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10 Tips & Tricks to Master Chicken on the BBQ

Are you ready to elevate your BBQ skills and become a master of the grill? Prepare yourself for a gastronomic adventure as we delve into the world of succulent chicken cuts on the sizzling BBQ. Chicken, with its endless possibilities and remarkable versatility, has long been a favourite choice for grilling enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a fan of tender chicken wings, juicy thighs, or tantalising kebabs, the smoky flavours and charred perfection achieved on the BBQ take this humble protein to new heights of culinary delight. Get ready to unlock the secrets of grilling chicken like a pro as we embark on a journey of flavour exploration in this comprehensive guide.

1. Pick the Best cut For the Grill

First, let’s talk about the best chicken cuts to grill on the BBQ this summer. When it comes to grilling chicken, choosing the right cuts is essential to ensure a delicious, most and oh so satisfying BBQ experience. Here are the best chicken cuts that are tailor-made for the grill:

  • Chicken Wings: With their delicate balance of tender meat and crispy skin, chicken wings are a crowd-pleasing favourite. They can be enjoyed with a variety of delectable sauces, making them perfect for finger-licking BBQ gatherings.
  • Chicken Thighs: Juicy and succulent, chicken thighs, often referred to as the dark meat, offer rich flavours and moist textures that are ideal for grilling. Their higher fat content keeps them juicy and flavorful even when exposed to high heat.
  • Chicken Kebabs: There’s something irresistibly enticing about flavorful chicken kebabs. Marinated in a symphony of spices, these skewered delights bring a burst of flavour to every bite. The combination of tender chicken chunks and grilled vegetables creates a delightful grilling experience.

These chicken cuts possess the perfect composition to withstand the high heat of the BBQ while retaining their natural juiciness and tenderness. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ party or simply enjoying a casual grilling session, these cuts will undoubtedly elevate your chicken game to new heights.

2. Chicken on the Bone vs. Chicken off the Bone

When it comes to BBQ, the debate between chicken on the bone and boneless cuts is an age-old discussion among grill enthusiasts. Each option comes with its own unique advantages and considerations. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each option:

Chicken on the Bone

  • Moist and Tender Meat: Chicken cuts like drumsticks and wings that are cooked on the bone tend to retain more moisture, resulting in juicy and succulent meat. The bone acts as a natural insulator, helping to distribute heat evenly and retain moisture during the cooking process.
  • Enhanced Flavour: The bone imparts a rich, savoury flavour to the meat, enhancing the overall taste profile. As the chicken cooks, the bone marrow releases its essence, infusing the meat with delicious flavours that make every bite a delight.
  • Enhanced Presentation: Chicken on the bone adds a visually appealing element to your BBQ spread, creating an inviting and rustic charm that is sure to impress your guests.

Boneless Cuts

  • Quick and Convenient: Boneless cuts like chicken breasts and thighs offer convenience and shorter cooking times. They are easily marinated, cook faster, and are ideal for those who are looking for a quick and effortless grilling experience.
  • Versatility: Boneless cuts provide a blank canvas for various flavour profiles and cooking techniques. They can be easily seasoned, stuffed, or wrapped in bacon, allowing for endless creative possibilities and experimentation in the kitchen.
  • Ease of Eating: Boneless cuts are hassle-free to eat, as they eliminate the need to navigate around bones. They are a convenient option for those who prefer a more streamlined dining experience.

Ultimately, the choice between chicken on the bone and boneless cuts depends on personal preference, desired cooking time, and the specific dish you want to prepare. Both options have their merits and can result in delicious BBQ chicken that will satisfy your taste buds. So, whether you prefer the succulence of chicken on the bone or the convenience of boneless cuts, be sure to experiment and discover your own BBQ chicken masterpiece.

3. Prepping Your Chicken to Perfection

Now that we have our chicken cuts ready, it’s essential to understand the art of preparation. Marinating the chicken before grilling is a game-changer when it comes to infusing depth of flavour. The marinade acts as a flavour conduit, allowing the chicken to absorb the aromatic spices and herbs, resulting in a taste sensation that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Consider creating your own marinades using a combination of ingredients such as garlic, lemon zest, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, and a touch of olive oil. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight for maximum flavour infusion.

4. Pat Your Chicken Dry

Mastering the art of grilling chicken involves paying attention to every detail, and one crucial step that often goes unnoticed is the importance of patting your chicken dry. This seemingly small act can make a world of difference in achieving that coveted crispy and golden-brown skin on the outside of your grilled chicken.

