How Do You Cook Chicken Breast On A Charcoal Grill?

For the best moisture and flavor, learning how long to cook chicken on a charcoal grill is crucial. The summer is the ideal season to fire up the charcoal grill and prepare some mouthwatering grilled chicken.

The variety of chicken available for grilling, including wings, thighs, breasts, whole, bone-in, and deboned, can be confusing. But at what temperature and for how long should each one be grilled? Undercook it, and it could be dangerous to eat. When done properly, it is juicy, flavorful, and also safe to eat. Nothing compares to a juicy piece of grilled chicken, and grill marks add flavor and character.

Nevertheless, grilling chicken to perfection over charcoal can be challenging. Here are our tried-and-true recommendations to help you grill delicious food every time.

It is critical to preheat the grill. Wait until the grill rack is hot before placing the chicken on it. Therefore, preheat for at least 15 minutes.

Stack your charcoal in a charcoal chimney. The chimney is a device that makes lighting the coals without lighter fluid simpler. Simply place the charcoal on the grill grates, fill the chimney with fuel, and light it. For the best grilling, use hot pads to pick up and drop the hot coals where you want them once they’re ready.

Create a direct heat and indirect heat zone. To accomplish this, simply bank the coals to one side. This will be very hot because it is the direct heat side. The indirect heat zone is the side without the coals. This side will be a bit cooler.

Make sure that the grill grates are clean. Once the grill is hot, use a grill brush to quickly brush away any food that has been burned on since you last used it to grill.

Do oil the grill grates. Simply use tongs to dip a folded piece of paper towel in oil and brush the grates. This helps keep the food from sticking.

Add smokier flavor with wood chips. To do this, take a half cup of wood chips and soak them for 30 minutes in water. When you’re ready to grill, remove the chips’ water and place them over the hot coals.

Knowing the ideal internal temperature for cooking chicken until it is fully cooked is crucial. The USDA recommends cooking poultry, including chicken and turkey, until the internal temperature reaches 165 oF.

How Long to Grill Chicken Quarters at 350˚F

The skin and bone are typically still attached when purchasing chicken quarters and split chickens. Compared to boneless chicken breasts or thighs, they will take a little longer to cook through because they are bigger and have more surface area. I suggest grilling chicken quarters and split chickens at 350°F for about 15 minutes on each side for a total of 30 minutes, or until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

What’s the Best Temperature to Grill Chicken At?

You’ll want to aim for a temperature of 350-375˚ Fahrenheit. This will be the temperature directly above where you will be grilling, not necessarily over the coals. Use an infrared grill thermometer to check the temperature of your grill before adding the chicken.

This hand temperature test can be used to determine the heat if you don’t have a grill temperature.

How Do You Cook Chicken Breast On A Charcoal Grill?

How Do You Cook Chicken Breast On A Charcoal Grill?

The chicken thighs and skinless chicken breasts that I grill or barbecue the most are the two types of chicken that you should cook once your grill is set up. White meat from the breasts is leaner, but I prefer the flavor of the thighs’ dark meat. That’s just my opinion though. The tips below work for either one.

Note: If you want great tasty free-range chicken, give Butcher Box a try. I’ve been a happy customer for years!

Here are some of my recommendations for cooking chicken on a grill and for how long. when using charcoal briquettes or using a gas grill:

  • Once your coals are ready, it’s time to add the chicken. Instead of applying olive oil directly to the grill, I like to add a little oil directly to the chicken. This will help to prevent sticking and help prevent flare-ups.
  • Over indirect heat on the grill, place the chicken skin-side down.
  • As you add the chicken to the grill, make sure that you don’t overcrowd it. This will make it harder to get evenly cooked chicken.
  • Flip the chicken over and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165˚F.)
  • The best way to tell if your chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. I like this digital one because it’s quick and easy to use.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the grill and let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it. This resting time is important as it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for juicier chicken.
  • The best way to grill brats, with choices for side dishes and toppings

    How Long to Cook Chicken on Charcoal Grill?

    The answer largely depends on the thickness, cut, and temperature of the chicken as well as the grill.

    Whether you are using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, the cooking times are the same.

    For the best results, each component of the chicken cooks using a slightly different time and technique. Dark meat generally requires more time to cook through than white meat. Additionally, bone-in takes longer to cook than a boneless piece.

    Reduce the cooking time specified for a thick chicken breast by up to 50% if you use a meat mallet to pound your boneless chicken breasts to 12-inch thickness before grilling. The thinner piece of chicken will cook much faster.

    The rich, smoky flavor that grills produce improved the taste of the chicken. To assist you in grilling the ideal chicken each and every time, we have created a chicken grilling chart.

    How Do You Cook Chicken Breast On A Charcoal Grill?

    chicken grilling chart

    Cut of Chicken Cooking Time Temperature Type of Heat Cooking Technique
    Boneless Chicken Breast 8-12 Minutes Medium-High (400° F) Direct Heat 5-6 Minutes per Side Turning every 3 minutes
    Chicken Tenderloin 4-6 Minutes Medium-High (375° F) Direct Heat 2-3 Minutes per Side
    Chicken Thighs Skin on (Bone-In) 30-40 Minutes Medium-High (400° F) Direct Heat then Indirect Heat Sear chicken skin side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill 3 more minutes. After searing move to indirect heat. Medium-Low (300˚F) Continue grilling 25-30 minutes
    Boneless Skinless Thighs 14-16 Minutes Medium-High (375° F) Direct Heat Flip every 3 minutes
    Drumsticks 30 Minutes Medium-High (400° F) Direct Heat Flip every 3 minutes
    Chicken Wings 15 – 20 Minutes Medium (350˚F) Direct Heat Flip every 3 minutes
    Whole Chicken 50 Minutes Medium-High (375° F) Indirect Heat Butterfly Chicken. Place skin side up over indirect heat and turn once during cooking


    How long should chicken be grilled on a charcoal grill?

    It’s a good idea to cook chicken quarters for a total of 30 minutes at 350 degrees, about 15 minutes on each side. We begin by cooking the meat for 10 minutes on each side, and then continue cooking it over indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

    How do you keep chicken moist on a charcoal grill?

    In general, grilling chicken at 350° to 450° F over direct or indirect medium heat is recommended. The only exception is when you’re smoking the chicken. Smoking meat involves indirect cooking over very low heat, 225° to 250° F, with the addition of smoldering wood chunks, and is frequently used with wings or whole chickens.

    What temperature should a charcoal grill be to cook chicken?

    Simple brine made from 1/4 cup kosher salt dissolved in 4 cups of water can be made in just 30 minutes. This is all the time the chicken breasts require to absorb moisture to the point where they can withstand the heat of the grill without drying out.

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