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How to Grill Chicken

From wings to drumsticks, learn how to grill various cuts of chicken to perfection in just a few easy steps.

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Step 1: Butterfly the chicken

Remove chicken from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Butterflying the chicken makes it easier to cook a whole chicken on the grill. Kitchen or poultry shears are the best tool for the job. Make a cut about 1-1/2 inches apart on both sides of the backbone, cutting all the way down, and remove backbone. Turn chicken breast-side up. Open the two sides of the chicken as if you were opening a book and lay it flat. Break breastbone by firmly applying pressure and pressing down. Tuck wing tips under upper wings.

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Step 2: Prepare the grill

Prepare grill for indirect grilling. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking.

Brush chicken with olive oil. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Place skin-side down on center of grill over indirect medium heat.

Step 3: Grill the chicken

Cover and grill for 25 minutes. Turn chicken over. Cover and grill for 25 to 30 minutes more or until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F. Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve chicken to serve.

How to Grill Chicken Breasts

Place chicken on the grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (internal temperature of 170 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs

Place chicken on grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (internal temperature of 180 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.

How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around drip pan. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Place drumsticks on the grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 50 to 60 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.

How to Grill Chicken Wings

Cut each chicken wing at the large joint (you will get two portions from each wing). For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around drip pan. For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Place chicken pieces on the grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink; turn once.

See more grilled chicken recipes

Watch Chef Scott Peacock prepare his classic barbecue chicken

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