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Jun 2, 2012 10:25 AM

questions on marinating and barbecuing chicken

Hi all,

I have recently been learning to cook, and tomorrow I plan on tackling barbecued chiken. I do have a couple of quesitons I can't seem to find the answers to:

I will be marinating the chicken in one of those Lawlawrys 30 minute marinades (tuscan sun dried tomato). After I marinate the chicken and remove it from the bag, do I pat it dry with paper towels to wipe off the excess marinate (I'm pretty sure i read that somewhere, but of course, I can't find it now - LOL).

After I dry it, is that when i let it sit out at room temperatrue before putting it on the grill?

Can someone walk me through all this?



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  1. IMO marinating (any meat) is mostly a waste of time and resources....unless you don't like the taste of the meat you have. However...do as you wish.

    Never take wet meat to the fire..(dry it off) The meat want sear/brown/etc properly.

    Letting the meat sit at room temp for an hour or two is OK....Just don't stretch it out too long.

    Have Fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Uncle Bob

      I so disagree. Dry rubs and marinades can really enhance, not cover up good meaty flavor. That's like saying one should only season foods one hates. Why would we eat those at all, in the first place??

    2. I love marinating and grilling chicken. I blot before cooking, bring it to room temp or just let it sit out half an hour if it's warm weather, windows open. Most marinades have (too much, IMO) sugar, which will burn and blacken the whole thing if you grill on anything other than low heat. Plus, the best way to get a nice, carmelized and crispy skin is long, slow grilling, I've found. I make sure to oil the grill grates and the chicken, cook on low and making sure that there isn't enough oil or fat dripping to cause the flames to flare up and char it all to hell. With chicken on the grill, you want to go slow so you get a nicely cooked meal without acrid, bitter, blackened char.

      5 Replies
        1. re: 1POINT21GW

          Thanks for the tips. Tonight I am making hamburgers on the bbq. They are preformed patties (in the furture I will get ground beef and make my own patties), what can I add to them to spice them a little? I think thinking of maybe a little garlic powder or onion powder, black pepper. Someone had suggested mixing a little onion soup mix with water and using that. If i go that route, I gues I would add that as the burgers are cooking, so as not to put wet patties on the grill?

          1. re: Aticineto

            Yep, your initial thoughts are very good: salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder (not much of the last two things).

            Keeping it even simpler, and possibly yielding a better product, you could simply do salt and pepper.

            1. re: Aticineto

              everyone has their own methods - I like to mix chopped meat with LOTS of garlic powder, finely minced fresh onion(generally done in a mini-food processor), ketchup, worcestershire, some water, sometimes breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. I form them and let them sit in the fridge to get solid. also oil the grill.

              1. re: smilingal

                i decided the last time (memorial day) i made the burgers they were a bit too moist - so this past weekend i made them sans the water and the onion mush (used onion powder instead) - and no breadcrumbs - and they were terrific!

        2. Not all marinating involves strong flavors. It's about texture and moistness also. I think most chicken can benefit from soaking a few hours or overnight in buttermilk or salted milk. Or even water with salt and maybe a little sugar (technically that's brining, not marinating, but it still amounts to a better result). On thing to remember- stronger marinades require a shorter soak time, or you risk ruining the texture of your meat.

          As for the burgers, preformed ones are likely to be made from poor quality meat. I don't recommend trying to season them much before grilling, but you might think about some good cheese and an extra tasty condiment for afterward. Maybe guacamole and salsa, or sour cream with horseradish & dill, or smoky chipotle mayo. Or a nice garlicky aioli.

          When you get around to making your own burgers, then you can season them before they're formed if you like. But adding a lot of seasoning can take away from the taste of the meat, as has been pointed out. I've found a splash or two of Worcestershire can help with flavor and with juiciness. Some even recommend adding a little water for moistness that doesn't alter the taste at all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eclecticsynergy

            Brining, yes, really improves flavor and moisture retention! I don't add stuff to the outside of preformed burgers, either. Typically, I grind my own from grass fed flank steak so I'll be comfortable eating it less than well done safely. Occasionally I'll salt and pepper the mixture, but I think a good burger with plenty of toppings is better than messed with good burger meat, too.

          2. The best grilled chicken that I ever made was cooked on the "warming rack" of the gas grill, on low heat, for about 25 minutes, with the lid closed. Bone-in chicken breasts were never so tender and tasty--who knew???

            4 Replies
            1. re: KSlink

              I'm glad you mentioned that. That reminds me of a way I had chicken breasts one time that was surprisingly very good: marinated in Italian dressing then grilled. I know it might sound odd, but trust me, just try it.

              Regardless of how or if you (Aticineto) marinate the chicken, I think the number one thing you can do to turn out fantastic chicken is to not overcook it. Pull the chicken breasts at an internal temperature of 150 degrees F and no later. Rest them for 5 - 10 minutes, then eat them.

              Chicken naturally has enough juices in it that it does not need help from a brine or marinade to be juicy as long as the chicken is not overcooked. There's nothing wrong with brining or marinating the chicken, I'm just saying that it's not necessary for very moist meat.

              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                I've had the grilled chicken marinated in Italian dressing and agree that it is good.

                Saw a recipe in the Southern Living magazine in the past year or two that called for marinating chicken in buttermilk overnight and then grilling it. I guess everybody has heard of the buttermilk for fried chicken but I had not for grilling. Going to give it a try.

                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  I cook chicken to a hotter temp than 150, but never til dry inside. DH eats the white meat, and he can't handle any pink anywhere.

                2. re: KSlink

                  Yep, even boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are the most depressing food ever, come out juicy and with a nice crust after marinating and grilling slowly...

                3. I use this recipe - which is always a winner for traditional BBQ sauced chicken. I feel the overnight brining always gives a juicy product. I make all parts(except wings), bone in, with skin. Everyone loves this!