How to Grill Chicken

Grill chicken like a pro with these simple tips.

Grill Better Chicken

When you grill chicken on the bone it's more flavorful. Use these tips to get juicy chicken cooked all the way through with perfectly crisp skin.

The Chicken

Start with a whole cut-up chicken on the bone, with the skin. Let it come to room temperature while you prepare the grill.

The Grill

Set up the grill for direct and indirect heat, with coals on one side. Oil the grill grate and heat until the oil is smoking.

Get Grilling

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper and put it on the grill over the low-heat section. Place the breasts bone side down, so the bone acts as a small roasting rack.

Cover It

Cover the grill so it's like an oven, roasting the chicken slowly.


After about 20 minutes, open the grill and turn the pieces over. Cover and cook for about another 15 minutes, until the skin is very crisp.

Checking the Temperature

The breasts will cook fastest. Use a meat thermometer to test doneness. Insert lengthwise and avoid the bone for the best reading.


When the chicken is at about 150 to 155 degrees F, you can baste with sauce. If you want to serve sauce with the chicken set some aside.

Basting Chicken

Use a mop or brush to baste the chicken with the sauce. Discard any leftover sauce once you're finished basting.

Crispy Skin

Place the chicken on direct heat to finish cooking through. This makes the skin extra crispy. At about 160 degrees F the chicken is finished. Remove chicken from the grill and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees while resting.

Grab a Bird

Remember, it's all about strategy when grilling chicken.