How Long To Grill Chicken? (Complete Guide )


For most of the people, the grilled chicken can really be a little unapproachable experience. It is too often that most of the people are afraid of under-cooking chicken, which instead resulted in dry, boring, and overcooked chicken. Using the right dry rub, techniques, and an understanding of grilling the chicken, you can prepare fantastic grilled chicken every time you make it. Moreover, we are going to link to a great resource about understanding the right cooking temperature for chicken so it’s delicious, and safe to eat.

How long to Grill Chicken-

Chicken on the grills could be great fun, if you are expecting guests, and looking for an easy, healthy, and quick weeknight dinner. Here comes an issue that we don’t find all pieces of the chicken created equally, as the bone-in, and boneless, skin-on, and skinless, thighs, and breasts. Each cut of the chicken is different from the other one, and thus it needs to be treated as such. So you must also be thinking, how long should you cook all of these cuts of the chicken pieces on the grill. Simply speaking, you might also be confused about how long to grill chicken to make it incredibly delicious.

How Long To Grill Chicken?

First Thing First- Buying Chicken Wisely

Choosing The Best Cuts For Grilling

best cuts for grilling-

You can buy chicken in many ways, as the least expensive could typically be a whole roasting chicken. You can butcher it at home to make the piece according to your desire and need. You can also buy the chicken in parts as well, but the less the vendor cuts, and makes it ready for your grilling, it would cost you cheaper per pound.


Which Parts Could Be The Best For Your Grilling

Here are the chicken parts that could be the best for your grilling purpose:

  • Breast (bone-in or boneless)
  • Wings
  • Drumsticks
  • Thighs 

Get a Pro Tip:

If you’re going to buy a whole roaster and butcher it all by yourself, you are suggested to save the bones for stock! You may use them in some cooking.

How Should It Be, Skin on or off? 

If you choose a skin on, you will find it adding a great texture to the grilled chicken. It’s usually good to buy skin on, but in some cases the boneless skinless chicken breast follows absolutely the same method if it goes according to your preference.

What the Seasoning Plays Role In Choosing the Best Chicken

Choosing the chicken for grilling could be the best, if you choose them in the poultry seasoning. In this season, there is less sugar in the chicken. The sugar in the chicken causes burning, when it is cooked over a high heat source. It’s the simple chicken dry rub, which includes savory, and salt ingredients like:

  • Dried Thyme
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Dried Sage
  • Course Ground Pepper

Note Please:

If you’re planning to smoke the chicken (i.e. cook slowly on low heat), it’s good to use an all-purpose rub like this one that has sugar and slowly caramelizes to go through a longer cooking period. Don’t forget that you should never expose it to direct heat.


One of the Most Important Question, While You Grill the Chicken

How Long to Grill Chicken?

For how long to grill the chicken is the most crucial question, you will be seeking for the answer. The answer to this query, typically depends upon these two things: as the size of the chicken piece, boneless, or including bone content, and the temperature you are going to give to your grill. The boneless parts get ready soon, yet the more bones a piece of chicken has, the longer it might take time to cook. For example, the thighs, and drumstick have the biggest bones, thus they take the longest to cook as compared to other parts. And the second element is the temperature of your grill, as the lower the temperature, the more time you may need to get your BBQ ready.

The Way to Get a Perfect Texture and Moisture

As discussed earlier, the grilling chicken comes in many different forms: as a Whole, wings, thighs, breasts, bone-in and boneless. Please keep on reading to get the most answers to your questions like, how long does each piece of the chicken need grilling for, how safe it would be for eating, and tasty too, and what happens if you grill it for too long, or not long enough? Moreover, what is the best way to get a perfect moisture, and texture?

Setting the Best Internal Temperature For Chicken

It would be good, if you only remember one temperature, it’s 165 degrees F (75°C). This is known as the minimum safe internal temperature of the grilling chicken. When you are cooking the chicken legs, and thighs a bit higher, you will find that they are safe to eat. Some of the recipes are going to let you know to cut the meat, and if you see the juices running clear, the chicken is cooked. Though the clear juices are not a reliable sign of doneness, yet depending on the age of the bird, juices might not run clear until it gets overcooked.

What is going to be, if The Chicken Cooks Too Long?

Most of the chickens own very lean meat and thus dry quickly. Overcooking makes it chewy, tough, and dry. Not to say that the skin-on chicken over direct heat can also burn.

Overcooking easily results in a harsh burnt flavor throughout the meat instead of a juicy, delicious, mild, and smoky flavor.

What Happens, if your chicken piece doesn’t get 165 Degrees F (75°C)?

There could be two reasons the internal temperature should typically be at 165°F (75°C):

The very first is for food safety. At or above this temperature, the salmonella, and other harmful bacteria could be destroyed.

And secondly, undercooked chicken parts are not palatable, and the meat can’t be mushy, soft, and tasteless.

