24 answers

Advice on How Not to Burn Chicken on the Grill?

Love chicken, can't grill it?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi M.,

My husband loves to grill. He likes to marinate the chicken to add flavor. Use whatever marinade flavors you like. The secret to cooking chicken is cook it longer over lower heat. Marinades help hold in the juices. Good Luck!

Mom of 3 boys (10,7,4)

The first question I have, is the chicken frozen or thawed? If it is thawed try putting the chicken on first and do not put it drictely over the flame. Or my mom boils it first then cooks it.

More Answers

Hi M. ~

After years of cooking, I've found the best way to cook chicken on the grill is to first rinse the chicken very thoroughly in cold water.

Put the pieces into a large leakproof zip-loc type bag, and pour Italian dressing into the bag until all pieces are well coated.

Let it sit for as long as you want, but at least 1 hour before cooking (in the refrigerator).

Use a medium heat (too hot causes flame-ups) and cook the chicken until it tears away from the bone with a fork. Probably 30 minutes each side for cooking time.

If you use charcoal, be patient and wait for the coals to turn white before starting the chicken.

We've never had 'dried out' chicken since I've been cooking it this way....it browns on the outside and stays juicy inside, and the dressing doesn't really change the flavor! You can still add barbeque sauce the last 15 minutes if you want. Good luck!


Hi M.,

The key is to slow-cook it. Heat the grill only to a temperature of about 300 degrees. Then turn the burners to medium-low or even turn one off if you have 3 or more burners (the rest on medium). Put the chicken on skin-side UP first, with the lid closed. If it has bones in it, it will take much longer to cook than boneless breasts. (total of 45-55 minutes for bone-in, 20-25 for boneless). Turn it over about halfway through the cook time, and try to keep the temp steady around 300. Also check for flames (caused by oil dripping on the burners). Move the chicken away from flames if they appear. Good luck! A.

I suggest letting the charcoal start to ash first and the put the chicken on the grill. Dont't put the chicken directly on the flames. Chicken is tricky to cook. I hope this works. Good Luck, V.

Hello M.:

Chicken can be difficult on the grill....especially if it's greasy, it will start a fire! If it's a whole chicken keep your grill as low as it will go and check often. Otherwise just get chicken breasts and marinade.....less grease and taste better.


Get a man!!
No seriously, don't have the flames too high, don't cook the chicken over a real hot fire.
Best to marinate the chicken overnigt or a few hours seems to make it more tender, and you don't have seared outside and red inside.
I used to boil the chicken till nearly cooked before putting it on the grill, but I lke the marinating better.
Hope this helps..J.

Hi there,

It sounds like the fire is too hot and too high. Use less charcoal and don't let it burn so long before adding the chicken.

Also, you can marinade the chicken overnight which should keep it nice and moist.

You can practice in your oven's broiler before transitioning to the grill. Sometimes it's easier if you are working with a controlled temperature.

Practice, practice, practice!

Check out http://www.allrecipes.com for great, easy recipes.

Sorry I don't really have any earth-shattering advice.
I would make sure the fire is not too hot. Keep a close eye on the meat, should only need about 4-5 minutes per side for boneless chicken breasts. Maybe use a heavy duty foil? Good luck!

I am the grillmaster! First turn the heat down. keep at about med.-or low fire for gas - for charcoal about four hand fulls. make sure grill is clean. You don't want your chicken right on the fire. About 2-3 inches from fire. On your first turn of your chicken if it sticks then its not ready to be turned. then repeat turn. till inside is cook and outside is brown.
Hope this helps

What I ususally do now since I also had that problem before was to cook the chicken in water on the stovetop first then once it cooked put my seasonings( whether just spices or BBQ) and brown it on t he grill. That way you get the good flavor of the grill and you lnow it is cooked all the way. I don't have anymore problems anymore. Good luck and happy grilling!

Hi, M., This is a recipe I won first place with in a National Competition. You can make this chicken and grill it too. What I do is keep the grill about med heat and keep the lid closed that is very important. I just walk away and let it cook itself never checking it. Keep the lid closed with this recipe. I dont use foil I have a gas grill. Takes 1 hour and about 20 minutes on the grill. Oh the grill rack needs to be clean. Hope this helps..B. :) Copy and paste this web address in your address browser. Check out my recipe.


