How Do I Barbecue Chicken?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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You can barbecue chicken on an outdoor grill or in the convenience of your kitchen with equally good results. The chicken is prepared and cooked as with any typical chicken dish until it is nearly done. The final step to barbecue chicken relies on your ability to properly season and brush the chicken with barbecue sauce as it finishes cooking. There are two distinct types of barbecue chicken, wet and dry. The result is in the method that you apply to the final layers of sauce.

To barbecue chicken, you first start by cleaning the chicken. Any pin feathers and other unwanted product are removed from the skin and the chicken is washed with cold water. If your family prefers chicken pieces to a whole chicken, you can cut the chicken into quarters. Another option is to begin with a quartered chicken or chicken pieces, such as legs, thighs or breasts. You can save a lot of time by pre-cooking the chicken in boiling water until it is almost done; this also allows much of the fat to melt away in the boiling water where it is then discarded down the drain.


Remove the chicken from the water and allow it to drain on a paper towel-covered plate. As the chicken drains, the grill or oven can be readied. With the temperature adjusted to 400®F (200®C), the chicken can be placed onto an oiled grill or dry pan and brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce. The barbecue chicken should be allowed to cook for approximately 30 minutes, and then brushed with barbecue sauce and turned once as it cooks. For wet barbecue chicken, apply a liberal amount of sauce. For a dryer barbecue chicken, allow the sauce to cook more thoroughly on the chicken without reapplying.

After 30 minutes, you can remove the chicken from the grill or pan and allow the meat to rest for approximately five minutes. This will allow the sauce to dry slightly and become less messy to eat. A tip to ease in the cleanup is to line the grill or the pan with a nonstick aluminum foil. This will enable you to simply wad up the foil when the chicken is done and throw it away. Any uneaten chicken can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped well in aluminum foil to be reheated or eaten cold as a snack or as a carry-in lunch for work or school.


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