One of the greatest American past times is barbecuing. There is a multitude of foods you can cook on various different types of grills. There are also many tips for grilling chicken on a charcoal grill.
There are two basic ways in which to grill food: direct and indirect. These methods work best on a charcoal grill. When your meat is directly above the coals (heat source), this is considered “direct” cooking.
This method works best when you want to brown the chicken you are grilling. Indirect cooking is when you have the heat source off to the side of your meat. When you pile the coal to one side or put a barrier between the chicken and the heat, convection occurs.
With indirect cooking, you can grill more slowly, tenderize the meat, brown it a little or melt away the fat. Rotate the food when using this latter method so that the food closest to the charcoal doesn’t get overdone.
Table of Content
- Let’s cover a few tips for grilling chicken on a charcoal grill.
- How to cook a steak on a gas grill?
- Using a Meat Thermometer You Cook a Steak on a Gas Grill
- How Long Do You Grill Chicken on a Gas Grill?
- How to cook the perfect steak on a charcoal grill?
- How to cook spatchcock chicken on gas grill?
- Can you use a portable grill indoors?
- Final Thought
Let’s cover a few tips for grilling chicken on a charcoal grill.
Chicken breasts require a somewhat medium heat, with direct grilling being the best method. If you cook the breasts six to seven minutes per side, your chicken will not dry out. Chicken legs also work well with direct grilling. Make sure the legs are about five to six inches above the fire and you are using medium heat. Fifteen to twenty-two minutes per side should be all that they need.
If you wish to cook a whole chicken on the grill, you will want to use an indirect heat source. For best results, keep the grill covered for maximum heating efficiency. Fifteen to twenty minutes per pound over medium heat should do the trick.
Do you have chicken halves or quarters? When you cook chicken on the grill and it is not boneless, you will want to break the joints so that the pieces can lay flat on the grill. As with legs, quarters and halves should be six to ten inches above the coals and 350ºF (medium).
Halves will take about an hour and quarters of about forty-five minutes to cook. Start the chicken you grill with the skin side facing up towards you.
Now – when you grill chicken on a charcoal grill, you may wish to add a little pizzazz to the meat, a little more flavoring than just what the charcoal will add. For marinating, the best thing to do is place the chicken (legs, thighs, etc.) into a Ziploc plastic bag and add your marinade of choice (i.e. Teriyaki, BBQ sauce, sweet and sour, honey mustard, etc.) and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
For an even coverage with BBQ sauce on a whole chicken, it is advisable to split the chicken in half and coat it once with the sauce. A few other tips for grilling chicken include brining or rubs. Either way, it is recommended to leave the chicken in the fridge overnight. Apply the rub (a combination of dry herbs and spices) to both sides of the meat.
If you wish to turn the rub into a paste, simply add a small amount of liquid. Some ingredients include lemon pepper, salt, garlic, and brown sugar. Scores of ideas are out there; it just depends on your personal tastes.
Whichever way you decide to go about grilling chicken on a charcoal grill, make sure to watch the time, temperature and fire. Your chicken will be done when it is white and the juice flows freely. Following these tips for grilling chicken will leave you the envy of the neighborhood!
How to cook a steak on a gas grill?
I sometimes get asked how to cook a steak on a gas grill. My answer is simple, do it the same way you do it on a charcoal grill! All kidding aside, this isn’t going to be a recipe page for marinades and rubs. You can decide if you need anything like that depending on your tastes, and your grill.
I like to cook over charcoal because it really takes steak to it’s highest level. Of course, we’re talking about gas grills here and some have Favorite bars designed to return some of the sizzled grease smoke back to the meat. No comparison in my opinion.
In my opinion, you want to get yourself a nice thick steak. I’ve gotten those thin ones they pre-packaged at the grocery store. Trying to get to pink in the middle is a joke when there is no middle in a thin steak.
Spend the money on a nice thick-cut steak. Split it with your wife if it’s too much, but don’t buy two thin steaks. That’s a crime when you cook a steak on a gas grill.
Now, when I cook a steak on a gas grill, I will set one burner to high, usually the designated sear burner, and the others to medium or medium-low. I’ll start off by searing each side of the steak for a few minutes on the sear burner. I generally keep the lid shut on a charcoal grill to avoid flare-ups, but I’ll sometimes keep it up on a gas grill.
Then I move the steaks off to the lower temperature burners and shut the lid. The remaining time it takes will depend on a number of factors like thickness, doneness, and cooking temperature.
