Ah, barbecue time is almost upon us, and it is an excellent plan to start preparing for the juiciest experience! Here in Algarve, we love grilling porks, steaks, fish, and sardines, but how about a juicy grilled chicken to mix things up a little?!
Successfully grilling chicken is not rocket science, but to get it done correctly, you best follow these seven ultimate tips for grilling chicken. Brace yourself and let the poultry grilling begin!
- 1 Understand the type of chicken you will be grilling
- 2 2. Prepare your chicken for an even cooking
- 3 3. Brine or marinade it like a professional
- 4 4. Keep the chicken moist
- 5 5. Use a thermometer to help know when it is cooked
- 6 6. Glaze until the end
- 7 7. Direct or indirect heating – that’s the question
- 8 Final words
Understand the type of chicken you will be grilling
The type of chicken you will be preparing will influence many things in your grilling. The most important being the time of cooking. It will take longer to grill a whole chicken than to cook its separate parts.
Also, a boneless/skinless chicken will take less time than skin and bone pieces like chicken legs.
#BBQTip Even when you break down the chicken, some parts will cook faster than others. To help with this, you may want to spatchcock your chicken. What this means is to remove the chicken’s backbone and flatten it.
Speaking of grilling a whole chicken, you have to try this Portuguese Piri Piri chicken! You’ll need 2 kg of chicken and some spices for the Piri Piri marinade! It’s delicious😍.
2. Prepare your chicken for an even cooking
The thing about chicken breasts is that while one side cooks perfectly, the other one will turn too crispy or chewy. Or, given their shape-thicker on one side-the thinner end overcooks while the other is still cooking. To avoid this, put them inside a bag and pound them with a mallet or hammer.
If you feel like beating the chicken breasts like this might do more harm than good, you can still butterfly them. This is essentially cutting them split open horizontally and then opening them.
3. Brine or marinade it like a professional
The brine or marinade is essential to keep the chicken moist while sitting on the grill. Brining your chicken will keep those juices inside and will help retain flavour.
But what is brining? Isn’t it the same as marinading? Not at all.
A brine is a simple solution of water, salt, sugar, and sometimes even vinegar. If you want to keep it simple, 6 cups of water and ¼ cup of salt will do the trick.
#BBQTip Brining would be to submerge the chicken in the brine for at least 30 min inside a refrigerator. Once it has brined enough, pull the chicken or breasts out and rinse them before placing them in the grill.
Marinading is the beautiful process of soaking your chicken in a sauce made of oil, spices, and something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar. A juicy Garlicky Greek chicken, for instance, gets marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano.
For chicken on skewers, consider a delicious butter chicken kebabs, with a marinade made from sour cream, salt and pepper, tomato paste, and lemon juice.
👉🏻 You can use a variety of marinades to help tenderise the chicken and give it different flavour profiles. Moreover, you can learn to prepare sauces to serve with the chicken, such as chimichurri or guacamole!
#BBQTip The time for marinading? You can leave that chicken rest on the marinade for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. There is no denying that the longer you leave them soaking, the deeper the flavour gets.
4. Keep the chicken moist
We would not recommend you slicing the chicken every time to check if it is properly cooked to avoid moisture loss.
But what keeps the juices flowing? The right heat settings and the time, of course. Unlike dark meat, which is juicier thanks to it having a bone, boneless skinless chicken breasts don’t have much to maintain any flavour of moisture.
If you cook skinless chicken breasts, set your grill on medium if it is charcoal or on medium-high if it is a gas grill.
5. Use a thermometer to help know when it is cooked
If you want to treat your guests with the exquisite flavour of heavenly grilled chicken, just like you should not undercook them, you should not overcook them.
Now, don’t leave this to chance. Why risk it? Avoid a raw or overcooked disaster by adequately testing it.
All you need to do is stick your finger anywhere inside the chicken. Nah, just kidding! Actually, you will need an inexpensive digital thermometer to help you avoid a grilled chicken conundrum.
Read on for the last two tips for grilling chicken!
6. Glaze until the end
A widespread mistake is to slather on the sauce too soon. The problem here is that it will burn while on the grill, even with indirect heating.
Once you have glazed your chicken grill, let it rest for a while. It is not a good idea to tamper with it immediately after removing it from the grill. Let it rest nice and easy while it soaks in the juices.
🥇 We promise that your patience will pay off with a nice, tender and juicy chicken.
7. Direct or indirect heating – that’s the question
You need to know the difference between direct and indirect heating and which one will work best for your grilled chicken.
Now, will you be using a charcoal grill or a gas grill? We think that both are great. It will depend on the desired flavour, how fast you want to cook, and the available tools. Regardless of which one you use, the trick lies in using both the indirect and direct heat zones.
As the name suggests, it refers to cooking the chicken directly on top of the flame. When using this area, make sure that the chicken stands on one side for 2-3 minutes and flip. Also, grease your grill before placing the chicken to prevent it from sticking. The chicken must come off easily-don’t tear it apart.
When grilling poultry, indirect heating is both safe and effective. This is essentially baking your meat away from the flame instead of directly over it.
You may want to use this method when preparing some delicious chicken legs, an entire chicken, or sometimes, chicken wings. We also invite you to try rotisserie cooking to get a delicious crispy flavour. More tips about rotisserie chicken on our Instagram!
The fun thing about grilling chicken is to share it with family and friends. Bring them into the fun as well!
Very importantly, treat that chicken nicely, and you will be having a delicious and fun BBQ in Algarve.
The best-grilled chicken is prepared with the best grill. Check out our fine selection of cooking grills. You can also come to visit our showroom in Almancil and get to browse for your favourite one.
¿Have you enjoyed these tips for grilling chicken? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!👇🏻