorful grilled chicken, use bone-in, skin-on pieces. Place the chicken on a paper towel-lined tray and pat it dry. This removes excess moisture, which prevents the skin from getting crispy. Remember to wash your hands and all equipment after handling raw chicken.

Next, season both sides generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and allow the chicken to come to room temperature for 15 minutes. This helps it cook evenly and gives the salt and pepper a chance to work their magic. Keep in mind that sweet sauces like glazes and barbecue sauce shouldn’t be applied until the chicken is finished cooking. They will burn before the chicken is fully cooked.

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An Easy Marinade For Grilled Chicken Breasts

For 4 chicken breasts I like to combine the following ingredients in a ziptop bag:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

You could use a mixture of lemon juice and white wine vinegar, or just cider vinegar instead of the lemon, if youd like. And you can use a different herb. This one calls for thyme, but dried oregano and dried rosemary are also really nice.

Combine those ingredients in a zip top bag. Then add the chicken to the bag and seal it. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or overnight. Remove chicken from the bag, discard the marinade. Grill the chicken according to the instructions below.

Okay, now that we have the prep for our chicken breasts done, its time to learn how to grill them!

Tips To Get Perfectly Grilled Chicken Every Time

Grilled Butterflied &  Barbecued Whole Chicken

Inconsistencies in the texture, taste, and flavor of grilled chicken are one of the biggest challenges for home cooks. We dread spoiling it when theres an important get-together or if we have friends looking forward to a great gourmet evening. So, here are a few tips that will help you stay spot-on every time.

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Is It Better To Grill With The Lid Open Or Closed

When you cook with the grill open, youll more effectively get a crispy, perfect-Maillard-reaction caramelization on the outside of the meat without overcooking the center. So, they can hold up to the heat chamber the lid creates, and in fact, the lid will help thicker cuts of meat or vegetables cook more evenly.

How Long To Grill Chicken Leg Quarters

Since legs and thighs have the biggest bones, it takes longer to cook than the breasts or wings.

Youll want to grill whole chicken legs over indirect heat for 30 to 40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Finish over direct heat for about 10 minutes, 5 minutes per side.

Because of the dark meat and bones, you want to wait until the internal temperature is 180 °F to 190 °F before taking them off the grill. 165 °F is safe, but at 180 °F the meat tastes much better, and it will be tender.

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Tips On Grilling Chicken

How to flatten chicken

Flattening chicken creates a uniform thickness and therefore ensures the fillet is evenly cooked. This is usually a chicken breast, but if youre using a thigh fillet just open it up first. To flatten chicken, take these steps:

  • Cut two squares of parchment paper that are around the same size.
  • Lay one piece of parchment on your work surface. Place a chicken breast on top of it.
  • Top with the second piece of paper and lightly bash with a rolling pin or meat cleaver until it reaches a uniform thickness of around 1.5cm.
  • How to marinate chicken

    If you have time, it’s a good idea to before grilling. Submerging the meat in an acidic marinade like lemon juice or vinegar will ensure the meat is juicy and tender. Strong herbs, chillies, spices and aromatics will penetrate through the meat and add flavour.

    These Grilled Chicken Tenders Are Easy

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    If I had to guess the most-ordered meal from family restaurants, overall, I would guess chicken tenders. I mean, whats not to love? I decided to try and make a slightly more healthy version of chicken tenders todayno breading, not fryingjust marinate and grill. What you get is ALL the flavor while being way lower fat, and totally low carb!

    But, you dont need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy the treat that is chicken tenders not when you have this Easy Grilled Chicken Tenders recipe on hand! You will become absolutely hooked on this summer meal because it tastes fantastic, and its SO SIMPLE.

    Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cut into strips, and grilled until juicy on the outside and crispy on the exterior. Before that, though, theyre soaked in a milk-based marinade, which is combined with hot sauce, dill pickle juice, and various spices. Minus marinating time, it wont take you more than 20 minutes to prep and cook this meal. So, no excuses! Time to indulge your inner-kid and enjoy some delicious grilled chicken tenders.

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    How To Grill Chicken Tenders On An Outdoor Grill

    Whether you use charcoal or gas, the method is similar. Light the grill and let it get to around 450°.

    Prepare your chicken tenders by rinsing them, patting dry, and trimming them with a sharp, clean pair of kitchen scissors.

    Put them in a bowl and drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the tenders.

    Season with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.

