How Do You Cook Chicken On A BBQ? (6 Simple Steps)

How Do You Cook Chicken On A BBQ?

Want to cook chicken on a BBQ? If the question of the answer is yes, then you are in the right place. 

Theory has it; humankind lived during the cave days by hunting for their food. They were not familiar with fire. Many years later, when they invented the technique of making fire, they also realized that it is far better to grill the food than to eat it raw. 

From then, the idea of barbecuing food, especially meats or fish, came into existence. 

Barbecue has been a favorite to everyone since the time of its invention. Barbecue is a delightful food that almost everyone enjoys. A good barbecue contents your heart and satisfies your hunger in a significant way. For that, one needs to know ways of barbecuing in a very good way or at least in a very proper way. 

Generally, the idea about barbecue is that it’s just some smoke meat or a finished product burned on the outside with heavy sauces or spices. 

My personal favorite is chicken barbecue, also known as beef steaks. I also very much like to eat barbecue beef. I know that many people out there would like to eat a good chicken barbecue to satisfy not only their hunger but also their heart with a very good meal. 

Nothing can beat a good barbecue as a meal. But unfortunately, many of you don’t know how to cook or prepare a good chicken barbecue. Being in the culinary career, I have seen many people struggling to get a perfect juicy chicken barbecue.

6 Steps To Cook Chicken On A BBQ: 

Now, being a good chicken barbecue appreciator, I now will share some tips and tricks to get that perfect smoky and juicy chicken barbecue with you all.

1. Choosing The Perfect Chicken:

As weird as it sounds, it is imperative to choose your main ingredient of the dish accordingly. Now you might get curious about how you can differentiate something like chicken from one to another. 

Here comes my pro tip. There are 4 variants of chickens available in the market. Various sizes of chickens are also there. Now I am going to explain them one by one. Let’s look at the chart at a glance.

Types Of ChickenComments
Broiler Fryer ChickenThey’re generally 7 to 8 weeks aged and very small in size.
Roasted ChickenRoasted chickens are 5 to 7 months old and relatively bigger. 
Reading the package labelBe aware of the expired date
Fresh ChickenThis chicken should be moist and looks good. 
  • The Broiler-fryer Chicken:

These chickens are basically seven to eight weeks aged. After 7 weeks to 8 weeks, they come to the market. They are very small in size. 

Generally, they are no more than 3 lb to 4 lb. So, they offer more tenderness in their meat than any other meats. It is better to buy them whole for cooking anything like roasts, grills, or barbecue. 

They are perfectly sized to fit into the pans or grills easily. These chickens are not ideal for feeding many people. You need to buy a lot of these chickens if you are planning on a feast and expecting a number of guests at your place or even having a picnic with your loved ones. 

In that case, the expense will be more which will not be a wise decision to make. So if you are just planning to have a meal for two, this would be a perfect choice.

  • Roaster Chicken: 

These are older chickens. Roaster chickens are five months to seven months old. Comparatively bigger in size. They usually weigh up to 7lb. They have a thick layer of fat in their body. 

They are suitable for curries or other items, but they are not much appropriate for grilling or barbecuing. Grilling and barbecuing need thorough cooking. Thicker meat is hard to penetrate, making it hard for the heat to reach the middle portion or the center portion of the meat. 

Thus sometimes, if you grill using such kinds of chickens, the outer parts become crusty and charry, but the inner parts remain undone.

  • Reading The Package Label:

You need to look for and see the packaging labels for a list of contents such as the product description, the whole weight, the expiration date, type of the chicken, and nutritional values. 

There are other things such as production date or where or from which farm the chicken came from; every detail is available in the labels. 

The expiration date of a chicken is up to 7-10 days if it is written or labeled as sell-by on it. This term means the date after the chicken was being slaughtered and being packaged. After the sell-by date passes, you can still cook it. The time period to cook would be about three days to four days.

  • Choosing The Freshest One:

How to know if a chicken will be good or not just by looking at it? Well, the answer is you need to see if the chicken is fresh, plump, and moist. It should not look patchy. The fresh ones should not have any icy patches around them. Try using your sensing skill here and for a change judge a book by its cover!