When we discuss the grilling times, we are talking about the time it takes for the internal temperature that reaches 165°F (75°C).

How Does Thickness, And Weight Make A Difference In Cooking Time?

The size, and thickness do matter, when it comes to cooking a whole chicken. Typically, the heavier the bird you choose, the longer the time it takes. As an experience, a quality estimate is 20 to 28 minutes per pound. It’s strongly recommended that the heat must penetrate the skin, the flesh, and entirely the bone before it’s properly prepared. The thicker the meat would be there in the chicken piece, the longer it would take for the heat energy to transfer into it.


How Long to Grill the Different Parts of Chicken?

Now, when you have got to know the safe temperature of cooked chicken, and how to check and maintain the temperature of your barbecue, let’s take a look at how long it would take to grill the different parts and cuts of your chicken parts. We’ll cover all the cuts from a whole chicken down to wings, and thighs with some expert notes, opinions, and tips to be the best for each part.

How Long to Grill Chicken Wings?

Now, when you grill the wings directly over a medium fire for about 18-25 minutes total, you are going to get an amazing taste. You may start by leaving the chicken pieces covered with the lid for 3 to 5 minutes. Then you may open and turn them every few minutes to give them a golden texture evenly.

Use your instant-read thermometer after 12 minutes to check if they’ve all reached 165ºF. You would really want the wings slightly charred from all sides but not burned.

How Long to Grill Chicken at 350°F to 40F Temperature?

If you are planning to grill a whole 6 to 7 pound chicken, it could take 100 to 14o minutes easily. The effectiveness of your BBQ, circling temperature (the weather) and initial temperature of the chicken backs up to the overall cooking time. Either, you are grilling it upright for beer can chicken, or on its back, the favorite temperature range for your grill must be 200-300°F (140-190°C). To grill the chicken is a slow, and long cooking process that takes approximately 100 to 130 minutes, depending on the size of your bird and how well your grill maintains the temperature.

How Long To Grill Chicken On George Foreman?

Chicken On George Foreman

If you are a chicken Savvy, you must be aware that a skinless, and boneless chicken breast usually weighs between 6 to 8 ounces. The cooking time it may take, could only be 15 to 18 minutes. It’s suggested to turn the piece every 5 minutes to see that it does not burn. It would be good to use a medium direct heat. Grilling a bone-in, skin on chicken breast takes twice as long as boneless, and skinless. If you manage to keep a steady indirect medium heat for the half of the grilling, then you may finish the remaining process on direct heat by taking care not to burn the piece skin. However, if you choose the George Foreman Appliances, you can reduce the time considerably!

How Long to Grill Chicken Leg Quarters?

Chicken Leg Quarters-

Since the thighs, and legs have the biggest bones, it takes longer to cook than the wings, or breasts. If you want to grill the whole chicken legs over indirect heat for 25 to 35 minutes turning the pieces every 10 minutes. You may finish the process over direct heat for about 16 minutes 8 minutes per side. For having the dark flesh, and bones, you will have to wait until the internal temperature reaches 180°F to 190°F before taking them off the grill. 155°F to 155°F is the safest, but at 180°F the meat tastes incredibly much better, and also it would be tender.


How Long to Grill Chicken Drumsticks, and Thighs?

Chicken Drumsticks, and Thighs-

The grilling time for chicken thighs, and drumsticks could go at least up to 40 minutes. We find two schools of thought here.

One of the methods uses the direct heat during the whole grilling time, and by using medium-high or 450°F means you need to turn the pieces every 5 minutes in order to prevent burning.

The other school of thought says you may use the indirect heat for over 40 minutes and keep the direct heat for the last 10 minutes or so to make the texture brown, or golden. Regardless of the grilling method you choose, you may also add sauce. It is suggested to do it during the last 10 minutes. It won’t let the sugar burn.

It’s the same as grilling the whole leg quarters. You should also keep checking the internal temperature of at least 180°F for best tenderness, and flavor. You may see that at 190°F the meat starts falling off the bones.

How Long To Grill Chicken Breasts?

Chicken Breasts-

The answer to this simple question just lies there in the thickness of your chicken breasts, and how hot your grill gets. Once, when the chicken breasts are marinated, you may place them on the grill, and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes on each side.

Flip the chicken breast piece, and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest part of the chicken breast reaches 165°F. Grilling your chicken breasts on the gas grill, could really be a great experience, as you can control the temperature of the appliance running on gas. You may keep one of your burners on at a lower temperature. It would help you to transfer chicken that’s cooking too quickly and slow the burning so it doesn’t make the meat dry out. It’s recommended not to overcook, and remove the chicken, when the internal temperature reaches 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long To Grill Chicken Burgers?