There are basically two ways to tell gauge doneness when you cook a steak on a gas grill (I don’t use grill times for steak to gauge doneness). One way is to use a meat thermometer and cook it to the internal temperature corresponding with your doneness preference. The other way is to use the poke test. This involves using your finger to feel how firm the meat is.
Using a Meat Thermometer You Cook a Steak on a Gas Grill
Here’s a simple table that will help you if decide to use a meat thermometer.
- Rare: 120 to 215° F – the center will be bright red and pinkish toward the exterior
- Medium Rare: 130 to 135° F – the center will be very pink and slightly brown toward the exterior
- Medium: 140 to 145° F – center will be light pink and the outer portion will be brown
- Medium Well: 150 to 155° F – no pink anywhere
- Well Done: 160° F and above
There are a number of different types of thermometers you can use when you cook a steak on a gas grill. Which one is for you will depend on how much cooking you do.
If you do a lot of cooking on the grill or in the smoker, you will probably be inclined to get something fancy. For others, something simple will do. Here’s a rundown of the various options from simple to fancy.
Meat Thermometer, temperature range 130 to 190 F, dial type w/stem, 3”, NSF – This is very similar to one I found at my local grocery store for about $3.00. I picked up a few of them and they work just fine.
The problem with this type of thermometer is that each time you open the lid you lose heat. Not a huge problem when you grill steaks. But it is a problem on your longer low and slow cooks
Digital Fork Thermometer – While I don’t have this brand, my wife and I got something very similar for a wedding gift. It works, but you have to open the lid and stick it to check. Generally, this doesn’t give you an instant reading so you have to wait for it to get to the right temperature.
What’s cool about them is that the forks come off and you can throw them into the dishwasher so they’re ready for your next cook.
Electronic Thermometer and Timer – Now we’re getting into the fancier units. This is a low-end digital thermometer with a remote probe. This means you can insert the probe into the meat and leave the actual electronic portion outside the grill on a side table. The problem with this low-end units and I’ve had one, is that the probes can suddenly fail. Or maybe it’s the unit. It’s really hard to tell…it just fails.
Remote-Check Wireless Thermometer With 2 Probes – This type of thermometer is going to cost you a little bit more, but it can really free you up to do other things. This is like the unit above, except that it has a wireless unit that you can take with you. If you need to cut the lawn while smoking chicken, no need to hang out by the smoker anymore. Some of these units can get pricey, this one is pretty reasonable.
How Long Do You Grill Chicken on a Gas Grill?
There are a number of answers to “How long do you grill chicken on a gas grill?” There are a variety of techniques for cooking chicken and each of them will determine the amount of time required. Regardless of the time involved, the breast should get to 165 F, or the juices should run clear when you twist a joint.
Here are a few methods of cooking chicken on a gas grill. Keep in mind, this is how I do it. There are many opinions, mine tend to be in the low and slow area because I’ve just not had good results cooking at super high temps.
Grilled Chicken Breast
How long do you grill chicken on a gas grill? Everyone is going to have a different process for preparing a chicken breast to be grilled. My preference is to use a dry rub for seasoning. In fact, if I intend to use anything like barbecue sauce, I won’t put it on until just before it’s done, or after I take it off the grill.
I normally get the grill up to 400-500° F. I use a Bubba Keg grill quite a bit. This isn’t a gas grill so it’s a little different. On this grill, I will place the breasts in the center of the grate for a few minutes on each side, then move them off to the edges where the heat isn’t quite as intense. I can close the vents down, but it won’t drop the temperature as quickly as a gas grill. I do all of this with the lid down.
On a 3 burner gas grill, I will light two to a medium setting, sear the breasts over the direct heat for a few minutes, and then move off to the unlit part of the cooking area. I also turn the other burners too low. The lid shut for about 7 minutes per side!!!!
If you’re in a real hurry, you can torch your chicken, but I like a nice juicy breast and this is nearly impossible over continual high heat. It’s best to spend 15 minutes to get the job done right. Your taste buds will thank you.
Grilled Chicken Legs & Thighs
How long do you grill chicken on a gas grill? Legs and Thighs are fattier and need to cook to about 180° F, so will take a bit longer. I still follow a similar approach. Start with some high heat to sear each side and then move to low heat with the lid down. If you’re cooking breasts with them, keep the thighs closer to the lit burner so your chicken pieces finish at about the same time.
Spatchcock or Filleted Whole Chicken
How long do you grill chicken on a gas grill? In my opinion, the best way to cook chicken on a gas grill, PERIOD! The reasons are simple.
- It’s far easier to cook the chicken evenly once it’s flattened out.
- The dark meat has more exposure to heat and ends up being done at the same time the breast is done.