Ok is this gas or charcol grill? If it is a gas then make sure it is as low flame possible and just barely open the tank, don't open full force. I usually start with the meatiest side down first since it takes a while for the juices to start dripping which is what causes the flare ups. If it is gas grill then when the flare ups start then maybe turn one side off and place the chicken over there for a while so it kinda bakes a bit. Do not put the BBQ on untill the meat is done or extrememly close. The sauces also cause the flare ups. But the main thing when the juices start dripping is to keep a water bottle to squirt any flare ups and keep turning them and moving them away from the flare up spots. I know on mine I have certain areas that flare up worse. On a charcole grill put the most briquettes in the middle and arrange the pieces around and just keep the cover closed and listen for the flare ups and watch for excessive smoke. Hope this helps.

Hi M.,

My husband loves to grill. He likes to marinate the chicken to add flavor. Use whatever marinade flavors you like. The secret to cooking chicken is cook it longer over lower heat. Marinades help hold in the juices. Good Luck!

Mom of 3 boys (10,7,4)

2 suggestions:

I hate to cook chicken because I am afraid it is never done enough...however, my family loves it too.

1. try boiling it first then grilling. boiled chicken is really good (and I think good for you too) plus you get the grilled taste. yummy!

2. I always grill chicken on lowest heat possible, top rack. keep turning it every few minutes and keep water on it, not butter b/c butter tends to burn.

Indirect heat! If you have a gas grill, start by lighting all the burners and keeping them at high to get real hot. Then turn down (to medium)the burner for just under the chicken. Putthe meat on to sear it (cook the outside fast). You will see grill marks, Do this for both sides. Then to finish cooking the chicken, turn off the burner and close the lid. All the while the other burners should be on high to keep the grill warm, This creates an effect much like on oven. You can do a lot on your grill. Next time use this same method for pizza! Good Luck!

M. - Whether you use a gas grill or charcoal the best way to cook chicken is with indirect heat. It you have a gas grill the best thing is to put the chicken in the middle and turn of the middle burner and keep the outside burner on medium. Turn the chicken in 8-10 minutes, the edges of the chicken should start to turn opaque. If you have a charcoal grill place charcoal on the outside edges and cook chicken in the middle. Also spraying chicken with Pam also is a good way of preventing the chicken from sticking.

Good luck.

Maybe a lower temp??

Hi M.,

I boil my chicken first before I put it on the grill. Then it only needs a short time on the grill. Then I brush some barbeque sauce on it and it's done. This will prevent it from burning because you don't need to cook it on the grill, it's already cooked from boiling. Hope that helps.

A. M.

The first question I have, is the chicken frozen or thawed? If it is thawed try putting the chicken on first and do not put it drictely over the flame. Or my mom boils it first then cooks it.

you sound like me when i frist started to grill... i burnt anything and everything. ive use gas ive let it warm up and turn the flames as low as i can. then i watch the food and if it seems to start to burn and its not done i move it up on the racks. good luck with cooking as everyone knows grilling is awsome!!!!!

Hi M. i cook bbq chicken on the grill all the time i do wrap it in tin foil, but the fire has to be on low to medium ot just medium or the fire flares up and it does burn, also cant put on the foil directly on the flam, keep off to the side a little...hope this helps..


YOu can try spraying PAM on the grill before you light it. I believe they now also have non-stick spray designed especially for grills. Sometimes, it just sticks & you just need to watch it & turn it more frequently. Make sure your flame is not too high too. Hope this helps!

My husband and I are finally mastering the chicken breast on the grill after many bad ones!
I pound the breast so it is all one thickness, use plastic wrap and pound with rolling pin. Then a little olive oil (and add a rub here or dressing for some flavor), for non-stickness, then light the grill (gas one burner only, charcoal, coals to one side) then cook on side without heat. Indirect is best, and cook slowwwww....about 15-20 minutes, that puppy will be nice and juicy! It is cooked though when all the chicken is white, not pinkish. Good Luck!

Hi, M. it sounds like your fire is too high. If you are using charcoal make sure they are burning and turning white. It sounds like that your fire is flaming too high. Sometimes you may neeed a squirt bottle with water to use in case flames continue to burn your meat. Good Luck!

Try putting the charcoal off to one side of the grill before you light it and then once it's hot put the chicken off to the other side so it's not directly above the heat the hot coals. Then put the lid on and it becomes like an oven. If it still burns then you have too many coals in there and try fewer next time. You can also spray the coals with water if they seem to be too hot. I hope this helps!

Good luck,


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