How to Cook Chicken on a Charcoal BBQ

Barbecue season is here, and there’s nothing quite like the smoky aroma of cooking chicken on a charcoal bbq. Whether you’re grilling for your family or hosting an outdoor gathering, it can be tricky to get the perfect grilled chicken. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips and tricks on how to cook chicken on a charcoal bbq so that you can create delicious meals every time. From choosing the right kind of bird to serving up tasty sides, learn all about mastering those flame-kissed flavours with our step-by-step guide.

Table of Contents:

Choosing the Right Chicken

Choosing the right chicken for your charcoal BBQ can be a daunting task. With so many different types of chickens available, it’s important to know which one is best suited for grilling.

The first step in choosing the right chicken is deciding what type you want. There are several varieties of chickens that are commonly used on barbecues, including broiler-fryers, roasters and stewing hens. Broiler-fryers have tender white meat and are usually cut into pieces before being cooked on the grill. Roasters tend to be larger than broilers and require longer cooking times due to their size; they also produce more flavorful results when grilled over charcoal. Stewing hens are older birds with tougher meat that requires slow cooking over low heat in order to make it tender enough to eat.

When selecting a chicken for grilling, look for ones with bright eyes and pinkish skin tones, as these indicate freshness and quality. Also, check the label on the package – organic or free range chickens may cost more, but they will provide superior flavour when grilled over charcoal compared to regular store bought poultry products. Additionally, if you’re looking for an even juicier result, then opt for brined or marinated birds, as these will help keep them moist during cooking time without drying out too quickly like unbrined poultry does on a hot barbecue grill surface.

Once you’ve chosen your bird, there are several ways you can prepare it before grilling, such as marinating or seasoning it with herbs or spices like garlic powder, paprika or cumin, depending on your preference. This will add extra flavour while helping prevent overcooking by keeping moisture locked inside during cooking time. You can also stuff whole chickens with aromatics like onions and lemons, which will infuse additional flavours into each bite while adding some visual appeal when served at the table side after being cooked perfectly golden brown over hot coals.

Finally, don’t forget about safety precautions. Always use clean utensils when handling raw poultry products, especially if using multiple batches. Make sure any leftovers get refrigerated within two hours of coming off the grill, so they stay safe until consumed later on.

When choosing the right chicken for your BBQ, look for freshness and quality to ensure a delicious meal. Now that you have chosen the perfect chicken, let’s move on to preparing it for the grill.

Key Takeaway: When grilling chicken on a charcoal BBQ, choose organic or free range chickens for the best flavour. Prepare them with marinades or seasonings and stuff with aromatics to enhance taste and presentation. Lastly, take safety precautions, such as using clean utensils when handling raw poultry and refrigerating leftovers promptly.

Preparing the Chicken

Before you can begin grilling your chicken, there are a few steps to take in order to ensure the best results. The first step is marinating the chicken. This helps add flavour and moisture to the meat, as well as tenderise it. You can use store-bought marinades or make your own with oil, vinegar, herbs and spices of your choice. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking – overnight is even better.

Uncooked whole chicken on a plate

Next up is seasoning. A simple combination of salt and pepper will do just fine here; however, if you want something more flavorful, then feel free to experiment with other seasonings, such as garlic powder or paprika. Make sure that all sides of the chicken are evenly coated with seasoning before moving on to trimming fat off any visible pieces of skin or fat from around the edges of each piece of meat.

Finally, once all these steps have been completed, you are ready to start grilling. Make sure that your grill has been preheated properly so that when you place your seasoned and trimmed pieces onto it, they will cook evenly without burning too quickly on one side while still being undercooked on another side. With this preparation process done correctly, you should be able to enjoy some delicious grilled chicken soon enough.

Before grilling, it’s important to properly prepare the chicken by marinating or seasoning. Now that you have prepared your chicken let’s move on to grilling it over the charcoal BBQ.

Grilling the Chicken

Grilling chicken on a charcoal bbq is an art form. It requires patience, skill and attention to detail. But with the right preparation and technique, you can create a delicious grilled chicken that will have your friends and family coming back for more.

