Is there any aroma more appetizing than chicken cooking on the grill? Delicious with no seasoning other than its own natural flavor cooked over charcoal, chicken on the grill can also assume an infinite variety of tastes. Chicken halves, quarters, or leg-thigh combinations are frequent choices for outdoor barbecues. However, any part of the chicken may be cooked on the grill, adjusting the cooking time for smaller parts such as breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. The key to perfectly cooked grilled chicken is low temperature, at least six inches from the heat, and adequate, non-rushed cooking time (see table below). A cost-effective way to feed the family, entertain friends, and save energy, grilling chicken is a leisurely process to be savored and enjoyed. Here are some of our favorite grilling tips:
|Product||Direct Heat (4"-6" from coals)||Indirect Heat (covered grill)||Rotisserie||Rotisserie Smoker (200-255°F)|
|Whole Young Chicken (3-5 lbs.)||1 - 1 1/2 hours||1 1/2 - 2 hours||3 - 4 hours|
|Dark meat bone-in chicken parts||40 - 50 minutes||30 - 35 minutes|
|White meat bone-in chicken parts||30 - 35 minutes||25 - 30 minutes|
|Boneless Chicken Parts||10 - 15 minutes|
|Roaster (6-8 lbs)||2 - 2 1/2 hours||3 - 3 1/2 hours||3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours|
The most accurate way to tell when chicken is properly cooked is with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 180°F for whole chicken or parts with bones; boneless parts should be cooked until the internal temperature is 165° F. Chicken is done if juices run clear when pierced with a fork. When in doubt, remove the chicken to a plate and cut with a knife to be sure the center is no longer pink.
To shorten grilling time, chicken can be partially cooked in the microwave oven before being placed on the grill. However, partially cooked chicken should be grilled immediately. While charcoal is heating, microwave chicken on High, about 5 minutes per pound (less for cut-up parts), then grill about 20 minutes.