There are many different ways to grill chicken. As you know, chicken is one of the most cost-effective and versatile proteins you can buy.
You can make lean chicken breasts, juicy thighs, and drumsticks, or roast a whole bird on the grill. In fact, there are so many ways to prepare grilled chicken that you might not know where to begin!
If you’re seeing ideas about ways to grill chicken, this guide will get you moving in the right direction! Here are seven different ways to grill chicken, ranging from stupidly simple to exotic and impressive.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Some Key Winners
Ways to Grill Chicken: Marinated It
A great technique for grilling chicken that allows you to play with different flavor combinations and adds the convenience of prepping the bird ahead of time, marinating just means placing your chicken in a flavorful liquid and allowing it to soak prior to cooking.
For the best results, you should plan to let your chicken sit overnight.
The acids in your marinade will make the chicken tender and imbue it with flavors like citrus, honey mustard or something else entirely — the possibilities are plentiful. Plus, you can have fun playing around with new flavor combinations.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Use a Dry Brine or Rub
Using a spice rub or “dry brine” is a popular way to season chicken for grilling. But don’t just get your mitts out and start massaging the bird.
Think of a rub as a dry marinade. It’s a combination of dry spices that you apply by hand to your chicken before it goes on the grill.
Binging with Babish has a nice video outlining why he uses the dry brine process here:
Rubs are usually made from a combination of herbs, salts, and spices. You can pick up some great ones that come pre-mixed, or have a fun time creating your own concoction.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Pound it Out!
Maybe you don’t want to mess around with a whole chicken. In this case, grilled chicken tenders or grilled chicken breasts are a good option.
You’ve probably seen a breaded, thin piece of chicken served on a sandwich. How’d it get that way? It was pounded, creating a thin, tender piece of chicken.
You can tenderize your chicken by placing it in a baggie and pounding it with a meat mallet. Don’t have a meat mallet? No problem. A rolling pin will do nicely! Just be careful not to break the bag!
This technique is a good example of how many of the different ways to grill chicken can be mixed-and-matched to create something exceptional.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Get Your Kabob On!
Whether it’s rubbed, marinated or pounded, chicken tastes great when it’s skewered and paired with grilled fruits, veggies or even other proteins. Kabobs are a great way to create fun flavor combinations. Just remember to consider cook time for different ingredients when you match them up.
For example, chicken will need to be sliced thin if you’re planning to pair it with fast-cooking shrimp and pineapple. Of course, there’s no reason you can’t skewer your chicken all by itself.
You can even use this technique to create Mediterranean-style chicken-on-a-stick, without all the hassle of considering cooking times.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Spatchcock It
If you want to cut back on cook time, this fun-to-say method is fast and results in beautifully browned, moist chicken. It’s a go-to for a lot of restaurant chefs when a whole chicken is on the docket.
Though the video below features roasted chicken, the spatchcock method J. Kenji López-Alt uses here gives you a nice visual on how the process is done.
As you can see in the video above, “spatchcocking” a chicken is just another word for butterflying it. You make three cuts, allowing you to remove the backbone and break the breastbone of the chicken and create the “butterfly” appearance. Since more of the skin is exposed to heat, the chicken renders beautifully and cooks to a crispy, juicy finish more quickly.
Ways to Grill Chicken: Hit the Bricks
If you’re sick of how long it takes to grill chicken, this technique produces the crispy skin and tender meat you’re looking for in a little under an hour when done correctly.
Malcom Reed over at How to BBQ Right has a trusted method of using the Brick Chicken method. Take a look…
After rubbing a chicken down with your favorite herbs and spices, prepare your grill for indirect heat and wrap two bricks in foil.
You can use an oven-safe pan to balance the bricks if you have one, but as long as they’re foil-wrapped, it’s safe to place the bricks directly on the spatchcocked bird. After about 25 minutes, flip and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Boom, there you have it! Brick chicken!
Ways to Grill Chicken: Crack Open a Cold One!
Of all the different ways to grill chicken, Beer Can Chicken is perhaps the most legendary — and easily one of the most creative. Its cult following may come from the fact that, to prepare this chicken, you have to drink beer.
Take a look a Sam the Cooking Guy’s approach to this endeavor:
Specifically, you have to drink half a beer from a can. Leave the rest and use snips or a can opener to remove the top of the can, which you’ll use to prop the seasoned chicken up on the grill. Place a drip tray beneath and allow the bird to drink up for about an hour. The result is a beer-steamed, juicy chicken that you never once have to flip.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Grill Chicken
There’s a reason why we say things “taste like chicken.” It’s because chicken is a staple food that we’ve all enjoyed thanks to its versatile nature and abundance. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean that chicken can’t be extraordinary.
Try a few of these techniques and you may come away with delicious chicken you’ll be making from memory for years to come.