- With a good overall dry rub, the flavors are just like a low and slow-smoked chicken.
- It’s juicy as can be.
I’ve written about spatchcock chicken here, so I won’t rehash it in detail. This will take a bit longer. On a gas grill at 350° F it will take 50 minutes. I usually put mine over the unlit burner on a 3 burner gas grill.
This is considered a direct heat method, but I’m just not buying it yet. With my Bubba Keg and its heat retention, 350° F on the thermometer is serious! On my gas grill, it’s a joke. So I will have to write an article doing thins on the Bubba one day.
This method is the closest to true Q you’ll get on a gas grill, so I recommend trying it.
Now if I were to ask other grillers and barbecuers “how long do you grill chicken on a gas grill” I would get a lot of different answers. BBQ purists might tell you 0 minutes on a gas grill because they generally don’t use them. Setting that debate aside, it really comes down to your method of cooking.
One method I didn’t highlight was beer can chicken which can also be done on a gas grill. This will take closer to 3 hours which is why I generally do Spatchcock these days.
I’ve also used a loaf pan technique which takes about two hours for a whole chicken. Again, most backyard chefs don’t have the time for these methods. But, they are definitely missing something!
How long do you grill chicken on a gas grill? Well, it depends If you’re looking for even more information about chicken, check out these easy chicken recipes for both indoor and outdoor cooking.
How to cook the perfect steak on a charcoal grill?
For all those great meat and potato men out there, grilling the perfect steak on a charcoal grill will always make your day. Sit back, watch the game, chat with friends, and have some beer while you’re at it.
As you ready the grill for that perfect steak, first form a bed of glowing coals about three inches larger than the steak(s) on all sides. You will not want to use lighter fluid to start your fire. Use a charcoal chimney or propane torch instead so your food doesn’t taste like chemicals.
If you want your steaks to be all nicely done with those nifty grill marks on them, you will need to preheat your grill to about 500ºF. If you don’t have a thermometer, simply hold your hand about six-inch above the coals and after three seconds you’ve had to pull your hand away – that’s the 500º you’re looking for.
Indirect heat setup If you have a larger chunk of meat closer to the size of a prime rib, you will want to use the indirect cooking method. This means that your charcoal is off to the side of the meat, not directly underneath the meat. Keep this cooking session covered.
If you open the lid, be aware that you will lose anywhere from five to ten minutes in cooking time. Beef mostly needs an internal temperature of 145-160ºF. Let your beef sit for a bit once it is done to your liking. It will give a chance for the juices to return to the surface so you can drool over your masterpiece.
Grilling The Perfect Steak
Now that we figured out the grill and coals, what do we do with the steak? First, you will want to trim off exterior fat if you want to. Make sure you let your steak sit at room temperature for about twenty minutes before you begin grilling.
Generally speaking, the cooking time, of course, varies for how well done you wish your steak to be. A one-inch steak, for instance, will cook six minutes for medium-rare, eight minutes for medium, ten minutes for medium-well, and twelve minutes for well done. You only need to turn your steaks once.
When you choose your meat, you want to be able to grill the perfect steak on a charcoal grill. Filets and tenderloins do have the ability to be tender, but there is better tasting beef on the market. Ribeyes have the strongest flavor of all the steaks, but you may need to trim away some fat on them. The New York Strip is a good middle choice. Chuck steaks can have great marbling, which adds to the overall perfection of your masterpiece.
Steak has a wonderful mouthwatering flavor to it all by itself and doesn’t necessarily need anything extra to kick it up a notch. You may find all you need is salt and pepper.
On those occasions where you want more out for flavor from your perfect steak than what the charcoal grill has to offer, try a marinade or rub. A good beef rub (dry ingredients rubbed into the meat) could include paprika, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and a host of other seasonings and spices. Marinades might be barbecue sauce, among other flavors. Either way, you will want to put this in the fridge overnight.
So, for grilling the perfect steak on a charcoal grill, don’t forget these basic steps. You won’t be disappointed in the outcome of your meal and you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood for quite some time!
How to cook spatchcock chicken on gas grill?
An Efficient Way To Grill Chicken On A Gas Grill, For those of you who haven’t heard of spatchcock chicken before, you are really missing out on a great way to cook a whole chicken in less than an hour.
The term Spatchcock is kind of weird. The origins may come from the phrase dispatch the cock, referring to killing a chicken. Fortunately, I didn’t need to participate in such a distasteful exercise. But, I can assure you that my results were extremely tasteful!
