Grilled chicken dishes have long been a family favorite. But how long should chicken be grilled? The response mostly depends on these two factors: the grill’s temperature and the size and amount of bone inside the chicken piece.
A chicken piece will require more time to cook the more bones it contains. Your BBQ’s temperature makes up the second factor. You will need more time as the temperature drops.
Discover how long it takes to cook chicken on a gas grill in this article, which also goes into great depth on the time and temperature needed to grill each cut.
- Average Grilling Times for all Chicken Cuts
- How Long Does it Take Grill a Whole Chicken?
- How long should chicken breasts be grilled?
- How long should chicken leg quarters be grilled?
- What is the ideal internal chicken temperature?
- When to Stop Grilling Chicken
- How can chicken breasts be grilled without drying them out?
Average Grilling Times for all Chicken Cuts
Here are the typical grilling times for chicken parts of various sizes for your comparison:
- Chicken breast: It will take between 8 and 12 minutes over direct medium heat (350 °F)
- Chicken breast: 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat (350 °F)
- Leg or thigh: 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat (350 °F)
- Thigh, boneless: Skinless 8 to 10 minutes over direct high heat (450 – 650 °F)
- Chicken wings: 18 to 20 minutes over direct medium heat (350 °F)
- Whole chicken: 1 1/2 to 2 hours over indirect medium heat (350 °F)
Please be aware that these timeframes may vary if you marinate the chicken, add sauce, or alter the chicken in any other manner.
How long should you grill each type of chicken cut?
Let’s check how long it takes to grill the various parts and pieces of a chicken now that you know the acceptable cooking temperature for the chicken at the appropriate time of your grill.
We discuss every cut, from entire chickens to thighs and breasts, and expert advice on what to keep in mind for each.
How Long Does it Take Grill a Whole Chicken?
It will take between 105 and 150 minutes to cook a 6-pound chicken whole.
The total cooking time depends on the effectiveness of your BBQ, ambient temperature (the weather), and the initial temperature of the chicken.
The recommended temperature range for your grill is 200-300 °F (93-149 °C), whether you cook it upright or on its back. Depending on the size of the chicken and how effectively your grill maintains the temperature, the total cooking time will be between 1-1/2 and 2 hours.
Remember that a thermometer, not a timer, determines whether the chicken is done. So make sure every component is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit using a reliable thermometer.
How long should chicken breasts be grilled?
Very little time at all! The internal temperature will rise for 15–17 minutes, or until they hit 160 degrees, after which they should be allowed to rest for at least another 5 minutes. When chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees inside its thickest point, it is safe to consume!
How long do chicken thighs take to cook on a gas grill?
Indirectly cook bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for 45 minutes at 425 °F. If your chicken thighs are small (less than 6 ounces in weight), start testing for desired consistency at 35 minutes.
How long should chicken leg quarters be grilled?
Since they have the most prominent bones, it takes longer to prepare the legs and thighs than the breasts or wings.
Whole chicken legs should be grilled over indirect heat for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes. Then, continue for approximately 10 minutes with direct heat, 5 minutes on each side.
You should wait until the internal temperature reaches 180 °F to 190 °F before removing them from the grill due to the dark flesh and bones. While 165 °F is safe, meat tastes much better and is softer at 180 °F.
What is the ideal internal chicken temperature?
If you can only remember one temperature, it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius). So the minimum internal temperature of chicken is this.
Your legs and thighs are now ready to eat, even if you may wish to cook them more thoroughly.
Some recipes advise cutting the meat and checking the fluids to see if the chicken is done. However, clear liquids are not a trustworthy sign that something is finished. Depending on the age of the chicken, the fluids may flow clear once the chicken is quite well overcooked.
When to Stop Grilling Chicken
The safest internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest portion. Still, we advise removing it from the grill when it hits around 160 degrees F because the temperature will rise while it rests.
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How can chicken breasts be grilled without drying them out?
The secret is to cook directly over the flame during the first 8–10 minutes, turning once, and then cook for the final 5-7 minutes using indirect heat. Aside from that, please wait until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees before removing it from the grill. When it comes to 160 degrees (between 155 and 160), take it off the grill and then let it rest.
The temperature might continue to climb by around 10 degrees while it rests and continues to cook. What happens if you cook it until it hits 165 degrees? It would continue to cook and may reach 175 degrees before you begin eating it! It would be dry and overdone.
Here are a few techniques to determine whether your chicken is cooked:
Avoiding overcooking is the key to juicy grilled chicken. Watch closely while you grill the chicken, and follow the directions for heat and cooking time.
For safety, the internal temperature should be 165° F.
Use a knife to split the chicken part in the middle. It should be white with the faintest pink undertone. Overcooked food appears wholly white and is rubbery inside. The chicken will lose some juices and moisture if you use this approach while it’s still cooking or right before it rests.
To determine firmness
Take the chicken off the grill. Push with a finger in the middle once it has somewhat cooled. It shouldn’t be fully rigid (have some elasticity), but it also shouldn’t feel soft. Note that this approach requires experience and is the least reliable.
Is grilling chicken over direct or indirect heat preferable?
Smaller chicken parts, such as drumsticks and wings, cook well on direct medium heat as long as they are rotated often to prevent burning.
When cooking bigger items such as complete bone-in breasts, leg quarters, and whole chickens, use indirect heat for at least half the cooking time before switching to direct heat to brown the skin completely.
Do you use high or low heat for grilling chicken?
High heat is used to preheat the grill for 15 minutes before adding the chicken. You switch off all the burners but the main burner just before putting the chicken on the grill. Set the burner to medium-high.