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The Ultimate Chicken Grilling Guide

As the Griller Dude we have an obligation to our readers to provide precise and easy to apply information and details on everything that is grill culture.

Today’s topic will be about grilling chicken – what are de Do’s and the Don’ts that you need to be mindful of and what is the ideal BBQ chicken recipe for a grill that will guarantee an exquisite experience for your pallet.

How to BBQ Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

A chicken, just like any poultry, can be broken down into several tasty parts – breasts (leanest meat on the bird), thighs (source of red meat, has lots of fat), and wings (most commonly consumed fast food).

Due to the differing contents of these cuts, there are different methods of cooking and seasoning. Below we’ll share some information on cooking time for each part of the chicken so you don’t have to guess.

How to Grill BBQ Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts are notoriously difficult to cook regardless of the chosen method. This is due to the high protein and low-fat amount in the meat, which generally does not hold so much natural flavor.

The most common issue with cooking or grilling chicken breasts, is them drying out and lacking any sort of flavor.

This happens when the breast is left on for too long, removing all sorts of fats (as little as they are – only 6.3% of the net weight), causing the protein to cook (making up more than 63% of the net weight) and bind with the muscle tissue, further shrinking any taste profiles it may have.

  • Chicken breasts should be grilled for no longer than 10 minutes in total;
  • Coal temperatures should hardly reach 450F;
  • The internal temperature at the thickest part should be no more than 170F.

With the Smart Flip Grill you can have full control over the temperature and the placement of the meat over the charcoals, further increasing the chance of getting tasty results.

Preparing BBQ Chicken Thighs on Grill and BBQ Chicken Legs on Grill

The main difference between a chicken leg and a tight is that legs still have the bone still in them, whereas the thigh is referred to as the meat which surrounds the leg bone. It’s removed from the bone to create a chicken thigh steak – a fantastically tender piece of meat.


Chicken thighs and legs come from the same part of the bird, meaning they are pretty much the same. The only difference being the type of end cut which is left on the joint which connects the lower part of the leg.

Chicken legs tend to take longer to cook due to the bone acting as a heat sink, soaking up a lot of the heat which would otherwise cook the inside of the meat faster.

  • It takes anywhere between 30 to 35 minutes to fully cook a tender chicken leg;
  • When measuring internal temp, watch out for the bone – should not reach more than 180F.
  • Regular flipping will be ideal for evenly cooking thicker chicken legs;
  • Bone-in chicken legs should be turned on all sides, including the end joint part where the leg connected to the torso of the chicken.

Chicken thighs are cooked for no more than 23 minutes, especially if they are a filet. Season well and oil the grill grates, place the thigh stake onto the grill and cook for a total of 20 minutes – 8 minutes per side, leave it to rest for at least 3 minutes so it’s nice and juicy.

BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are the all-time favorite Super Bowl food for game-watchers. It doesn’t matter who’s playing or who you are rooting for – grilled chicken wings are always the MVP of the evening.

According to the USDA and FDA, the average nutritional value for a single serving (84 ounces) from a barbecued chicken wing yields anywhere between 230 and 240 calories. It contains 25 grams of fat, making it the second fattiest part of a chicken.

This means that it holds flavor quite well, making it the perfect candidate for spicy, mild or any sort of seasoning. Due to the high fat contents, bone-in chicken wings should cook for no less than 25 minutes in total - both sides should be cooked.

The best indication if a wing is cooked well is the skin and meat receding from the bone.

Preparing a Tasty BBQ Chicken Grill Marinade

What is a grilled chicken BBQ without a marinade? This part of the text will cover the best BBQ chicken recipe for a charcoal grill and the marinades that will make your taste buds fall in love with the process.

We’ll be putting ingredient measurements in several different variations so our EU readers can participate as well.

The Different Types of BBQ Chicken Marinade for the Grill

There are numerous types of BBQ chicken marinades, as numerous as the amount of tastebuds a person has – that’s fantastic news for those who love to experiment. Bellow we’ll mention the most widely used marinades for chicken out there.