    Lay the chicken tenders flat on the grill over direct heat. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken tenders, they should cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Flip the tenders when you see them turning from pink to white around the edges .

    When they are nicely seared on both sides and are cooked through, remove the chicken tenders from the grill. Let them rest for 10 minutes before you serve. It is as easy as that to grill delicious chicken tenders on an outdoor grill.

    How To Prepare And Preheat Your Grill

    While your chicken is marinating and before youre ready to grill it, its important to get your grill ready.

  • Preheat your grill. Youll want to preheat your grill to 400 degrees F, which will both help burn things off that were leftover when you previously grilled, and will also prevent your chicken from sticking to the grates.
  • Brush it off. After your grill has preheated use a grill brush to brush off any leftover bits from the last time you grilled.
  • Oil the grates. This isnt always necessary for grilling chicken, but iff youre grilling a protein that doesnt have a lot of natural fat youll also want to oil the grill grates so that the protein doesnt stick.
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    How Long Do You Grill Chicken Breasts For

    This is the biggest question that I get. It really does end up depending on how thick your chicken breasts are. If you flattened them, as discussed, theyre going to need about 4 minutes per side over direct medium-high heat . If your grill doesnt have a thermometer, heres how to find out what temperature its at.

    After 4 minutes, you flip them over and do the other side for 4 minutes. This is going to get you nice parallel grill marks on your chicken. If you want crosshatched grill marks, after the first 2 minutes, turn the breasts 90 degrees and cook for 2 more minutes. Then flip and do the same thing on the other side, 2 minutes then turn, then 2 more minutes. But note that the crosshatched ones wont be as dark as the parallel ones. I therefore prefer to just do the 4 minutes per side without turning.

    Creamy Sauce For Grilled Chicken

    Juicy Grilled Chicken This Memorial Day

    The first sauce on my list is a creamy sauce. This is perfect if youre looking for something rich and indulgent. I like to use this sauce on grilled chicken breasts. Its also great on thighs and drumsticks. To make the sauce, youll need:

    • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup of sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon of honey
    • 1 clove of garlic, minced

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    What Other Factors Influence Chicken Cooking Time

    Of course, the above figures are only guidelines. While they are useful, there are also several other factors to take into account when grilling chicken.

    Weight and thickness will significantly alter your cooking times. Weve taken into account the average figures for our grill time recommendations.

    However, if your chicken breast is particularly thick or your thighs are pretty small, then you should expect to add on or knock off a few minutes. Hence the importance of using a meat thermometer to be sure that your chicken is done.

    If your chicken is frozen, its better to thoroughly defrost it before cooking. However, according to the USDA, it is possible to grill poultry from frozen, so long as its a uniformly thin cut.

    You should also allow for a 50% longer cooking time.

    Boneless Thigh Grilling Time

    Boneless chicken thighs are less commonly found in stores than your average bone-in thigh.

    When you do find them, theyre likely to also be skinless. If youd prefer to keep the skin on, you can always debone regular chicken thighs or ask your butcher to do this for you.

    Boneless chicken thighs generally take 10-12 minutes to grill over direct heat, making them a fairly rapid choice ideal for quick weekend appetizers if youre in a hurry to start serving up.

    As chicken thighs contain mostly dark meat, they tend to be more forgiving to the novice griller than breast meat. However, if you can, opt for thighs with the skin on where possible for extra protection against drying out.

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    Never Slice Into A Dry Chicken Breast Or Battle With An Overcooked Chicken Thigh This Complete Guide For How Long To Grill Chicken Will Help You Achieve Juicy Tender And Flavorful Results With Any Cut Of Chicken

    Karla Walsh is a Des Moines, Iowa-based freelance writer, editor, and former fitness instructor who balances her love of food and drink with her passion for fitness. She holds a double major in magazine journalism and kinesiology from Iowa State University. She also passed her level one sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers, received her personal trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and group fitness instructor certification through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America . She’s covered health, food, fitness, psychology, beauty, and beyond for more than 12 years. In addition to, her writing has been published in AllRecipes, Runner’s World, Shape and Fitness Magazines, as well as on,,,,,, and more.

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    Check out our complete guide for how to grill chicken, then use our go-to guide for how long to grill chicken so you can serve the juiciest meat ever.

    Brining: The Secret To Juicy Chicken Tenders

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    Chicken tenders are super lean, and without any bones or skin, they can easily overcook and dry out in the grilling process.