2. Choosing Your Favorite Part or Piece To Start The Grilling Process:

If you plan not to make a whole chicken, you can cut the chicken into many pieces. You can also buy individual pieces from the supermarket around you. Buying a whole chicken can save your money, whereas buying individual pieces may cost you some extra penny. 

Chicken is a meat that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and may be prepared in a number of different ways. Not every part is suitable for grilling. 

Chicken produces higher proteins, micronutrients, and minerals, including zinc and magnesium. The best parts for grilling are-

  • Breasts: You can buy a whole chicken and cut the breast part off of the chicken. That breast piece may contain bone in it. While cooking, you can also cut off the bone. You can also buy it from superstores. They, too, sell both bone and boneless breast pieces. Breast piece is tricky to deal with while making barbecue chicken. 

It needs direct heat for about 5 to 6 minutes. This piece tends to dry out easily. It is also essential to marinate them properly.

  • Thighs: Thighs are such a portion of the chicken that is closest to its body. It is basically the upper part of the leg piece. 

Thighs can also be used for BBQ. 

  • Drumsticks: The part of the chicken known as drumsticks are one of the pieces that are best to grill as they are really juicy. It can be both with or without bone.
  • Wings: Wings generally do not contain much meat, but they are softer and juicier than other parts and make a perfect match with BBQ. They are great to have with sauces and spices.

3. Marination:

After choosing your desired piece, you need to choose your spices to marinate the chicken. Marination of chicken before barbecuing is essential. Here I am mentioning some stuff that you should know about marinating a chicken:

  • Marination helps the spices to penetrate deep into the chicken. It enhances the flavor after cooking.
  • To ensure the chicken is infused with all the flavors of the spices and sauces, you need to at least marinate for half an hour. The best results can be found if you keep them overnight. 
  • It prevents the meat from drying out. Especially, the breast piece needs a good amount of marination.
  • The high heat of the grill can create harmful and unhealthy substances for our consumption. The acidic parts of the marination help to prevent it.
  • Marination helps to keep the meat tender and juicy, thus makes it chewy.
  • The longer you cook the chicken on the barbecue grill, your meat will get dryer. Marination helps to reduce the cooking time by allowing it to cook quickly.
  • There are two types of marination:
  1. Wet Marination: Here, you add many sauces, olive oil, and vinegar-like wet ingredients.
  2. Dry Ingredients: Here, you rub the chicken with fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and many other dry spices as per your preference.

To make a brine solution for marination, you will need a large stockpot where you need to add four quarters of water or orange juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of salt. 

You can avoid the sugar and add the whole salt instead. Over high heat, bring the solution to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 10 minutes till the solution is thick. This is how you can get your brine solution ready. 

In my opinion, ideal marination needs more acidic ingredients in it with a 1:1 ratio of all the ingredients. It should have a mixture of dry and wet ingredients.

4. Preparing The Grill:

Before cooking anything on the grilling pan, you need to prepare it first. Grill grates can rust or get so sticky over time that it’s practically hard to remove food in one piece. When you try to pull food off a sticky surface, it loses its juiciness and dries out. Seasoning your grill grates in the right way can bring you the solution to this problem. For that, you will need the following items-

A grill itselfTo cook the chicken
Cooking sprayTo spray on the grates
Cooking brushTo clean the grates after every use
Meat thermometer To make sure if the chicken is ready to eat
Safety glovesTo ensure your own safety.

Now moving to the process of how to prepare your grill-

  • Wash Your Grill Gates:

You need to wash your utensils before cooking anything; likewise, you need to clean your grates before starting to grill. But make sure to dry them off.

  • Season Your Grill:

It is imperative to season your grill with cooking spray or brush with melted butter or canola oil. Then keep it on the heat for like twenty minutes. When the grates start to smoke up, then you will know your grill is seasoned enough. Keep in mind that it does not affect the cooking process or taste at all.

  • Brush Off After Use:

Some people might argue that it takes off the flavor from the previous batch, but it is always better to stay clean. It will avoid any kind of stickiness. 

