With grilling season in full force, learn how not to overcook your chicken with these quick BBQ Chicken Gas Grill Tips.
5 Must-Know BBQ Chicken Gas Grill Tips
When folks think of summer, they think of grilling and no wonder, it’s a great chance to get outside and dine al fresco. And, one of the more popular meats to grill is chicken.
If you’ve found yourself with dried out chicken breasts or burnt chicken thighs, no fear, here are some great tips to help you grill like the pros.
It’s been said that grilling is an art. I’d have to agree. I’m one of the millions who have suffered through burnt food because of simple mistakes that could have been avoided.
In time, however, I’ve learned how to avoid these pitfalls and have come up with some great tips and tricks to making chicken on the gas grill perfect every time.
Here are my favorite must-know grill-master tips:
1. Prep Your Grill
Have you ever had chicken stick on the grill grates? If so, then you might not have prepped them properly. Gas grills are notorious for having food stick to the grates, so it’s best if you make it a habit to give the grates a good cleaning prior to adding any meat, especially chicken.
First, you need to make sure your grill has reached optimum temperature. Much like an oven, gas grills need to reach at least 500 degrees F to begin the process of grilling. Now, that might seem very hot, but you are creating an environment ripe for cooking so the grill box needs to be hot in order to properly sear and cook your food.
Once you have reached that temperature, it’s time to clean the grates. Now there has been some debate about using wire brushes because they might leave metal bristles behind and this can get embedded into your food and cause severe injury to the diner.
I tend to use a large metal spatula and scrape at the grates to clean them. For the food stuck between the bars, I just adjust the spatula and run the blade on either side of it to remove any food particles.
Next, you’ll need to oil the grates. This can be done a couple of ways. One of the more popular ones is to fold up a paper towel that has been soaked in vegetable oil (or canola oil) and rake it across the grates using a long pair of tongs.
If you’d rather not do this, give these other tried and true methods to lubricate the grill grates a try:
- Use a large slice of raw onion
- Use a thick slice of bacon or pancetta
- Use a folded towel that has been soaked in oil
2. Prep Your Chicken
There are a number of ways to prep your chicken for bbq grilling, but I prefer these three as the best overall that makes the best, moist chicken again and again.
Some folks like to brine their chicken. Brining helps keep the moisture in the chicken. And, don’t limit it to just salt-only. You can also add some chopped herbs within the brine to add some flavor to the meat, too.
Check out this handy video tutorial:
Grilled Boneless Brined Chicken Breast Recipe (Video)
Marinading meat is usually meant for adding flavor to your meat—that’s it’s primary function.
Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe (Video)
If you brine or marinate your chicken prior to cooking, then you’ll need to use an instant read thermometer to make sure your chicken has cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Precook (Par-Cook, Parboil) Your Chicken
This is the way I usually cook my chicken. It’s easy enough to do and gives great results every time. The steps are pretty easy:
- Take your chicken and in a large pot, cover with water.
- Cook on a rolling-simmer boil for approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the water and place on a sided baking sheet to cool. If you are barbecuing right away, no need to chill the meat. If not, then place the chicken into the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
- Prepare your grill as you normally would and once the grates are oiled, place the chicken pieces on the grates and cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until the meat is seared.
- Finally, brush your favorite BBQ sauce on both sides of the meat. Turn it so that the sauce is heated through and, that’s it.
Cooking Tip: When you precook your chicken be sure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Grilling it not only adds flavor to the meat but also as finishes cooking it.
Here’s a quick video tutorial for precooking your chicken:
3. Use Tongs
You may think that using a grill fork is the best way to flip chicken but not so. Tongs are the best implement to use for this task.
What happens when you use a fork is that you cause the juices from within the meat to flow out, thus causing the meat to become dry.
When you use tongs, the juices inside the meat keep it moist and tender and you will have a better tasting chicken guaranteed.
4. Direct Heat
Unless you are roasting a whole bird, you should use direct heat on your gas grill. This will give your chicken breasts and thighs the perfect sear. That being said, you’ll want to keep your grill temperature around 350 degrees F. Too high and you will burn—not sear—your meat.
If you notice flare ups, move the chicken away from the flames and allow them to cook in a cooler part of the grill.
RELATED: Simple BBQ Sauce Recipe
5. Allow the Meat to Rest
Once the meat has cooked, remove it to a sided baking sheet or pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Give it about 10 minutes to rest before serving.
Final Tips for Grilling Chicken
Here are some final tips for cooking chicken on a gas grill:
• Lid on lid off. When cooking raw chicken, it’s best to keep the lid of grill closed to allow for even cooking. If you precooked your chicken then this isn’t necessary and more than likely it’s better to keep an eye on the chicken to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
• Skin on skin off. I have cooked chicken skin on and off. If you follow the suggestions above, it shouldn’t matter. However, that being said, leaving the skin on does add more flavor to the meat, as does bone-in cuts. If you are worried about extra calories or fat, just remove the skin when ready to eat and discard.
• When to add BBQ sauce. You’ll want to add your barbecue sauce at the end of cooking. Be sure to keep the lid open, so you can brush on the sauce and make sure there’s no flare ups. Also, because most barbecue sauces have sugar in them, this tends to burn with extended time on the flame.
Pretty easy, huh? Now that you’ve mastered the art of bbq chicken on the gas grill, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section for more delicious summer recipes. Happy Grilling!
For delicious grill-worthy recipes be sure to check out the Wisconsin Homemaker Recipe Section, as well as these delicious dishes: