Properly grilled chicken is truly delicious—tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor and charred grill marks. But most of us have had our fair share of disappointments—if you're not careful, chicken can wind up dry and stringy. Luckily, we've got tried and true methods for the most flavorful, juicy chicken out there. See all 21 recipes in the list below!
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers With Pineapple and Teriyaki Sauce
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have a way of drying up on the grill, especially when they're cubed up and skewered. The solution? A brine and a wrapping of bacon, which bastes the chicken in pork fat as it cooks. Sweet, salty, fruity, smoky, meaty—say goodbye to the cardboard-like chicken that adorns flame-cooked skewers all too often.
Thai-Style Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)
Thai-style grilled chicken coated in a marinade flavored with cilantro, white pepper, and fish sauce is one of the tastiest things you'll ever pull off of your grill. Splitting the chicken in half and holding it steady with skewers makes it easy to flip and maneuver on the grill, and cooking it on the cool side of the grill before finishing it off on the hot side makes for a super moist chicken with crispy skin.
Grilled Chicken Under a Brick with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary
The concept of "chicken under a brick" involves a brick placed on top the bird to ensure an even cook and crisp skin. Cooking it on the grill instead of a pan makes for a smoky flavor and a golden-brown skin with the perfect level of crunch.
The Best Barbecue Chicken
How about impressing your Memorial Day guests with a whole barbecue chicken? Start with a very large bird—big enough that it can sit in the smoky environment of the closed grill for a good chunk of time to absorb flavor. Rub it down with a mixture of sugar, salt, and a few spices, and later follow up with a few coats of barbecue sauce. The result is a richly seasoned sweet-and-tangy chicken with deep smokiness and ultra-tender and juicy meat.
Smoky and Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs
A riff on tandoori-style chicken, these chicken kebabs are marinated with yogurt and lemon, with smoked and hot paprika in place of the more traditional Indian spice blend. Chicken thighs are used instead of breasts for juicier and more flavorful kebabs. They're different than traditional tandoori chicken, but equally delicious.
Buffalo Chicken Sausages
Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce and some added cayenne pepper are the secret to these homemade chicken sausages. Cubed chicken thighs are marinated in the sauce and ground together to fully incorporate the buffalo sauce into the meat. The buffalo chicken lovers among you will be in sausage heaven when these links come off the grill.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings
While you've got the grill going, it'd be shame not to throw on some wings. After an eight-hour rest in the fridge, these seasoned wings are grilled over indirect heat until blistered and crunchy, then tossed in a simple sauce of butter, Louisiana-style hot sauce, and Worcestershire. The highly seasoned skin gives them an earthy and spicy coating and the sauce has a complexity that goes beyond the standard Buffalo.
Planked Chicken Quarters With Lemon and Herb
Level up typical lemon and herb chicken with these extra flavorful planked chicken quarters. A few slashes are cut into the leg and thigh quarters to create ravines for the lemon and herb baste to sink into. The chicken is then brined and grilled over direct heat until the skin is crisped. Finally, the quarters rest on wood planks over indirect heat and are brushed with the baste, leaving you with a deliciously juicy, herby, and acidic dish.
"Keema" is a bit of catch-all in South Asian cooking for most ground meat mixtures. This Pakistani version combines ground chicken thighs with a fragrant mix of spices and grills it on skewers. It has a nice heat, but the pungent cumin and coriander still come through, as well as the sharp garlic and ginger and fresh cilantro.
Competition-Style Barbecue Chicken Thighs
For chicken that's competition-worthy, give you thighs a little love. Start with removing the chicken skins, trimming the thigh, then securing the skin back on. Next the chicken is given an injection with chicken broth, and coated in a white barbecue rub. Now it's time for the smoker, where the thighs rest with margarine and then agave. It's a lot to do at home, but this chicken is packed with real sweet, salty, smoky flavor.
Grilled Hoisin Glazed Chicken Wings
Sweet and salty, with a light Asian barbecue flavor, these wings are a nice departure from the standard Buffalo. Adding baking powder to the wings gives them a crunchy skin while they cook on the grill over indirect heat. The sauce is primarily a hoisin, honey, and soy sauce mixture, and forms a nice glaze when finished over direct heat.
Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken With Green Sauce
This Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken is basically a butterflied chicken with a vinegar and spice rub that gets slow-cooked on the grill, followed by a quick stay directly over the coals to crisp the skin. It comes out tender and juicy and goes perfectly with a simple spicy and creamy sauce made with jalapeños and aji amarillo peppers.
Marinate your bird in a mixture of spices and peppers before grilling them over a bed of bay leaves for nearly authentic and incredibly tasty jerk chicken. Note that Scotch bonnet peppers are extremely hot, so handle with caution. If they are unavailable, you can substitute habanero peppers.
Tandoor-Style Grilled Chickens or Cornish Hens
Tandoori chicken, at its best, is incomparably juicy, mildly spiced, with an intense hit of smoke. Make this classic Indian dish in your own backyard, starting with a small chicken, or even a cornish hen. Butterfly the bird, and marinate it for five hours before grilling and serving with naan.
Thai Chicken Satay
A flavorful appetizer or main dish that pairs earthy and bright spiced chicken with a creamy, spicy, and sweet sauce for a truly special chicken skewer. The sweet, pungent marinade for these chicken satays includes fish sauce, lemongrass, sugar, lime, and turmeric, which embeds the chicken with flavor even after a relatively short soak of only an hour. A peanut dipping sauce puts it over the top.
Roasted Garlic and Feta Chicken Sausage
Whether you're a seasoned sausage-making pro or new to the game, try this flavorful but subtle chicken sausage. Garlic and feta add most of the flavor, with shallots, oregano, vinegar, and lemon juice doing their part. It's a sausage that didn't overwhelm with too much flavor, letting the chicken gently meld with the garlic and getting a nice bite of sharp and salty feta here and there.
Grilled Butterflied Chicken
Eating a whole chicken cooked over a coal fire really is one of the tastiest ways to spend a summer evening. Grilling a butterflied chicken is a simple and delicious way to cook a whole bird in one foul (fowl?) swoop, and allows you to cook all of the meat through without drying out the breasts. Start your bird skin-side-up over indirect fire until nearly done before flipping it over onto the hot side of the grill and crisping up the skin.
Grilled Turmeric Chicken (Gai Yang Khamin)
For easy and quick chicken skewers with plenty of personality, grill up this Thai street food in your own backyard. Marinate your chicken thighs in a mixture of cilantro stems, peppercorns, coriander, garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, turmeric, and brown sugar. After an hour or two of marinating, take a quick trip the grill and serve with salad, rice, or grilled veggies.
The Best Juicy Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
The chicken breast is a very unforgiving meat, anything over its ideal temperature will almost immediately equate to drying out. Guarantee moist chicken breasts with a couple of important tips: pound the chicken to an even thickness for even cooking, and brine it for a mere 30 minutes to ensure juiciness. They only take a few minutes per side on high heat, so monitor the temperature closely and don't overcook.
Huli Huli Chicken
Using the traditional method of roasting then saucing a bird, this Hawaiian dish introduces a new set of flavors that is reminiscent of classic barbecue chicken, but takes it to exciting new places. The chicken gets a soak in a soy-sauce heavy brine before being smoke-roasted over a medium fire and coated with a pineapple juice-based glaze. The final product is smoky, juicy, fruity, sweet, and tangy.
Spicy Cumin Wings
Earthy cumin, ground Szechuan peppercorns, salt, and baking powder coats these whole wings while they air-dry in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, they are grilled to a crispy, and coated with a spicy soy glaze to create a multi-layered, uniquely flavored wing that pack enough heat to give your lips a little tingle, but not so much that it masks the cumin centerpiece.