    To make sure your chicken tenders are juicy and flavorful, brine them for 30 minutes before grilling. They will soak up enough moisture to keep them from drying out while they cook.

    Prepare a simple brine solution of 1/4 cup kosher salt dissolved in 4 cups of water. If you only have table salt, you only need to use 1 1/2 tablespoons in 4 cups of water.

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    Looking To Grill Other Cuts Of Chicken

    Ive got your back! Heres how to grill chicken drumsticks and thighs:

    For chicken drumsticks:

    • To grill: preheat your grill to medium high and lightly oil the grate. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 8 minutes, then flip, brush with the reserved marinade, and grill for an additional 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over one last time, brush again with the remaining marinade, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until no pink remains in the center of the chicken.
    • To bake: preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a oven-safe rack on a large baking sheet and grease with nonstick cooking spray so that the chicken doesnt stick to the pan. Place the drumsticks on the pan with the thicker part of the drumstick to the outside. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.

    For boneless skinless chicken thighs:

    • To grill: preheat your grill to medium high and lightly oil the grates. Cook your chicken thighs for 6-8 minutes per side, flipping once. When the internal temp reaches 165 degrees F your chicken is done.
    • To bake: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake your chicken thighs for about 25-30 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 165.

    For skin-on chicken thighs:

    How Long Do You Grill Chicken Breast For

    A boneless, skinless chicken breast usually weighs between 5 and 8 ounces. The cooking time is only 12 to 15 minutes. Turn them every 5 minutes to see that it does not burn. Its best to use a medium direct heat.

    Grilling bone-in, skin on breast will take twice as long as boneless and skinless. Figure about 25 minutes.

    Use indirect medium heat for the first half of the cook then finish on direct heat taking care not to burn the skin.

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    Cooking Temperatures Thermometers And Food Safety

    When it comes to checking the temperature of cooked chicken nothing can replace a quality digital, instant-read thermometer. They are highly accurate, fast and reliable.

    I will touch on other methods to check for doneness if you dont have one, but nothing is better or safer. I STRONGLY recommend you have an instant-read digital thermometer before you cook your first piece of chicken! If you dont have one, check out our guide to the best instant-read thermometers.

    Now that you have a thermometer in hand, you need to know the temperature of a properly cooked piece of chicken.

    Tips For Grilled Chicken Breast

    Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts : Kendra

    Dont grill chicken cold: As with most meats, you want to bring close to room temperature before grilling or cooking. This allows more even cooking throughout. If you grill directly from the fridge, the outside will cook much faster and you risk chairing before the center reaches the correct temperature.

    Allow chicken breast to sit about 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. Not much longer or youll increase the risk of food contamination.

    Pre-season: Generously coat both sides of chicken with light olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and desired seasonings. The olive oil helps to hold in moisture while cooking, increases those nice golden sear marks and helps seasonings stick better to the meat.

    Preheat the grill: Preheat the gas grill to medium-high until the temp reaches 350-400° degrees F. The grill needs to be hot when you add chicken, allowing it to sear and cook evenly.

    How to add chicken breasts to gas grill: Lightly grease cooking grates of the preheated gas grill with vegetable oil spray or paper towel application to prevent sticking. Immediately add chicken with at least 2-3 inches between pieces. Close lid and cook.

    Reduce heat to medium midway: Rotate mid-way for even sear marks and cooking.

    Grilled chicken breast safe temp: Cook chicken breast just to an internal temperature of 165° F with an instant-read thermometer. Watch carefully and do not overcook.

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    What About Marinating Chicken Before Grilling

    I am a big fan of a good marinade or spice rub. Marinating chicken before grilling adds flavor and helps to tenderize the meat. Plus if there is oil in the marinade, I dont need to add additional oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.

    There are endless ways to marinate chicken, but some of my favorites are this Yogurt Chicken Marinade or this Spicy Chicken Tikka Marinade. If youre looking for a dry rub, I really like this all-purpose BBQ Dry Rub and for heat, I really like Franks Red Hot Dry Seasoning.

    Tips To Make Perfectly Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts On A Gas Grill:

    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • Mix all ingredients until salt is diluted and put in a large Ziploc bag or brining bag and let sit for no more than 2 hours. Season with your desired spice blend/rub after removing from the brine and drying the breasts.
  • Chicken tends to stick to hot grill grates easily, so oil your grates with a clean spray oil
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