It is easy to grill fantastic tasting chicken if you know the simple secrets of professional barbecue chefs. Chicken is easy to prepare and anyone will minimal grilling skills can prepare great meals every time.
First, trim off all of the fat that you can find. Try to leave the skin intact because the skin holds a lot of flavor and helps the chicken to retain moistness. The fat needs to be trimmed primarily because excess fat tends to create grill flare-ups that can quickly burn the chicken and ruin your meal.
Always clean chicken prior to cooking by running it under cool water. This helps remove any surface contamination and adds moisture to the meat. It also helps seasonings to stick to the surface.
Make sure the chicken is thawed. Frozen chicken may not cook well on the inside. Chicken needs to be cooked thoroughly. Uncooked chicken may contain bacteria that could make you very sick. Always make sure that chicken is well-cooked. The internal temperature of a chicken must reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria. The USDA says the thighs and wings of poultry should be cooked “until the juices run clear.”
Always cook chicken using a medium gill temperature and cook it for at least 30 to 60 minutes. For smaller pieces of chicken, such as buffalo wings, 30 minutes will probably do it. For larger pieces or whole chickens, plan on 50 to 60 minutes of cooking time. If you cook chicken on a grill that is too hot or if you try to cook it too quickly, the outside will burn and look done, but the inside will still be raw and could contain salmonella or other bacteria that may make you sick. It is much better to cook it slowly. If you have a gas or charcoal grill with a cover and the thermometer, cook it at about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Seasonings should be applied to both sides when you place the chicken on the grill. The surface should still be moist after the cleaning process, which gives the seasonings something to stick to. You want any seasoning salts to dissolve into the skin as you cook poultry. We use a light sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on chicken and get excellent results.
If you use barbecue sauce you should never apply the sauce until the last 10 to 20 minutes of cooking time. You want the meat to cook prior to applying the sauce. If you apply the sauce too early, it just dries out and loses its flavor. If you are cooking a large chicken or thighs, wait until the last 20 minutes, apply your favorite barbecue sauce to one side and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and apply the sauce to the other side.
Try these simple techniques the next time that you barbecue chicken on the grill. You will not be disappointed.