Grill the Best Chicken

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First, it starts with the bird itself, and the better the chicken, the better it will taste. We work with farmers who are committed to animal welfare and environmentally conscious farming practices, so feel good about any chicken that bears the Central Market name. From there you have three options:

  • All Natural: Grade A, fresh chicken is minimally processed so it’s free of additives, preservatives, or flavorings of any kind.
  • All Natural Air-Chilled: The chicken is cooled by purified air, rather than water, resulting in no added moisture and superior flavor.
  • Organic Air-Chilled: Fed an organic diet and must have access to the outdoors, then is air-chilled.

Okay, enough with the nerdy stuff. How do you actually grill a better chicken? We have a slew of tips and tricks designed to answer just that question. Here it goes

Get the grill ready, scrape it with a wire brush after the grates have heated. This will help the chicken (or any food release more easily. Then oil the grates with a pair of tongs and paper towels that have been dipped in a high heat oil.

You don’t need a recipe, but be a boy scout, and be ready. A grill is not an oven, you don’t want to walk away. Organize your tray, tongs, paper towels, seasoning, and a glass of something cool to drink before you get started. This means no running back and forth from the grill to the kitchen and no blackened dinner.

Know if your recipe calls for direct or indirect heat. Best rule of thumb, use direct heat for smaller individual cuts like thighs, breast, and wings. Use indirect heat for larger pieces and whole birds.

Add a layer of flavor with rubs and marinades or try citrus fruit like lemons and oranges squeezed over the chicken as it cooks.

Think beyond the breast. Chicken with the skin-on and bone-in stays moist and is more flavorful than a standard boneless chicken breast. If you do want something skinless and boneless, try our thighs, they are a little fattier than breast meat, which means more flavor; plus they’re less expensive.

If the chicken is sticking, it is not ready to be turned. If you have cleaned and oiled your grill (you read step one, so of course you have) then have faith. The skin will release as it cooks, keep a check every minute or so until it is ready.

Over cooked and under cooked are equally bad. Use a thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and check for an internal temperature of 165°

Give the chicken a rest after it is done, especially bone-in cuts, keeps the meat juicy. 5-15 minutes is plenty depending on the size of the cuts.

Okay, you have it from here. So don’t chicken out on this backyard classic.