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need help with chicken on a gas grill

trolley Jul 10, 2011 09:01 PM

my husband just got a nice big weber gas grill with 3 burners. i'm elated since i love grilled foods but i'm having a rough time with foods sticking to the grill. i follow instructions on recipes but yet the food sticks. i'm also finding that the chicken isn't fully cooked yet, the outside burns.

tonight i made grilled skinless boneless chicken thighs. easy peasy, right? not for me as half of the chicken ended up sticking to the grill. this is how i'm going about grilling. i turn on the gas; wipe the grill with oil (i dip half an onion into olive oil and use that to spread the oil onto the grill); let it preheat to 500; put chicken on; close lid; wait 4-5 minutes; flip the chicken over( or whatever i can flip that isn't sticking) then wait another 5 minutes. what am i doing wrong? should i be oiling the grill after i preheat it?

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  1. l
    LauraGrace RE: trolley Jul 10, 2011 09:16 PM

    Yes, oil the grill after you preheat. And are you putting the chicken on dry, without any oil? I always lightly brush or spritz meat with oil before grilling.

    And if it's burnt on the outside but undercooked in the center -- forgive me if this seems too obvious, but turn the durn thing down! ;) With a gas grill like that you should be able to have two-zone heat easily, using one zone to sear and the other zone to finish.

    1. ipsedixit RE: trolley Jul 10, 2011 09:23 PM

      Oil the chicken. Not the grill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        2intune RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2011 02:51 PM

        Another point, and this applies equally to cooking a protein in a skillet -- don't be poking and lifting it up too soon. Meat and fish need to cook a bit before they are moved or turned. Once you see that the part in contact with the heat source has cooked through a bit, the meat will release more easily. Its hard to be patient when you think the food is sticking, but wait and you will be rewarded. Someone smarter than I can may be able to explain the chemistry, but I know this to be the case.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          darrentran87 RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2011 12:53 PM

          I oil both. I use a misto spray to spray the chicken but I also do lightly oil the grill with a towel just to season it. It is a cast iron grate afterall.

        2. j
          janniecooks RE: trolley Jul 11, 2011 01:33 AM

          Any oil you add before preheating the grill is completely burned off by the time the grill is hot, so don't bother doing that anymore. And, 500 degrees is too hot for poultry. Waaay too hot. And if you must do without the chicken skin, have you thought about leaving the skin on while cooking and removing it before consuming? That way, the skin is what may stick to the grill, not the flesh.

          As others here have mentioned, you need to oil the chicken and the grill. I usually use a marinade that has a healthy dose of olive oil. For oiling the grill I pour a bit of oil into a small bowl, like a custard cup, fold a paper towel into a strip as wide as the cup and then in thirds to fit into the cup, drop it in the oil, open up the third-folds and add more oil, turning to saturate. After the grill is preheated (to no more than 400 degrees) use tongs to wipe the towel over the grill grates, wait a minute, then oil again.

          As for cooking poultry on the weber gas grill (we have a three-burner genesis), I only use direct heat at the very end to crisp up the exterior. After preheating all three burners so the temp reads 400, I turn off the middle burner and reduce the heat on the other two burners to medium/medium-low) oil the grates and place the chicken skin-side up on the middle grates. For skin-on, bone-in chicken parts, I leave them that way with the lid closed, no turning, for about 35 to 40 minutes, monitoring the temperature so it stays just below 350 degrees. After about 40 minutes it's cooked perfectly with the skin nice and dry, so I turn up the front burner a bit and move the chicken skin-side down directly over the front burner to crisp it.

          For boneless skinless thighs, I'd guess you'd need about 20 minutes, maybe a bit more. You'll have to experiment, but whatever you do, turn down the heat and cook chicken over indirect heat.

          12 Replies
          1. re: janniecooks
            scubadoo97 RE: janniecooks Jul 12, 2011 03:30 PM

            Agreed an many points. I make sure the grill is scraped clean after preheating then turn off all but the back burners for indirect cooking and oil the grates several times. The meat is also oiled.

            I would cook BSCT on an indirect heat until they were at about 175*-180, cooking the majority of the time on the bone side. For skin on I for sure do most of the cooking with skin up and finish on the skin side but you still have to watch for flare ups if there is any active flame near where the skin will melt.

            1. re: scubadoo97
              Nyleve RE: scubadoo97 Jul 12, 2011 05:15 PM

              Biscuits? Bannock? Blascots? What?

