Grill Masters and Chefs all have their tricks and techniques for grilling the perfect chicken and many of them are just simple basic rules that anyone can follow. Below are a few good to know tips and tricks to make your next batch of BBQ chicken come out like a professional.
Try these tips and tricks for the perfect BBQ chicken:
1. Take the Time to Brine - Brining chicken helps to keep it juicy and moist and is very easy to do. Although it does take some more time, in the end its all worth it. So plan ahead and purchase your chicken a day or two before you intend to grill it (leaving time to brine).
2. Try Legs and Thighs - If you do not have the time to brine your chicken ahead of time, you may consider skipping the breast meat and sticking to chicken legs and thighs. Legs and thighs tend to be very forgiving on the grill and will be harder to overcook or even dry out.
3. Grilling Low and Slow - This is probably the biggest tip to grilling chicken, it needs to be grilled over an indirect heat source around 300°F. Giving it time to cook slowly. This means, on a charcoal grills you place your hot coals to one side of the grill creating a low heat zone on the opposite site. With gas grills turn your burners to low on one side and high on the other, creating the same low and high zones. Now just place your chicken on the low side of the grill away from the hot burners/coals and close the lid.
Tip: You can still grill your burgers and hot dogs on the hot side of the grill, just give the chicken at least an hour head start.
4. Try Using Rubs First and Sauces Last - One of the biggest mistakes made barbecuing chicken is to add your BBQ sauce too soon. The key is to wait (Do not sauce your chicken before putting it on the grill) the sugars in your sauce will burn, leaving what can only be described as a bad bitter taste to the chicken. Here is the trick, you can add BBQ rub at the beginning, but only add BBQ sauce to your chicken around 15 to 30 minutes into your cooking time. This assures it will not burn and you do not kill the flavors in your sauce.
5. Use a Thermometer - There are a few way to see if your chicken is done, you can cut into the chicken pieces or check for clear running juices by poking it. The best way though i to use an insert a meat thermometer in to the chicken pieces, white meat will be done at around 160°F and dark meat is cooked at 165°F.
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