Here’s why drying your chicken is a game-changer. When moisture, such as water or leftover marinade, is present on the surface of the chicken during grilling, it quickly turns into steam when it comes into contact with the heat source. This steam creates a barrier that hinders the skin from crisping up as it should.

To avoid this, make it a habit to pat your chicken dry before you begin the grilling process. This step should be performed after removing the chicken from its packaging or taking it out of the marinade. If you prefer to remove the chicken skin, ensure you pat the meat dry after the skin has been removed.

Remember, drying the exterior of the chicken is not about washing it before cooking. Washing poultry before cooking is not recommended, as it can lead to the unnecessary removal of natural juices from the meat. Instead, the goal is to eliminate any excess moisture that may interfere with achieving the perfect crispiness.

5. Dry Brine Your Chicken

In addition to patting your chicken dry, another technique to enhance the flavour and texture of your grilled chicken is dry brining. Dry brining involves salting the chicken at least a day in advance of grilling, allowing the salt crystals to penetrate the meat rather than just sitting on the surface. This method delivers similar flavour and texture enhancements as a marinade or wet brine but with the added benefit of less mess.

Dry brining is particularly effective for larger cuts or whole chickens that may be difficult to submerge in a wet brine or marinade. One of the key advantages of dry brining is that the salt causes moisture to evaporate from the skin during grilling, resulting in a beautifully crispy exterior. You can choose to dry brine using just salt or create a dry rub by combining spices and seasonings with the salt. As a general rule, use approximately 2 teaspoons of salt or dry rub per pound of chicken and make sure to rub it thoroughly all over the meat on both sides.

Once you’ve applied the dry brine, refrigerate the chicken while you patiently wait for the flavors to permeate the meat. This technique allows the chicken to become more seasoned, tender, and juicy, resulting in an exceptional grilled chicken experience that will impress your guests. So, consider embracing the art of dry brining and enjoy the flavorful and crispy results it brings to your grilled chicken.

6. The Best Temperature for Chicken

When it comes to grilling chicken, the perfect temperature is the key to success. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 190°C to 230°C, to achieve that desirable caramelised exterior whilst ensuring the chicken is cooked through.

It’s crucial to cook chicken to an internal temperature of 74°C for safe consumption. To accurately measure the temperature, invest in a reliable meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone.

7. Grill a Moist Chicken on the BBQ

In order to avoid the dreaded dry chicken syndrome, it is essential to understand the causes and implement preventative measures. Dry chicken often occurs due to overcooking, which leads to the loss of moisture. To avoid this, monitor the cooking time closely and remove the chicken from the grill as soon as it reaches the recommended internal temperature.

Another helpful tip is to brush the chicken with a light coating of oil or marinade throughout the grilling process. This technique helps seal in the natural juices and prevents the chicken from drying out, resulting in succulent and flavorful bites.

8. The Benefits of Using a Sauce for Chicken on the BBQ

Furthermore, let’s delve into the exciting world of sauces and explore how they can elevate your grilled chicken to extraordinary heights. A carefully selected and well-crafted sauce has the power to infuse your chicken with an explosion of flavours, turning an already delicious dish into a taste sensation. Here are some tantalising sauce options to consider:

  • Tangy Barbecue Sauce: This classic sauce adds a sweet and smoky tang to your chicken, complementing its natural juiciness. The combination of flavours, such as molasses, vinegar, and spices, creates a mouthwatering glaze that caramelises beautifully on the grill. Experiment with different regional barbecue styles, like Kansas City, Memphis, or Texas, to discover your preferred flavour profile.
  • Zesty Citrus Glaze: Bright and refreshing, a citrus glaze adds a burst of tangy and aromatic notes to your grilled chicken. Use lemon, lime, or orange juice as a base, and enhance the flavours with herbs like thyme, basil, or cilantro. The acidity of the citrus helps to tenderise the meat and adds a delightful zestiness to every bite.
  • Spicy Jerk Marinade: If you crave a bold and fiery kick, a jerk marinade is the way to go. Originating from the Caribbean, this sauce combines scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, and a medley of aromatic spices. The marinade infuses the chicken with a spicy, smoky, and complex flavour profile that is truly irresistible. For an authentic touch, grill the chicken over a charcoal fire to achieve that smoky essence that perfectly complements the jerk flavours.
  • Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce: Indulge in a rich and velvety sauce that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken breasts or thighs. The combination of garlic, Parmesan cheese, and cream creates a luxurious sauce that coats the chicken in a decadent layer of flavour. Enhance the dish further by adding chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil for a pop of freshness.

