Welcome the stunning warmth of summer and some exciting and delicious variations on chicken cooked ala flame!
We’ll take you through a few essential chicken grilling tips, and then share 10 of the most delicious recipes. From thighs and drummies to wings and breasts, there’s a recipe out there for everyone!
Table of Contents
Grilling chicken has some special requirements, so first, let’s take a look at some tips:
- Pound chicken breasts: Chicken breasts are usually fat on one end and skinny on the other, so pounding can level it out and ensure quick, even cooking. This is especially helpful when you have lots of chicken to grill. Pounding (or tenderizing) chicken also breaks down the proteins for a tender supper.
- Always handle raw meat with care: This helps you avoid cross-contamination. Any surfaces, tools, or hands that come in contact with raw poultry should be thoroughly washed before touching anything else.
- Add sugary sauces or bastes at the end: If you’re using barbecue or teriyaki, it’s best to add them toward the end. A good rule of thumb is to add sauces about halfway through the cooking process, then some more until your chicken is finished. That’s because many bottled sauces contain sugar, which will burn easily on an open flame.
- Make sure it’s cooked through before serving: Always temp your chicken with an instant-read thermometer and ensure it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit (well-done) before taking it off the grates.
- Keep the lid closed: There are times for both, but when it comes to chicken, closing your grill is essential. Keeping the lid on creates a convection effect, which helps cook the meat all the way through, rather than just on the outside. Chicken needs to be well-done, so don’t waste the heat by leaving the grill top off.
- Use the indirect grilling method on bone-in chicken: Pieces like thighs and drumsticks need long, slow heat. After preheating your gas grill, turn off the center burners (or keep them on low with the side burners on), then close the grill. On a charcoal grill, once the coals are hot and ready, bank them on two sides with a light layer of coals in the center, then close the grill.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered, let’s get on to those recipes!
Pairing a homemade teriyaki sauce, along with the right cut of chicken (boneless thighs, not breasts), you’ll learn to put together a mouth-watering dish fit for pretty much anyone.
It’s best on an open flame, but if a rainstorm comes your way, you’ll have other indoor cooking methods to try, too. Be sure to serve it up with white rice, grilled veggies, or even a few grilled pineapple rings for optimum flavor.
Get the Recipe: Favorite Family Recipes
If you love anything curried and served with a peanut sauce, then these skewers are a must! A bit of tenderizing and marinade transforms bland chicken breasts into tender bites of grilling gold.
Once they’re drizzled with a coconut peanut sauce, your taste buds will discover a new love. Serve this delicious main dish with white rice and grilled broccoli.
Get the Recipe: Once Upon a Chef
Some like their wings extra saucy, while others tend to appreciate a nice dry rub with a spritz of lime juice finish. If you prefer the latter, this recipe’s for you. It walks you through the basics of splitting chicken wings and concocting a homemade seasoning blend.
Keep in mind, this dry rub seasoning recipe calls for brown sugar, which burns easily on a grill. Some like the charred flavor, but you can avoid any extra burnt bits by cooking your chicken wings on a double sheet of foil over the grates, instead.
Get the Recipe: Ask Chef Dennis
A grilled whole chicken is another easy, delicious way to make dinner for the entire family. You’ll love this unique, Mediterranean-style meal that’s executed in three simple steps.
This is also an opportunity to learn how to spatchcock (or butterfly) a whole chicken. You also get step-by-step instructions for making the delicious marinade that really brings this dish to life. You’ll also learn all about grilling with indirect heat for the perfect juicy chicken sans burnt ends.
Get the Recipe: The Mediterranean Dish
Enjoy the kick of Jamaican jerk in this authentic one-of-a-kind recipe. After trial and error, the author behind this recipe finally found a near replica of the best Jerk chicken she ever tried while vacationing on the Island.
It’s a bit dialed back in terms of spiciness, but she has tips for keeping the marinade as spicy as you’d like. Enjoy this with white rice and grilled veggies.
Get the Recipe: Dinner then Dessert
Dipping crunchy tenders in a cool honey mustard dressing is one popular dish in America. So, why not pair the ingredients in a delicious (and healthy) grilled chicken rendition?
Sweet honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and rosemary work wonders in this yummy summer favorite. The prep is super simple, and you’ll have no problem devouring it in no time.
Get the Recipe: Damn Delicious
Tender, juicy grilled chicken coated with a flavorful marinade is just what you need when you’re not sure what to cook for dinner. The zesty lime and herby cilantro harmonize with ease and take chicken thighs to another level. Be sure to follow the tips for grilling chicken thighs.
Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo
Bruschetta is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy the plump tomatoes your garden provides! Plus, if you have an herb bed, you’ll love plucking a few basil leaves for this dinner, too.
Once you’ve seasoned your chicken and grilled it over the hot grates, you’ll top those golden brown breasts with mozzarella and follow it with a fresh tomato-basil topping. It’s fresh, flavorful, and fabulous.
Get the Recipe: Creme de la Crumb
If you appreciate a meal full of zesty essences, then you’ll love every invigorating bite of this orange ginger chicken. The meal packs a serious punch and gives you a fresh take on chicken, perfect for hot summer days.
Get the Recipe: Andie Mitchell
Dak Bulgogi is a Korean barbecue dish made of sliced meat that’s then marinated and grilled to perfection. The marinade consists of soy sauce, onion, honey sesame oil, and a few other staples.
Be sure to serve this one up with some jasmine rice, kimchi or quinoa, and roasted broccoli.
Get the Recipe: Zestful Kitchen
Chicken is one of those staples we often bulk buy, so don’t let it go to waste—give it a new twist of flavor with one of these yummy recipes. Now that you’re armed with all the secrets for grilling chicken, it’s time to move to the perfect burger!