Top 10 Tips on How to Cook Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

There are a lot of different ways you can prepare chicken, but charcoal grilling is one of the tastiest methods. Whether you’re familiar with the grill or not, it’s always useful to have tips to help you cook. Below you’ll find the most useful tips that will help you cook chicken that tastes better than ever!

10. Measure

Although it might take a little bit more work on your part, use a ruler to measure the thickest part of the chicken. This will ensure that you know the perfect cooking time based on how much chicken you have to cook. The last thing you want is for the sides of the chicken to be fully cooked while the middle is still raw or pink, which is why measuring precise cooking time is so essential.

9. Prepare the Grill

Prepare the Grill

It’s important to open up the vents that are in the lid of the grill and underneath it. There should be a single layer of coals to start, but those should turn to white ash after they get heated. After these have ashed you will spread another layer of coals on and get them as hot as they can go in five minutes.

8. Temperature

Let the chicken sit out for around 30 minutes before you even begin to grill it. The poultry should be at room temperature to maximize flavor and ensure it cooks evenly inside and out. If you have trouble remembering to take it out, then just set a reminder on your phone!

7. Meat ThermometerMeat Thermometer

Use a meat thermometer to make sure that your chicken is completely cooked all the way through. This can save you from having to go back to the grill and will mean not having to cut through the chicken to see if it’s done yet. There are electronic meat thermometers you can use, but these aren’t necessary if you just have one that is manual. Chicken should reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be done all the way.

6. Tools

pair of tong

It’s extremely important to have a pair of tongs available to use while you’re grilling. If you don’t have these, then turning the chicken can turn into a nightmare (that also tears it apart). Regular kitchen tongs generally work just fine. Also, make sure you have a clean plate next to the grill to place the chicken when it’s done the cooking (don’t use the same plate from the raw chicken).

5. Marinade


Use a marinade to not only infuse your chicken with some delicious flavor but also to reduce chances of HCAs from forming on the meat. Just don’t spread on marinade as the chicken continues to cook, as the sauce will have had contact with the raw chicken.

4. Sauce


Don’t put sauce on your chicken right when you place it on the grill. Instead, wait until the last five minutes before it’s done to apply the sauce. This will ensure that sugars in it don’t char and that the chicken doesn’t become bitter or tasteless.

3. Know How to Cook

It’s important to understand how to grill chicken in the right way. Start by placing it on your charcoal grill away from the direct heat. This will cook it without burning it and make sure it turns out crispy on the outside. The chicken should cook the same amount of time on both sides, and cooking times will vary based on the thickness of the poultry. It may be useful to have a grilling timer next to you (or on your phone) so you don’t forget to flip the chicken when it’s done on one side.

2. Cleaning the Grill

Cleaning the Grill

Clean off the grilling rack and make sure all debris is completely removed. If there is something stuck on, that could end up going on your food and affecting the flavor. Also, make sure you oil up the rack by rubbing oil on it. You can do this safely by soaking a paper towel in oil and rubbing it on the rack with tongs instead of your hands.

1. Charcoal


Before you ever get started with grilling, you will need to pick out some charcoal. It’s best to choose additive-free, as this is charred wood that doesn’t contain any borax, paraffin or sawdust. Try to avoid using lighter fluid as well, because the typical lighter fluid will release chemicals in the air, which can result in residue on your chicken.

Tips on How to Cook Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

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