Preparing the Chicken

Before grilling your chicken, it’s important to prepare it properly. Start by washing the chicken in cold water before patting it dry with paper towels. Then season both sides of the chicken generously with salt, pepper or any other spices you prefer. Once seasoned, let the chicken rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before putting it on the grill.

Prepping Your Grill

Once your grill is preheated to medium heat (around 350°F), brush some oil onto each side of your grate using a long-handled brush or cloth so that food won’t stick when cooking. Now place your prepared pieces of chicken onto the hot grate skin side down first and cover them loosely with aluminium foil if desired; this helps keep moisture in while they cook as well as prevents flare ups from fat dripping into flames below.

Grilling The Chicken

Grilling chicken in charcoal bbq

Now comes the time to actually cook. Keep an eye on temperature control – too high heat can cause burning or dry out quickly; too low will take forever to cook through without getting crispy skin. Aim for about 375°F throughout the cooking process, which should take around 25 minutes total depending on the size/thickness of the meat being cooked – turn every 5 minutes or so until internal temp reaches 165°F (use thermometer inserted into thickest part). When done, remove from heat and serve immediately while still hot and juicy.

Grilling the chicken on a charcoal BBQ is an easy and delicious way to cook your meal. Now, let’s look at some great serving suggestions for your perfectly cooked chicken.

Key Takeaway: Grilling chicken on a charcoal bbq requires preparation and attention to detail: • Wash and season the chicken • Preheat grill to medium heat (350°F) • Brush oil onto grate & place chicken skin side down • Cook for 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until internal temp reaches 165°F.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled chicken is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal with minimal effort. It’s easy to prepare and can be cooked in just minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dinner option. But once you’ve grilled your chicken, what do you serve alongside it? Here are some suggestions for sides and sauces that will take your grilled chicken from good to great.

For side dishes, try roasted vegetables like carrots or potatoes. These can be cooked on the same grill as the chicken, so they’ll pick up all of those smoky flavours while still being crispy and tender. Or, if you’re looking for something lighter, try a simple green salad with vinaigrette dressing – this will add freshness and crunch without overpowering the flavour of the meat.

When it comes to sauces, there’s no shortage of options here, either. If you want something creamy and rich, go for an herbed yoghurt sauce or even pesto mayonnaise – both are delicious when paired with grilled chicken. Alternatively, why not whip up a quick salsa verde or chimichurri? Both offer plenty of zesty flavour that will really bring out the best in your dish.

Finally, don’t forget about condiments such as ketchup or mustard, which make great accompaniments too. Whether served cold or hot, these classics always hit the spot when added to any grilled dish – especially one featuring succulent pieces of juicy poultry like our beloved friend: Chicken.

FAQs in Relation to How to Cook Chicken on a Charcoal Bbq

How long does it take to cook chicken on a charcoal grill?

Cooking chicken on a charcoal grill can be done in as little as 10 minutes. The time it takes to cook the chicken depends on several factors, such as the size of the pieces and how hot your fire is. To ensure that your chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Before grilling, season or marinate your chicken for added flavour. Make sure you preheat the grill before adding any food, and keep an eye on it while cooking. Once cooked through, remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

How do you keep chicken moist on a charcoal grill?

Grilling chicken on a charcoal grill can be tricky, as it’s easy to dry out the meat. To keep your chicken moist and juicy, make sure you use indirect heat. Place the coals on one side of the grill and place your chicken on the other side, away from direct heat. Additionally, baste your chicken with oil or marinade while grilling to help lock in moisture. Finally, avoid overcooking by using a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F before serving.


With the right preparation, you can create juicy and flavorful dishes that will have your friends and family asking for seconds. Whether you’re grilling up some wings or roasting a whole bird, following these steps will ensure that your chicken comes out perfectly cooked every time. So fire up the grill, get creative with marinades and sauces, and enjoy cooking chicken on a charcoal bbq.

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