  • Ensure safety:

You need to wear heavy safety ensured gloves to prevent your hands from burning down. Accidents are quite common in such cases. You are exposed to direct heat and fire here. It is highly likely to get you a burn. It is good to have a meal happily, but it should never turn into an unfortunate event. That is why you need to maintain the safety of your own self.

At the same time, you need to ensure the safety of your neighborhood too. You should always maintain a safe distance from the trees to avoid any kind of fire related accidents and never leave the grill unattended. Unattended grills can cause accidents to kids or pets at your place.

5. Starting To Grill The Chicken:

After we are done with all the preparations, we need to move towards cooking. It is the most crucial part; one wrong step and your barbecue can be ruined completely. To make it easier for I will give a brief discussion on each of the steps needed to make a barbecued chicken-

  • Firstly- take the meats out from the marination and pat them dry. Do not put a wet ingredient over a grill. Dry them using paper towels.
  • Secondly- add the chicken over direct heat. Direct heat means to put the chicken right over the charcoal. The temperature should be around 400 Fahrenheit to 450 Fahrenheit. It helps the skin to get crispy.
  • Thirdly- after getting done from the second phase, get it on the indirect heat to make sure that the center part is also cooked well.
  • Fourthly- you must keep on changing the sides of the chicken to ensure the heat is evenly spread
  • Fifthly- keep the lid closed to keep the heat balanced.
  • Sixthly- add sauce at the very end of the barbecuing to make it look more glossy and taste more juicy. If you apply sauce too early, it will dry out due to excess heat.
  • Seventhly-  use a thermometer to check if the chicken is done cooking. The thickest part should be around 170 degree celsius.  Also, see for yourself if the skin has turned into light golden brown or not.

6. Mistakes To Avoid:

It is easy to make mistakes while preparing a BBQ. Here are 5 mistakes mentioned below-

  • Try not to put all different types of pieces together at a time on the grill to avoid situations where some will be overdone, and some will be undone.
  •  Do not grill chicken with your vegetables. Grilling with vegetables may result in food poisoning.
  • Some people forget to brine the chicken pieces before grilling or avoid them to avoid excessive saltiness. But it is necessary to ensure the juiciness of the meat.
  • Do not cut the chicken right after cooking it. Give it five to ten minutes of time if they are individual pieces after cooking to avoid dryness. If it is a whole chicken, then wait for at least 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

Bonus Tips:

  • Pre-Cooking–  Cook the chicken in the microwave for a few minutes before grilling. It ensures safety as well as helps cooking faster. You should microwave for about 10 minutes for each piece if it is thick enough.
  • Leaving The Skin-   Leaving the skin on the chicken gives it a nice color and a great crisp on the outside. It also helps to lock in moisture to prevent dryness.
  • Cooking Different Pieces Separately:  Thicker and larger pieces need direct heat. They take time to cook. Smaller pieces get cooked quickly, so they need to be cooked separately from the bigger pieces.

Social Value Included:

Barbeque also has its social values. In our modern life, it gets very hard for us to give time to our loved ones. An excuse to be with our family is also hard to find. A picnic can be a good idea to spend some time with our families or friends in such circumstances. Barbecuing can be a great activity in such get-togetherness. 

However, many people prefer different kinds of barbecue items. Some like to eat barbecued beef, and some are fond of barbecued chicken. There are also some animal lovers vegetarians out there. Vegans tend to eat only e vegetables for that they only eat barbecued vegetables.

Health Benefits Included:

Grilling has many benefits, for example, when we cook vegetables on a barbecue grill, it takes less time to cook, and the less the vegetables are on the heat, they tend to preserve more nutritional value to them. 

In case of cooking, the heat of the barbecue Pan takes the fats away and makes it more healthy for us to eat and for dressing or rubbing spices on them it takes a very minimal amount of olive oil which is really beneficial to health. 

Final Verdict:

There are many ways to cook a barbecue chicken. Many different recipes use different ingredients. No doubt that they all taste heavenly. 

But, here in this article, I wanted to keep the process brief, easy and simple, keeping the beginners in mind. I hope it was helpful to you all.

Wilson C. Scully

Hello everyone, This is Wilson C. Scully. I'm likewise you. However, the main difference is that I like to share my kitchen and cooking experience with you.

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