It’s not strange to see me in a parka, winter boots and full “blizzard” gear during the coldest of Canadian winters, tending to my grill with loving care and admiration. Ever since I started playing with fire and smoke on the $15 charcoal grill from Canadian Tire about 25 years ago at the back of the basement apt we rented in one of the most run-down areas of town, I’ve been a huge fan of bbq and grilling. Yes, there is a difference (so the “experts” will have you believe), but this post is not about the differences between BBQ and grilling, but rather the basic idea of getting the most flavor and best texture from chicken on your grill. These tips will work on propane, charcoal or any other form of heat you use to get that lovely sticky goodness.. you know what I mean.
I’ll try my best to be as quick and to the point as I can be, so this does not become a confusing post.
Tip 1. Season and marinate your chicken. (click > How To Season And Marinate Chicken Like It’s Don’t In The Caribbean) This step will help you start off with a layer of flavor, even before you add the smoke and your favorite BBQ sauce. Wet marinade or dry rub, use flavors you like!
Tip 2. Leave the skin on the chicken – but trim of all fat and excess skin. The skin will serve as a protective barrier from the heat to keep the chicken moist, plus as it slowly renders it will add additional flavor and moisture.
Tip 3. Indirect heat – low and slow. Think of this like a marathon rather than a 100m dash. Yes, you can certainly go with direct heat, but you’ll end up with chicken which is void of any real flavor and a texture similar to the shoes you’re currently wearing. You WON’T win any friends!
Tip 4. Baste with leftover marinade so the chicken remains moist as it grills. (add fruit juice, beer etc to the marinade to baste) To help add additional flavor and moisture, baste that chicken so it doesn’t dry-off as it grills. Remember we do not want leather or chicken jerky!
Tip 5. Warm BBQ sauce in metal pan (remember it will be hot, so don’t touch) and start glazing the last 5-10 minutes of grilling. Do not marinate your chicken with BBQ sauce as the sugars will cause it to char or burn even before it’s cooked internally. Invest in a metal cup or pan and warm though your BBQ sauce on the grill, so you’re not applying cold (from the fridge) bbq sauce to your perfectly cooked chicken. To give it that rich color and sticky goodness, apply layers of that sauce and finish up over the direct heat.