Already have an account?
Get back to the
How to Grill

How to Grill Chicken So It’s Juicier and More Flavorful To Serve at Your Next BBQ


Grilled chicken is a crowd favorite at any summer BBQ. The super juicy and delicious flavor is hard to beat — if cooked properly. Luckily, these five cooking tips will teach you how to grill the tastiest chicken all summer long!

What cut of chicken is best for grilling?

The first thing you should think about is the cut of chicken you’re going to grill. From wings to drumsticks, there’s no shortage of tasty options. However, according to food writer Sara Tane, you’re better off going with chicken thighs. They are not only cheaper than breasts, they come from a fattier part of the chicken that makes them more flavorful and less likely to dry during the cooking process.

It’s up to you whether you prefer bone-in or boneless chicken thighs and if you want to remove the skin or not. Just remember, keeping the bone in means it’ll take a little longer to cook on the grill. Either way, thighs are the clear winner when grilling chicken.

Do you need to marinate chicken before grilling?

Now it’s time to figure out how you’ll jazz up the chicken beyond just salt and pepper. Marinating it beforehand is a foolproof way to ensure delighftully tender results, but you don’t need to go searching through a bunch of different marinade recipes. The best option is probably already in your pantry right now: salad dressing.

This clever tip comes from and it actually makes a lot of sense considering dressing has oil, vinegar, and seasonings. It takes out all of the guesswork of figuring flavorings.

They suggest using Italian dressing like Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (Buy from Walmart, $2.24) to infuse the chicken with a garlic and herb flavor. But, feel free to use any version of an oil-based dressing you have on hand.

How long should you marinate chicken in the fridge?

Follow a one-to-one ratio with one 16 ounce bottle of dressing to every one pound of chicken. Place the chicken thighs in a plastic bag, pour in the dressing, seal the bag, and gently mix the two together. Allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least four hours, but no longer than overnight or else the chicken might become tough and chewy.

How long do you need to cook chicken thighs on the grill?

Let your chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before they hit the grill to help them heat evenly. Boneless chicken thighs need to cook for about five or six minutes per side; bone-in chicken thighs need around eight to 10 minutes per side.

Be sure to check that the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, a clear sign they’re done and dinner’s almost ready. You can also insert a fork or small knife into one of the thighs and if there’s only clear juices running out of the meat then it’s fully cooked.

How long should you let chicken rest after grilling?

Although it’s tempting to dig in while the chicken’s still piping hot, the USDA recommends allowing the meat to rest for at least three minutes. This destroys any harmful bacteria and redistributes the juices throughout the meat so that the chicken stays moist, which will pay off when you take that first mouthwatering bite.

A little bit of prep work and planning will go a long way if you’re looking to make the best grilled chicken, so get ready to impress your guests at your next BBQ!

Looking for other grilling tips? Check out these stories:

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.