Chicken Burgers-

Do you remember how many burgers you ate this summer? A score? A dozen? Or enough to stretch from one part of the city block to the other? Wow, you may have even more. Among the long burger list, how many chicken burgers have you enjoyed? Don’t please count Turkey patties, while delicious, but they’re a different beast entirely. And any kind of “burger” that involves a skinless breast is no chicken burger of ours either (but if you really need one, please make sure it’s juicy). This ground chicken burger recipe is different. These burgers are really delicious and need your attention. When you can’t decide between a barbecued bird and a meaty burger, they’ll be there for you.

If you want to have a nice break from typical hamburgers to a much healthier fast food, you must choose a grilled chicken burger for you. The chicken burger is fairly simple to make, amazingly flavorful, and quite delicious. You may serve these burgers on chive biscuits with tomato ketchup. You would really love to eat them to your heart’s content!

How Long To Grill Chicken Drumsticks

Like all the chicken, chicken drumsticks should also be grilled over medium heat on the grill. It would have a surface temperature of about 450°. It might take 35 to 40 minutes. The drumsticks need moving every 5 minutes or so. If you want to prevent burning of the skin, keep a final internal temperature of 180°-185°. The temperature is considered as the best for thighs, and drumsticks. You can also use a lower surface temperature, yet it may consume more time, and tend to dry more. Again, cook them to the correct final internal temperature. You would ruin your efforts, and won’t get acceptable results with a grill temperature hitting 500° plus. Don’t forget that the thickness, and size of the drumstick is a big variable.


What Is The Best Temperature To Grill The Drumsticks

Most of the grilling drumsticks recipes suggest 165° which is the minimum safe internal temperature for chicken pieces for the FDA. Whereas, some other recipes call for cooking “no pink at the bone,“ or “until fluids run clear”. It totally depends upon you how are you supposed to do that? Also, it may even be below the safe minimum temperature since the original meat color disappears at about 165°

Let’s Summarize Our Grilling Process

Find Out Average Grilling Times for all Chicken Cuts

For your reference, we’re going to discuss the average times for grilling for various size pieces of chicken:

Chicken breast, bone-in – 10 – 12 ounces – 35 to 45 minutes over indirect medium heat (350° F)

Skinless, boneless, and Thigh – 5 ounces – 10 to 12 minutes over direct high heat (450 – 650° F)

Chicken breast, skinless, boneless – 6 – 8 ounces might take between 10 to 13 minutes over direct medium heat (350° F)

A Whole of chicken – 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 lbs – 100 to 130 minutes over indirect medium heat (350° F)

Thighs, legs, and bone-in – 35 to 45 minutes over indirect medium heat (350° F)

Chicken wings – 3 -4 ounces – 20 to 25 minutes over direct medium heat (350° F)

Please don’t forget that these times may vary if you add some sauce, marinade your chicken, or make some changes in your chicken in any way.


How long is it good to grill chicken breast?

The grill chicken breasts should be grilled for around 8 to 11 minutes total. They should also be flipped halfway through.

For how long should you grill chicken on each side?

It’s suggested to grill the chicken breasts around 5 minutes on each side.

What’s the best temperature for a grilled chicken?

The internal temperature of chicken breasts must be round 165°F.

What temperature should be of the grills, you are going to use?

You must heat your grills to between 400 and 430°F for chicken breasts.

What type of heat is the best for grilling the chicken, direct or indirect heat?

Small chicken pieces like wings, drumsticks, etc. do well on direct medium heat. They should frequently be turned to avoid burning. For larger pieces such as leg quarters, whole bone-in breast, or whole birds, it is suggested to cook using indirect heat. Heat it for at least half of the cooking time, and make the skin brown over direct heat to end up the cooking.

How about marinating, rubbing or brining before cooking? Does it make any difference on cooking Time?

Wet brining, and wet marinating the whole chicken, or chicken pieces can add flavor but it can rather increase the cooking time for the skin on chicken. It may take longer for the skin to dry before it can brown. The marinated boneless cuts of the chicken take same time.

Can I use cold chicken in grilling?

You are absolutely warned to avoid grilling a cold chicken piece, because as with most meats, you must bring close to room temperature before grilling or cooking. It makes more even cooking throughout. If you take the chicken to grill directly from the fridge, you may find the outside is ready soon, but the required temperature reaches later inside the chicken.

Allow chicken breast to sit about 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. Not much longer or you’ll increase the risk of food contamination.

Pre-season: Generously coat both sides of chicken with light olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired seasonings. The olive oil helps to hold in moisture while cooking, increases those nice golden sear marks and helps seasonings stick better to the meat.

How to use gas grill?

You must preheat the grill to medium-high until the grill internal temp reaches 350-400° degrees F. The grill should evenly be hot when you add chicken.

How to add chicken breasts to gas grill

Before you add chicken breasts to gas grill, you must lightly grease cooking grates of pre-heated gas grill in order to prevent sticking. Then immediately add chicken with at least 3-4 inches between pieces. Close lid and start cooking your favorite meal.

What is the best time to cut, and serve the chicken?

You must allow chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving your loved ones. It will help keep more juices with moist and tender chicken.

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