At first glance, cooking BBQ chicken might seem like an easy task. However if you delve a little deeper you’ll find that there is an immense number of ways to cook your chicken to get the most flavor. If you’re new to grilling the most important thing to recognize is that you don’t need to be afraid. Grilling quality chicken isn’t hard you just need to use a few basic techniques in order to get the best flavor.
Whether you’re a battle tested griller or a newbie, it’s always a good idea to try out new techniques before you have any quests! You don’t want to be trying to practice new techniques under the pressure of cooking for an audience! That’s a one-way ticket to charred burgers.
In order to get started, make sure your workspace cleared so that you’re ready to cook. In this article we’re going to take a look at a text book chicken recipe that will be using direct and indirect grilling (one of the secrets to delicious BBQ chicken.
General Tips for BBQ Chicken
Before we get to the chicken recipe itself we’re going to give you a few basic tips to make sure you get the most flavor for your buck. Firstly, you want to make sure you use a brine. Brine is a necessity for getting the most out of grilled chicken (particularly chicken breast). The salt content of the brine allows the meat to take onboard more water which keeps it juicy during cooking.
For every cup of water you add to your chicken, add 1 tablespoon of salt and tablespoon of sugar. No less important than a good brine is a tasty marinade. Most people make the mistake of putting their sauce on too early. This results in burnt sauce, which is far from ideal. The best strategy is to marinate your chicken and then scrape off excess material before grilling.
During cooking you want to make sure that you keep your grill covered. The reason is that a covered grill will keep your chicken moist throughout cooking. When you close your grill it traps the heat and cooks from all angles. This result in less time cooking and lowers the chance of dryness.
If you want to know when you’re chicken is done, use a thermometer. Whilst you can go on your gut feeling, this is far from ideal. Sticking a probe thermometer into your chicken is the best way to tell if its ready to eat. You want to make sure that your chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degress Fahrenheit before you finish cooking.
Lastly, you want to make sure you have a clean grill. There’s no quicker way to ruin the taste of your chicken then cooking it on a filthy grill. Rub your grill until its clear of debris. Following these tips above throughout the cooking process will ensure that you get the best quality flavor once your chicken reaches the plate.
BBQ Chicken Recipe
4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- Set aside a bowl and mix the cumin, salt, chilli powder, all spice and paprika together.
- Once incorporated take the mixture and coat the chicken all over. Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Turn your grill burners to high and leave closed for 15 minutes. Don’t neglect this part as it will make sure that the grill is hot enough to sear the chicken!
- Next turn down the grill to medium high and add the chicken to the grill. Cook for 7 minutes. In some cases it will take less than 7 minutes to cook, the easiest way to tell is if you can easily lift it off the grill. If it sticks then give it a few more minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and repeat cooking on the other side for 7 minutes. Close the grill lid during cooking.
- Once cooked move the chicken over to the left hand side of your grill and turn off the burners underneath it. Leave the burners on the right hand side on as these will indirectly grill the chicken. Close the grill lid.
- Leave to cook for 10 minutes then remove the chicken and add barbecue sauce.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes and check with a thermometer throughout cooking. If you see that your chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit remove it from the grill.
- Serve and enjoy!
Pro Tip: If you have a flare up during cooking don’t hesitate to turn off the burners and close the lid to stop the fire from rising.
Preparation: The Secret Ingredient
As you can see, cooking fantastic BBQ chicken isn’t rocket science. By cooking on a clean grill and using a combination of direct and indirect grilling you can make chicken that will impress your BBQ quests. As mentioned above, its advisable to practice cooking BBQ chicken on your own before you have guests over. This way you won’t have to worry about impressing anyone!
Don’t be tempted to cut corners throughout cooking. Great BBQ chicken is the result of many different factors, so small changes like neglecting indirect grilling can have a big difference on the final taste. If you stay disciplined and follow the instructions in this guide you’ll drastically increase your chances of cooking an amazing barbecued chicken. Most important of all: enjoy the process!