One of the most intimidating challenges a griller may face is figuring out how to keep chicken moist. Of course, you never want to undercook chicken. Underdone poultry could potentially expose you and your guests to harmful bacteria such as salmonella. On the other hand, overcooked chicken is dry and tough to swallow – basically, you wasted a great slab of meat. Here at BBQ Island, we’ve undertaken years of experimenting with the best ways to keep your chicken moist, and we think we’ve found the solution.
Prepare the Grill
First and foremost, it’s important to work with a clean surface so the chicken won’t stick. Start by heating up your BBQ Island grill and scrubbing the surface using a wire grill brush. If you don’t have a wire brush handy, you can substitute tongs and crumpled aluminum foil or newspaper. Once you’ve scrubbed the grates, run a wet paper towel over the surface to pick up any leftover dirt and grime.
Next, you’ll want to make sure your grates are lubricated. Use tongs to carefully rub an oil-soaked paper towel across the grates to create a light covering. Once your grill is clean and oiled, it’s time to turn up the heat! But don’t put your chicken on just yet. If you’re using a gas grill, preheat for about 10 minutes to reach high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, preheat for about 30 minutes before placing your chicken on the grate.
Flavor it Up
Once you’ve prepared your grill, it’s time to focus on flavoring the meat. Wet marinades, dry rubs, and brine solutions add flavor, and help to retain moisture. Whether you’re using a citrusy vinaigrette or a spicy herb mixture, we recommend letting your chicken marinate for a few minutes before you set it on the grill. If you prefer a BBQ sauce or glaze, wait until your chicken is nearly done. Paint on a fresh coat of your favorite sauce about 2 – 3 minutes before the timer is up, so your chicken doesn’t dry out.
Pound it Out
A large, juicy boneless chicken breast is great for baking, but less ideal for grilling. The key to moist chicken is to pound the cutlet out evenly to about ¾ of an inch thick before it even touches the grates. Thin slices of chicken breast tend to cook more evenly. Flattening chicken breasts also reduces cook time, giving your meat less of a chance to dry out. For best results, place chicken into a large Ziploc bag and use a meat pounder to evenly distribute the meat from the center to the edges.
If you have any additional tips on grilling chicken, we’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment in the section below. For help finding the perfect grill, tools, and appliances give BBQ Island a call at 877-474-5669 or visit our website to browse our selection.