              Don't mean to be snarky here but sometimes only the writer really gets the acronym. Take an extra 10 seconds and please write out the words - it would be ever so helpful. Thanks.

              1. re: Nyleve
                jjjrfoodie RE: Nyleve Jul 12, 2011 05:21 PM

                Boneless skinless chicken thighs.

                See OP.


                BTW, I like my snark cooked medium with a side of creamed spinach and a jacket potato.

                -Grill is too hot
                -Oil chix but you can oil grill grate right before chix goes on
                -Don't move chix until crust has been formed. Then turn
                -Cook to 165 F

                1. re: jjjrfoodie
                  Nyleve RE: jjjrfoodie Jul 12, 2011 06:09 PM

                  He he he. Medium snark is the BEST.

                  But KTHXBYE? Nobody eats that anymore.

                  1. re: Nyleve
                    trolley RE: Nyleve Jul 12, 2011 09:24 PM

                    ...so my KTHXBYE always comes out burnt on the outside and raw in the middle....heheh...just can't resist.

                    i don't get this indirect heat thing. i get that it's like convection oven but why do most recipes then call for direct heat?

                    1. re: trolley
                      Philly Ray RE: trolley Jul 13, 2011 06:43 AM

                      If your chicken is not skinless, you can crisp up the skin by putting it over direct heat for the last 10 minutes or so.

                      1. re: trolley
                        jjjrfoodie RE: trolley Jul 13, 2011 12:56 PM

                        "i don't get this indirect heat thing. i get that it's like convection oven but why do most recipes then call for direct heat?"


                        No different than pan frying a very thick steak on the stove and then putting it in the oven to finish.

                        The initial blast of high heat on each surface is meant to sear and brown the skin (or flesh in this matter) to develop flavor depth and crunch. If left on that high heat for teh duration you will eventually burn the outside by the time the inside is cooked thru. Hence the need to move to a lower temp. regulated area of the grill for even cooking to the proper temp.

                        Since the crust is set and hopefully yummy, the likely hood of burning is close to nil in a cooler cook zone if using this process. For thin items like burgers or thin cut chops, the middle is cooked to desired doneness usually after both sides are browned, With thick cuts, not so much.

                        But as pointed out, the process can be done on the front end or back end. It's the chefs choice, but one I;d experiment with both ways before choosing which is best for BSCT. (hehehe-sorry)

                        1. re: jjjrfoodie
                          trolley RE: jjjrfoodie Jul 13, 2011 02:14 PM

                          well, i don't have a front or the back end (Weber Genesis). yes, i technically do but it won't make a difference since i have 3 burners side by side. or are you guys talking about something else that i'm not aware of? i'm a super novice to grilling (could you guess?) as i've never owned a grill before.

                          so i'd probably turn the middle one off and leave the other two on. so the next time i get BSCT that's what i'll try. i was just afraid of overcooking. i'm trying to get is BCT b/c i really like the skin. they sometimes have it at the japanese market or even easier, i'll have the butcher debone it.

                          1. re: trolley
                            Bada Bing RE: trolley Jul 13, 2011 02:23 PM

                            Sounds as if you have a newer Weber. They recently changed their burner orientation: before the burners ran side-to-side; now they run front-to-back. I have the older style. Your manual should give instructions about indirect grilling with your model. Is it possible to turn off just the middle burner? That would be my first thought...

                  2. re: Nyleve
                    Deborah RE: Nyleve Jul 12, 2011 08:54 PM

                    Nyleve: thank-you!

                    1. re: Deborah
                      Nyleve RE: Deborah Jul 13, 2011 06:33 AM

                      YW (you're welcome)

                2. re: janniecooks
                  Bada Bing RE: janniecooks Jul 12, 2011 04:35 PM

                  I second ALL these points. Took the words out of my mouth.

                3. danna RE: trolley Jul 13, 2011 12:04 PM

                  You've gotten a lot of good advice here . I just wanted to share that for some unknown reason, when I got my big new weber gas grill last year, for the first few cookings, the chicken seemed to get dark grill marks while the rest of the meat was pale and uncooked. This went away after a while. something to do w/ the grates not being shiny anymore?

                  Anyhow, I grill my chicken with the skin off, no problems. Coat the chix in a little oil, don't try to flip too soon.

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