Cooking spatchcock chicken is a method used to cook a whole chicken without having to slow roast or slow smoke it. I’ve done a bunch of beer can chicken on my grill (especially when I’m smoking ribs since the grill will be on for a while) but propane ain’t cheap, and frankly, a gas grill is an extremely inefficient means of smoking or roasting meat. Here’s why:
Most grills are designed for medium to high heat cooking (often referred to as grilling). It’s hard to maintain temperatures below 300 F.
You need to buy a grill with at least 3 burners, preferably more, if you’re going to cook with indirect heat.
They don’t seem to be designed with heat retention in mind, so they go through a lot of fuel. They do get hot, but they have a problem at the low end.
So after a few long cooks on my gas stove, and having to change a $27 propane tank a little more frequently than I was prepared to do, I was in search of a better way to cook barbecue-style chicken. I stumbled upon spatchcock chicken and it’s now one of my favorite ways to grill a whole chicken.
A Rundown of Spatchcock Chicken Preparation, The first thing you’ll need to do is buy a whole chicken (or more if you’d like). And while you’re at the store, here are a few more things you may need:
- A box of Kosher Salt for the brining process (if you plan to brine)
- Ingredients for a good chicken rub or you can try an off the shelf brand if you like.
- Garlic butter or possibly an injectable marinade
- A good pair of kitchen scissors or meat cutting scissors
- Vegetable Oil
The great thing about chicken is it can be very inexpensive if you’re buying the whole thing, and not just pre-cut chicken breasts. Besides, I love dark meat. I’ve always disliked chicken breasts due to the ease with which they dry out during cooking. But don’t worry, that’s not going to happen here!
I decided to go with two chickens. There’s just me, my wife, and a two-year-old, but I’ll get to eat leftovers for a few days. That’s how good this is going to be!
Brining the Spatchcock Chicken – Personally, I haven’t been bringing spatchcock chicken because I’ve found I just don’t need to. When I’m smoking a whole chicken, or doing a beer can type chicken, it’s on the grill long enough that there is a chance it can dry out a bit. Brining definitely helps and the one time I didn’t brine the chicken, I wish I had. Here’s what you do, it’s really simple:
- Take a cup to a cup and a half of Kosher salt to a gallon of water. You may need a little more or a little less depending on the size of your chicken
- You can add some seasoning to the mixture as well, but it’s not necessary
- Place the chicken in a large sealable plastic bag and add the brine mixture
- Seal the bag and place it in a bowl in case the bag leaks. Put in the fridge the night before you plan to cook.
- In the morning you can take it out, dry it off, and put it back in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare it for the grill.
Spatchcocking the Chicken – what this boils down to is cutting the backbone out of the chicken. Usually, cooking a whole chicken can take 3 hours or more to get it cooked all the way through. But, we’re going to take the backbone out, so we can crunch it flat. This will spread everything out so it can all cook at the same time.
Some people will use a knife to do this, but I prefer a strong pair of meat cutting scissors. Knives have a tendency to slip and cut me. Either way, you’ll want to stick your fingers at each end of the chicken to locate the exact position of the backbone and its width.
Once you’ve done this, cut along one side of it from the butt to the neck. I recommend two hands. I just happened to have a camera in the other.
Once you’ve made your first cut, make a similar cut on the other side of the backbone. Then remove it and pitch or keep it for soup stock.
Removing the backbone allows us to flatten the chicken out. So, once it’s cut, you need to flip it over so the breast is on top. Place the palm of each hand, one on each breast, and push until you hear a crack. You can also gently detach the thighs if it’s not laying flat enough. I usually don’t have to do that.
Chicken RubI’s seen some recommend that you clean the spatchcock chicken with vinegar and dry it off. The purpose is partially related to breaking down any toughness. Frankly, I don’t bother just as I don’t bother bringing a spatchcock chicken. But you can do it if you like, which is why I put it on the list.
However, there is one thing I never forget to do and that is season the chicken. I usually use something off the shelf, but I’m planning to start creating my own chicken rubs. There are a lot of wonderful recipes on the Internet, so I know I’ll find a good one.
I’ve read that some will rub the chicken with vegetable oil before putting the rub on, to help hold it. I’ve never bothered to do this, so sue me. My chicken always comes out great so I’m not going to change a thing.
But one of the things I do on occasion is to take some garlic butter and run it around underneath the skin of the breast. This is the most likely part to dry out, but I haven’t had a dry breast yet doing my chicken’s spatchcock style.
I take the chicken rub and generously sprinkle it over the chicken. Both sides! And then I pat it down so it stays in place. Now, one thing I do recommend is that you peel back as much of the skin as you can and apply chicken rub directly to the meat.