The main difference in delivered texture between a marinade and a dried spice rub, is that marinades tend to go well with dry meats, such as breasts. They infuse the meat with a delicate moisture, allowing for the natural meat juices to combine with the marinade.

Dried spices are fantastic if you have some wet component or the meat itself is high in fat – like chicken thighs.

Spicy Grilled Chicken Recipes

The ingredients for this spicy grilled chicken recipe are quite easy to find, you probably already have most of them laying around at home. For a medium intensity spicy grilled chicken, you will need:

  • Olive Oil - 1/4 cup (or 60ml);
  • Cloves of garlic - 3 minced (40g);
  • Can of spicy peppers in tomato sauce - 1 x 7 fluid ounces (210ml);
  • Apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp (30ml) - should be medium acidity up to 10%;
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp (5.69g);
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/2 tsp (5.69g).

Chicken should be grilled up to no more than 175F internal heat, with intermittent glazing of the chicken each time you turn it. Cooking time is anywhere between 25 min to 30 mins depending on the thickness of the cut.

Savory BBQ Chicken on the Grill – Brining and Marinade

Brining chicken wings or other meat cuts will prove to be a great solution to dried or over grilled chicken. What this achieves is a fantastic taste and moisture combination which allows for better taste combinations, including savory marinaded chicken combinations.

The brine recipe is simple, it requires:

  • 3 garlic cloves (40 grams), smashed and pealed;
  • 8 cups (1.8 liters) of water;
  • 3 tablespoons (44 grams) sea salt;
  • 1 large bay leaf.

The actual recipe is quite simple as well:

  • Chopped onion - ⅓ cup (42g);
  • Clove of garlic - 1 small, minced;
  • Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons (30ml);
  • Organic tomato soup - 1 can (10 ¾ oz) – (320ml);
  • Natural brown sugar - 2 tablespoon (28g);
  • Vinegar - 1 tablespoon (15ml);
  • Worcestershire sauce - 1 ½ tbsp (22ml);
  • Mustard – 1 teaspoon (4.2g);
  • Just a dash of hot sauce.

After the brine, dry and cover the chicken with your prepared marinade. Leave it to settle for 25 minutes. Start up your smart flip grill and oil the grates to avoid the sauce and meat from sticking.

Baste the chicken each time you turn – total cooking time is 35 minutes with 4 total turns of the chicken.

Buffalo BBQ Wings and Chicken Thighs

You can use store-bought Buffalo BBQ sauce or you can make one yourself by using these ingredients for a moist meat finish. For a home-made Buffalo sauce for 1lb (half a kilo) of chicken thighs, you will need:

  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp (15ml);
  • Himalayan salt - 1/4 tsp (1.5g);
  • Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tsp (6g);
  • Red hot sauce - ¾ cup (177ml);
  • Worcestershire sauce - 1 tsp (5ml);
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp (17g);
  • Salt-free butter - 4 tbsp (57g).

This sauce can be used to baste the chicken while it’s on the grill or it can be used for a 24-hour marinade in the fridge. Leave some of the sauce for later as it’s a fantastic dip once the chicken wings are off the grill.

What to Mindful of When BBQing Chicken on a Grill

One of the biggest concerned for everyone who’s looking to learn how to grill BBQ chicken is not leaving the meat on the grill for too long. This is where products like the Griller Dude Smart Flip Grill come in handy.

Our grill allows you to fully control the heat during the cooking process and the amount to which the meat is exposed to it.

Leaving it on for too short of a time will leave you with undercooked chicken so always aim for at least 20 minutes of cooking time for recently defrosted chicken. It’s best to cook with meat that has been in the fridge or at least 15 minutes and has defrosted. It also a good practice to have it out for 15 minutes prior to cooking.

The Griller Dude team hopes this guide will come of use to you, especially while you enjoy your Smart Flip-Flop Grill.

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