Remember, when applying sauces to your grilled chicken, it’s best to do so during the last few minutes of cooking. This allows the sauce to caramelise and develop its full flavour potential without the risk of burning. Be adventurous, explore different sauce options, and let your taste buds guide you to create the perfect pairing that will leave your guests craving more. With the right sauce, your grilled chicken will become the star of the show and a centrepiece of culinary excellence.

9. Consider the Spatchcock Method

For a quicker and more even cooking experience, consider embracing the game-changing spatchcock method for your chicken on the BBQ. This culinary technique involves removing the backbone and flattening the chicken before it hits the grill, and the benefits are undeniable.

  • Even Cooking: By spatchcocking the chicken, you create a uniform thickness throughout the bird. This ensures that all parts of the chicken cook at an even rate, reducing the risk of overcooking the breast while waiting for the thighs to be done. Each bite will be tender, succulent, and perfectly cooked.
  • Quicker Cooking Time: Flattening the chicken accelerates the cooking process significantly. The direct heat of the BBQ can penetrate the chicken more efficiently, reducing the overall grilling time. This means you can enjoy your deliciously charred and juicy chicken in less time, perfect for those impromptu gatherings or when you’re craving BBQ in a hurry.
  • Crispy Skin: The spatchcock method helps achieve that coveted crispy skin. With the increased exposure to direct heat, the skin gets a chance to render and crisp up beautifully, adding a delightful texture and flavour to every bite. It’s the perfect contrast to the tender and moist meat.
  • Versatility: Spatchcocking opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Once the chicken is flattened, you can experiment with different marinades, rubs, and seasonings to infuse the meat with your desired flavours. Whether you prefer a tangy barbecue glaze, a spicy jerk marinade, or a simple herb-infused rub, the options are endless.

By employing the spatchcock method, you can ensure that your chicken on the BBQ is cooked to perfection, with juicy meat, crispy skin, and an enhanced flavour profile. It’s a technique that guarantees a memorable and satisfying grilling experience, leaving you and your guests craving more of that deliciously tender and beautifully charred chicken.

10. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Lid

Unleash the secret weapon to elevate your chicken grilling game: the mighty lid! Don’t underestimate the power of this simple tool as it holds a plethora of benefits that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

  • Temperature Control: Embracing the lid on your BBQ creates a controlled cooking environment. By trapping the heat, it ensures a consistent temperature throughout the grilling process. Say goodbye to hot spots and unevenly cooked chicken. With the lid on, you’re in control, delivering perfectly grilled chicken every time.
  • Moisture Lockdown: The lid acts as a guardian, keeping precious moisture locked inside the chicken. As the chicken cooks, it naturally releases flavorful juices. With the lid in place, those succulent juices circulate and infuse back into the meat, resulting in tender and juicy chicken that will have you reaching for seconds.
  • Smoky Sensation: Are you ready to take your chicken to smoky new heights? Adding smoking chips or wood chunks under the lid creates an irresistible smoky essence that permeates every fibre of the chicken. Imagine the tantalising aroma and deep flavour that will have your taste buds doing a happy dance. Get ready to impress your guests with that irresistible smoky touch!
  • Flare-up Protection: Grilling chicken can sometimes lead to flare-ups caused by dripping fats. But fear not, as the lid acts as your trusty firefighter, minimising the risk of those fiery flare-ups. By reducing oxygen supply, the lid keeps those flames in check and ensures your chicken stays safe and sound.

With temperature control, moisture retention, smoky infusions, and flare-up protection, your grilled chicken will be the talk of the town. Get ready to savour tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken that will have everyone begging for your secret recipe. The lid is your BBQ ally, helping you create memorable chicken dishes that will make you a grill master extraordinaire.

Source Your Chicken from La Boucherie

When it comes to grilling chicken, sourcing high-quality meat is essential for achieving exceptional results. Look no further than La Boucherie for your chicken needs. As the best butcher in Malta, La Boucherie offers a wide selection of premium chicken cuts that are perfect for grilling. From succulent chicken wings to tender thighs, our range of poultry is sourced from trusted suppliers and guarantees superior quality.

Ready to elevate your grilling game with top-notch chicken from La Boucherie? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to browse our online shop or visit our store in Qormi. With just a few clicks, you can conveniently explore our extensive selection of high-quality chicken cuts, sauces, and spices from the comfort of your own home.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more personal experience, head over to our inviting butcher shop in Qormi, where you can personally view and select your preferred cuts over the counter. Whether you choose online shopping or an in-store visit, our team at La Boucherie ensures a hassle-free experience and guarantees that you’ll have the best ingredients for your next BBQ feast.

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