How Long To Grill Chicken On Charcoal Grill

How Long To Grill Chicken On Charcoal Grill

Grilling chicken on a charcoal grill has long been a favorite cooking method for many home cooks, and it’s not hard to see why! With all of its smoky and flavorful advantages, it’s no wonder why it’s become so popular. But, how long does it take to get that perfectly cooked chicken? Let’s go in-depth to find out the answer to this delicious cooking conundrum!

1. Preparing for Grilling Chicken on a Charcoal Grill
Start by setting up a two-level fire. This means having one row of stacked coals on one side and a single level fire on the other side. This will ensure that the fire is hot enough to cook the chicken sufficiently, but not so hot that it will char it. Prepare the chicken by cutting it into manageable pieces if it’s a whole piece of poultry, adding your favorite dry rub or marinade, and setting aside while the fire is readied.

For indirect grilling, place a drip or roasting pan beneath the grate. This will help to keep in the heat and flavor and help to catch any fat and juices that run off from the chicken while it’s cooking. Preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the chicken on.

2. Grilling the Chicken
Once the grill is hot, oil the grill grates to help reduce sticking and to aid in the flow of fat and juices. Place the chicken pieces on the grate, skin side down if the chicken has skin. Cover the grill with the lid and let the chicken cook for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it’s cooked all the way through. Every now and then, turn the chicken to redistribute the heat.

3. Knowing when the Chicken is Ready
To know when the chicken is cooked through, use a thermometer to check the innermost part of the thickest piece. The temperature should read 165 degree Fahrenheit. Additionally, the juices will be clear. If they still look pink or cloudy, the chicken needs more time on the grill. It’s important to note that the thinner, smaller pieces will cook faster than larger and thicker pieces.

4. Tips to Achieve Perfectly Cooked Results

  • Keep the grill covered whenever possible.
  • Try to avoid opening the lid too often as this will let heat out.
  • Flip the chicken pieces every 15 minutes to ensure it’s evenly cooked.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water near the grill to keep the flames under control if needed.
  • Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through before serving.

5. Advanced Techniques for Cooking with a Charcoal Grill
Some grillers may want to try advanced techniques for cooking on a charcoal grill such as wood-smoking, indirect and direct grilling, or rotisserie. Each of these methods requires making sure the fire is burning hot enough while making sure the fire does not over-burn the chicken. Additionally, fire burning techniques must be adjusted as needed to maintain the proper temperature. Always follow safety guidelines and use protective gear when working with fire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to grill chicken on a charcoal grill?

A: The amount of time it takes to grill chicken on a charcoal grill depend on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. Generally, it should take between 8-15 minutes for boneless chicken breasts and up to 20 minutes for chicken thighs or legs. It also helps to preheat the grill and cook the chicken over indirect heat. Keep the lid closed as much as possible while grilling to help keep the temperature and moisture levels consistent.

In Conclusion

Whether you are grilling a whole chicken, or preparing individual pieces, following the steps outlined in the article can help you ensure a successful meal every time. The next time you fire up the charcoal grill, you’ll now have the confidence to create a delicious grilled chicken dinner. Bon appetit!
Grilling chicken on a charcoal grill is a great way to add smoky flavor and lock in moisture while achieving an evenly cooked result. Cooking times vary a bit depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the intensity of the heat of the charcoal, so following some simple guidelines can ensure you have a great meal that’s perfectly cooked.

When grilling chicken on a charcoal grill, the average cook time is between 6-8 minutes per side. For larger cuts such as chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks, the total cook time should be about 18-24 minutes. For smaller cuts such as wings or nuggets, the total cook time should be around 10 minutes. Remember to cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Before grilling the chicken, it’s important to prepare the grill correctly. Start by preheating the grill to medium-high heat. Once the grates are hot, oil them lightly to prevent food from sticking. Place the chicken onto the hot grates and avoid moving it too much while it cooks. If you can, use the indirect grilling method by only lighting one side of the charcoal and placing the chicken on the other side of the grill. This will ensure that ultra-juicy chicken.

After the chicken has cooked for 6-8 minutes per side, the internal temperature should have reached 165°F (74°C). Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving to lock in the juices. Be sure to discard any leftover chicken that has been sitting on the grill for more than 2 hours.

Grilling chicken on a charcoal grill adds loads of flavor and moisture. So remember to use medium-high heat and cook times of about 6-8 minutes per side. It’s important to also let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving, and discard any chicken that has been sitting on the grill for more than 2 hours for food safety.


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