5 Techniques for Great Grilled Chicken

Chicken is one of the most popular meats to grill, so here's a chicken grilling guide with five techniques that get it right every time.

Stacy Adimando and Tracey Seaman

Gas versus Charcoal Grill
Coral Von Zumwalt
4 Ways to Test for Doneness

1. Prick with a Knife
Jut the tip of a sharp paring knife into a juicy part of the chicken, such as its thigh joint. If the juices have a pink tint, keep cooking. The meat is safe to eat when the liquids run clear.
Good for: butterflied broilers, bone-in thighs, wings

2. Use a Thermometer
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, pressing it into the center of the flesh (do not hit bone). The meat is safe to eat at 165; take it off the grill when it registers 160 to account for carryover cooking.
Good for: whole chickens (check the temp in the breast or thigh meat), leg quarters

3. Poke with Your finger
Practice makes perfect with this no-tools-required technique. Using your index finger, tap the thickest area of the meat. If it springs back to your touch (and doesn't mush under your finger), chances are good it's cooked through.
Good for: boneless breasts, bone-in breasts, boneless thighs

4. Yank on a Joint
Grab the end of a leg with your fingers or a set of grilling tongs and tug it away from the body. When the joint separates easily, the chicken is ready.
Good for: whole chickens, butterflied broilers, leg quarters, wings

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