Then pull the skin back to keep the meat covered. On the chicken, I just did the other day I used a Creole butter injection to get some seasoning and juice deep into the meet. It did a pretty good job and the meat was very juicy. I should note, that it’s always pretty tasty and juicy, even without injecting marinade.
I generally do all of this seasoning right before I put the spatchcock chicken on the grill. You will see others recommend that you put it in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight) to let the seasoning sink in. I’ve just never noticed a difference, so I just do it all at the last minute. I recommend that you try it in different ways and then stick with the one you like best.
Firing up the Coleman 3300 is my next step since that’s the grill I own. It’s actually a pretty good 3 burner gas grills. Having said that, I’m planning to get a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker very soon. It’ll be far less wasteful and let me do some really cool long smokes. I can’t wait.
What I do with my Coleman is to light up either the left burner to about halfway or the left and right burners to their lowest setting. The latter means I don’t have to rotate the meat. But, at the end of the hour, the temperature tends to creep up to about 400 F.
The ideal temperature for this cook is 350 F. And I use indirect heat all the time, never placing the spatchcock chicken directly over the flame. I have to admit that the last time I used two burners, the skin really came out crispy and was very tasty. Yet, the breast was still juicy as ever.
So once you’ve decided and have the grill to temp, it’s time to put the chicken on. I always include a tray with hickory or maple wood chips and place it on the grill directly over one of the working burners. While this cook isn’t as long as smoke, I like the way it makes my shirt smell, so I do it.
I place the spatchcock chicken breast side up over the unlit burners. In this picture, I was using the left burner only since it is easier to control the temperature on my grill (you’ll have to experiment). I stuck a probe in one of the breasts here (got a new toy), but I have to tell you, with this method you don’t need to check the temperature. Put it in at 350, indirect cooking, and leave it there for 50 minutes, and certainly no more than 1 hour. It’ll be done. Only then are you allowed to open the lid!
If you’re not certain, check that the juices are running clear to confirm. When you do it the leg will probably fall off, it’s so tender.
So there you have it. Spatchcock chicken is probably the most efficient way to cook a whole chicken on a gas grill. Now, it’s also a great way to cook it on a charcoal grill and I’m betting it tastes even better. But this is pretty darn good!
Can you use a portable grill indoors?
Can A Portable Grill Work At Home Too? Can One Gas Grill Do It All?
Maybe a portable grill can work at home, too. You love the taste of the meat and the smell of the grill grilling. Wouldn’t it be great if you could grill every day? Whoever said that portable meant it had to leave the home?
Have you noticed that the longer you live, the busier life just gets? You want to have nice, healthy meals, but time is of the essence. With a portable model, you can whip it out in no time, heat up the coals, and have a fire ready by the time your meat is prepared and ready for the fire.
Since these types of grills are smaller, they don’t take as long to preheat. Many varieties of portable gas, charcoal, and electric grills are out there on the market to choose from and it can be a somewhat daunting task trying to decide which is best for you.
Kettle grills are fantastic for small spaces and small appetites. They’re even small enough for an apartment’s balcony or a tabletop grill. There are adjustable vents for easy temperature control and the domed lid is ideal for retaining heat. If you choose a larger kettle, it can be great for smoking meats.
Some portable “take along” grills are advantageous for those tailgate parties you always wanted to throw. With access to electricity, the countertop electric grills can be a great buy! The grill surfaces on many models provide such easy cleanup, all you need to do is put them into the dishwasher and let the machine do all the work.
The electrics don’t produce any allergens, so if you have family members, or, friends that are allergic to (or annoyed by) smoke, this alternative would be such a blessing to have.
Some of these grills are large enough to cook a whole chicken, while some portable gas grills come with so many of the same features as their regular-sized partners…that it’s truly amazing what you can cook with them!
All the bells and whistles that you find on a full-sized grill, you can find on many portables. Infrared, wood fire, charcoal, and gas grills allow you as much control and flavor as you’re used to getting on a full-sized grill.
The compact size of the portable grill adds flexibility so that you can use it in your backyard, for tailgating, a neighborhood gets together, or when you go traveling and camping. Grill or smoke your pork, steaks, hamburgers, dogs, shrimp, chicken, and veggies just like you would on any other grill. You could just use one grill instead of having two. Think about it. Everything you love about the full-sized grills shrunk into one. It’s amazing!
No matter where you are, where you have been, or where you are going, a portable grill could be your lifesaver. Use it at home in the backyard or in the kitchen indoors, take one with you to a game, be it little league or professional ball, or go and show off your cooking and grilling genius at the neighbors’. This could be the best choice you ever made, purchasing a portable grill!