Why grill chicken? For one, it’s a healthier alternative to other cooking methods like frying. Grilling also adds a delicious smoky flavor that enhances the taste of the chicken. Whether you’re using a gas or woodfire grill, here are 10 tips to help you grill chicken perfectly every time.
1. Pound it out.
If your chicken pieces are thicker in some places than others, they won’t cook evenly on the grill. To avoid this issue, use a meat mallet or the back of a heavy knife to pound the chicken until it’s an even thickness all over.
2. Marinate overnight.
Giving your chicken plenty of time to marinate will make all the difference in terms of flavor. If you can, marinate your chicken overnight for the best results. Try a classic lemon and herb marinade, or get creative with other flavors like garlic, ginger, or soy sauce.
3. Preheat the grill.
You should always preheat your grill before adding any food to it. This will help ensure that your chicken cooks evenly on all sides. For gas grills, preheat to medium-high heat (around 375 degrees Fahrenheit). For woodfire grills, let the coals burn until they’re covered in white ash before adding your chicken.
4. Use a grill basket or foil packet.
If you’re worried about the chicken sticking to the grates or falling through, use a grill basket or foil packet. This will also help to keep the juices in, making for juicier chicken.
5. Flip only once.
It can be tempting to flip the chicken multiple times while it’s cooking, but resist the urge! Flipping it too much will dry out the meat. Instead, flip it only once, about halfway through the cooking time.
6. Brush with sauce near the end.
If you’re using a barbecue or other type of sauce, wait to brush it on until the chicken is almost cooked through. This will prevent the sauce from burning and give it time to caramelize and form a delicious crust.
7. Let it rest.
Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer it to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This will help to keep all those lovely juices in.
8. Use a meat thermometer.
The best way to know for sure if your chicken is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, and it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Avoid cross contamination.
To avoid making yourself or your guests sick, it’s important to avoid cross contamination. Keep raw chicken away from other food, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.
10. Clean your grill.
After you’re done cooking, don’t forget to clean the grill! This will help to prevent any bacteria from building up and ensure that it’s ready for next time.
That’s it! With these 10 tips, you’ll be grilling chicken like a pro in no time. So fire up the grill and get cooking!