Grilled Chicken Advice From A BBQ Expert

Nobody knows grilling like Craig Sharry, and a smart outdoor cook will take Craig’s advice before any other.

This excerpt from this month’s Texas Pepper Jelly Newsletter contains some of the best chicken-cookin’ advice I’ve ever seen. I’d follow it if I were you!

Oh, and speaking of the Texas Pepper Jelly Newsletter? Why not click right here and sign up to get it in your inbox every month? It’s full of advice, pictures, recipes, and all kinds of wonderful stuff! Plus, it’s free!

Chicken is one of the most popular foods to grill, especially because it’s so versatile and requires very little preparation. However, to successfully grill chicken without it becoming a char-grilled mess, there is a little bit of skill or know-how involved:

* Start with a clean grate; otherwise, you will have a lot of flare-ups. Then lightly coat the grate with cooking spray or oil to prevent the chicken from sticking during the grilling process.

* Speaking of flare-ups – they are inevitable, so be prepared. Excess grease from fat and skin dripping onto the coals will cause flare-ups, so when that happens remove the chicken until the flames subside before putting the chicken back down. If the flare-ups continue, move the chicken to a cooler part of the grill.

* Larger pieces of chicken take longer to cook than smaller pieces, so you can either start cooking the bigger pieces in advance, or set up your grill so that one part is hotter than the other. If doing the latter, cook the larger pieces near the higher temps, such as the breasts. Place the thighs a little further away, followed by the legs. Finally, the wings will be grilled over the coolest part of the grill. This will help everything to cook evenly and pretty much on time.

* Using tongs (not a fork), turn the chicken frequently – about every five minutes – to prevent charring and blistering, while ensuring doneness.

* To further prevent charring, apply barbecue and other savory sauces such as the Texas Bird Bath during the last 20 minutes of grilling.

* Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Different parts take different amounts of time to cook as follows:

  • wings – approximately 10 minutes per side
  • boneless breasts – approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side
  • bone-in chicken – approximately 25-30 minutes, turning frequently
  • chicken quarters – approximately 35-45 minutes, turning frequently
  • chicken halves – approximately 45-60 minutes, turning frequently
  • whole chicken – approximately 30-40 minutes on each side with indirect heat in a covered grill
Special note:

Marinating or brining the chicken in advance helps to keep it from drying out during the grilling process.

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Finally, a pourable, brushable, delectable sauce that can be used at any time during the cooking/grilling process. Or you can simply pour it over the chicken after you are finished cooking it. Even better….this product goes great with ribs, pork loin, lamb, seafood, and more. The possibilities are endless!

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