The United States produces the most chicken of any country in the world. It's easy to cook, tender, delicious, and its mild flavor is perfect as the starting point for many recipes. Dark meat or the thighs, drumsticks, and wings have more flavor and fat, so they're easier to cook on the high heat of the grill.
You do need to be careful with chicken. Read All About Chicken to get safety and cooking tips. Remember to cook dark meat chicken to 165 F, with a 5 minute standing time so the temp rises to 170 F. The dark meat will still be tender and juicy.
How to Grill Chicken
- Prepare and preheat your grill for two-sided grilling (one hot side, one cooler side). For a gas grill, first, preheat the whole thing, then turn one or two burners down to medium. For a charcoal grill, build a two-level fire; one side should be three-four briquettes thick, the other one briquette thick.
- Make sure the grill rack is impeccably clean. Lightly oil the grill rack using a crumpled up paper towel dipped in oil. Hold the paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grill.
- Follow the recipe carefully. Bone-in chicken cooks for a longer time than boneless pieces. Cover the grill except when turning the chicken.
- First, brown and sear the chicken on all sides. Brown boneless thighs and drumsticks for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Sear bone-in pieces for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Never turn chicken until it can be moved easily or you'll tear the meat.
- Move boneless chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning once, until a meat thermometer registers 165 F for thighs and drumsticks.
- Move bone-in pieces to the cooler side of the grill and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes on each side, turning once, until a meat thermometer registers 165 F for thighs and drumsticks.
- If you want to brush with a sauce, do so in the last 5 to 10 minutes on the grill or the sauce will burn.
- Remove chicken from the grill, cover, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute and to let the temp climb to the perfect number. Then serve it proudly.
Grilled Chicken Thigh and Drumstick Recipes
- Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and honey, along with onion, garlic, and ginger root make a fabulously flavorful marinade and glaze for this wonderful recipe.
- Apple Cinnamon Glazed Chicken
Apple and cinnamon make an unusual and delicious glaze for this tender grilled chicken.
- Honey Ginger Chicken Thighs
Gingerroot is a fabulous spice to use with rich chicken thighs. This simple recipe is fun and easy to make.
- Garlic Drumsticks
A garlicky sauce is brushed onto tender drumsticks as they grill for fabulous flavor. This recipe can also be roasted in the oven.
- Grilled Curried Chicken Wings
This wonderful recipe can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish. You'll love the combination of curry powder, garlic, and honey in this easy recipe.
- Grilled Five Ingredient Chicken Dinner
This five-ingredient meal is so easy and delicious. And it's ready in about 40 minutes!