Generally speaking, BBQ chicken is one of those meals that everyone loves. Whether it’s on the grill or baked in the oven but, if you don’t cook it properly, you may end up with dry chicken in the end. Thankfully, you won’t find that here. Today, we are here to help you perfect your BBQ chicken. What better time to learn? BBQ season is finally here. From marinades to cooking times and delicious recipes, we’ve got it all.
Time to clean up your grill, and get cooking!
If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. That’s why we are here to help. Firstly, you need to decide what cut of chicken you’d like to use. From BBQ chicken breast to BBQ chicken thighs and legs (and everything in between), we’ve got tips for you. After all, we are chicken experts.
So, let’s look at the different cuts:
So, which is the best for the BBQ? It’s simple – all of them. Depending on what you are looking for, you can use any part of the chicken. Although, some cuts dry out easier than others. For example, BBQ chicken breasts tend to be a bit trickier. Whereas chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings were made for the grill. They may be higher in fat, but when grilled, the skin becomes crispy and delicious. Not to mention, these cuts are less expensive. So, if you’re not looking for the leanest cut, give one of these a try.
When it comes to BBQ chicken marinade, you have lots of options. How do you like your BBQ chicken? Smokey? Sweet? Spicy? There is no wrong answer. So, let’s start with a basic marinade and go from there.
This simple recipe is one of our favorites. Plus, you can easily switch it up with other add-ins. It adds tons of flavor and keeps your chicken moist as well. A good marinade had five basic ingredients:
Each of these ingredients plays an important role. So, we were sure to include a bit of each in our BBQ chicken marinade recipe below.
Basic Marinade Recipe
Of course, you don’t have to stop there. In addition, try adding fresh herbs such as thyme. Or, for a hint of smokiness – smoked paprika. On the other hand, if you’re looking for some spice – red chilies work well. However, use sparingly. They are hot!
Remember, you can always add spice to your sauce as well. The marinade is just a base. Therefore, you don’t want to go overboard. Just keep it simple.
For more information on the importance of marinating, check out Marinating: A Guide to How it Works and What it Does
BBQ chicken breast is the first choice for many and it is the most popular cut. With that in mind, we thought we should bring you some BBQ chicken breast tips, tricks, and recipes.
Firstly, don’t skip the marinade step. BBQ chicken breast needs the extra love. For the best results, marinate overnight. But, if you’re short on time, try for at least 30 minutes. Every bit helps.
Another critical point to remember is to make the chicken breast as even as possible. Usually, one end is smaller than the other. For this reason, we suggest pounding out the meat until it is even.
You can do this by placing it between two sheets of plastic. Then pound it out using a mallet. Or, a heavy pan works too. This simple step is worth it. An even piece of meat means even cooking.
Now that the preps are finished, it’s time to get heat up your grill. Get it nice and hot! BBQ chicken breast works best with high heat. 425°- 450° is best. Once your grill is preheated, place the chicken over direct heat for about 5 minutes per side. You’ll know it’s finished when the internal temperature reaches 165°. Remember, chicken must be fully cooked to be safe to eat.
If you would like to add sauce, do so in the last few minutes of cooking. If you use the sauce in the beginning, it’s likely to burn. So, wait it out. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be sure to end up with some tasty BBQ chicken breast.
Chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings follow a lot of the same rules as BBQ chicken breast. Firstly, marinate the meat. Secondly, prepare the grill and cook. Last, brush with sauce. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
However, bone-in cuts tend to take longer. So, you will need to account for that. If you are working with boneless chicken thighs, they will take about the same amount of time as BBQ chicken breast. Yet, bone-in will need 3 to 5 minutes longer.
On the contrary, drumsticks and wings need lower temperatures and longer cooking times. Set your grill to 375° – 400°. Then, cook for 25-30 minutes. Or until you reach an internal temperature of 165°. Whichever comes first! Remember to turn every 5 to 7 minutes to avoid burning.
When it comes time to add sauce, switch to indirect heat. This means keeping one side of your grill on and one side off. The heat from the hot side will help to set your sauce. Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
We hope this blog has helped you feel like you can grill like a pro. When it comes to cooking BBQ chicken, it doesn’t have to be hard. And neither does finding quality meat to cook with. At Hilltop Acres, we hold our suppliers to the highest standards. We only buy fresh and we only buy local. You can find the following products fresh in our store:
And so much more. Aside from poultry, we offer beef and other specialty products. Give us a call, or place your order online today.