What Are the Best Tips for Grilling Chicken Legs?

Lori Kilchermann

Some of the best tips for grilling chicken legs range from selecting similarly sized legs to making the best arrangement of the legs on the grill. Proper preparation of the chicken and using different types of marinade to keep the legs moist when cooking are also useful tips for grilling chicken legs. Tips for grilling chicken legs also include how to identify a properly cooked piece of chicken or methods of seasoning the meat to bring out additional flavor. Tips for creating an easy-to-clean grill include the use of aluminum foil and the natural oils found in certain marinades.

A marinade containing oil will help prevent chicken legs from sticking to the grill grate.
A marinade containing oil will help prevent chicken legs from sticking to the grill grate.

When planning on grilling chicken legs, a tip to be certain the chicken is evenly cooked is to begin with equally sized chicken legs. Many packages of chicken legs include several different sizes of legs. By selecting legs of the same or nearly same size when grilling chicken legs, the meat will be more evenly cooked. Another tip is to allow the chicken legs to come to room temperature before placing them on the grill, as this also aids in evenly cooking the chicken legs.

The best arrangement of the legs on the grill is to place them in alternating directions. By laying the chicken legs in such a manner to have a large end next to a small end, the chicken cooks more evenly. When grilling chicken legs in this way, care should be taken to leave enough room between the legs so that heat can pass between the pieces of chicken and cook the sides as well as the bottom. To prevent drying out the meat when grilling chicken legs, it is best to marinade the legs for at least an hour prior to cooking. To easily impart flavor and save time when grilling, a quick marinade option is to use a bottle of Italian salad dressing.

The Italian dressing not only adds moisture and flavor to the chicken, it also provides lubrication for the meat. The oil in the dressing will aid the chicken in not sticking to the grill as it cooks. Another tip is to place non-stick, aluminum foil over the grill grates before placing the chicken legs on it to cook. This will give the grill protection against sticking to the chicken and messy cleanup will be nearly eliminated. Once the grill has been turned off or cooled down, the foil can be simply lifted off of the grill and tossed into the trash.

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