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looking for the right temperature for drumsticks on gas grill

i made drumsticks on my Weber gas grill last night. I started off at a high heat and seared the outside. then i turned the flame to low for all 3 burners and grilled for 20 minutes. then i turned with top down again for another 20 until internal temp reached 170.

my problem is that the drumsticks were still burnt on the outside. the meat was great but i'd rather limit my carcinogens as much as possible especially for my child. i peeled the burnt parts off but ideally i'd like to serve the meat as is.

i noticed the grill temp reached to about 400-450. should i have turned off the middle burner?

i did marinate the meat before hand but i rinsed the marinade off and patted the meat dry.

any suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. Yes, I've found that I always have to go indirect heat on all my Webers with chicken or else they'll burn. Burners off under the bird but then you could even have the other burners on High.

    This can make it a bit difficult when you have a lot of food and the entire cooking grate is covered.

    1. I like to cook drumstick over low heat for a long time. A lot of the fat renders and drips off, which leaves you with juicy but not greasy meat. You end up with crisp, but not charred, skin.

      8 Replies
      1. re: katecm

        well, that's what i tried to do but came out charred so hence my question. my burners were set to the lowest and still burnt. i'm going to try to turn the middle burner off next time and grill on that portion.

        1. re: trolley

          Yes, lower the burners, turn off one, and grill indirectly. I wouldn't do it at 400-450, but more like 350.

          1. re: wyogal

            And I also wouldn't start on the high heat. They really don't need it. They'll be great next time!

            1. re: katecm

              ii feel like that's another issue that may have contributed to the high heat. i feel like once i turned it up it wasn't able to recover and lower the temp even at low heat. my grill is also in direct heat from the sun around dinner time (4-5pm, i know, early but i have a 3 yr old) and maybe it was just hot from everything. i opened to top to regulate the heat a couple of times it started to reach 450.

              1. re: trolley

                Can you not just turn down the gas instead of opening the lid?

                1. re: wyogal

                  as i mentioned, the gas was all the way down. to the lowest of the lowest.

                  1. re: trolley

                    Then yes, turn off one of the burners next time.

          2. re: trolley

            Don't sear. And keep it moving.

        2. I've had 2 friends this summer mention that before they grill chicken with bones, they boil first. Haven't tried it myself but sounds like a possible solution.

          4 Replies
          1. re: geminigirl

            I do that with country style ribs, simmer in seasoned water (sometimes beer), then finish on the grill.

            1. re: geminigirl

              If I'm grilling bone in chicken, I'm chicken about getting it done. I throw it into the crock pot for a few hours beforehand. I don't know if its quite as good this way but fool proof. I then just grill on medium medium low for about 10 minutes to crisp up the skin.

              1. re: geminigirl

                To me, that's stock making, leaving flavor behind and not in the chicken.

                1. re: mcf

                  I did not use any added water, so I rendered out a lot of grease and I'm sure some flavor, but ends up delicious and tender. When I make stock I add water and the chicken ends up basically flavorless.

                  Maybe not the best way, but good.

              2. I used direct low heat for chicken on my Weber Genesis. And frequent turning and moving around to avoid flameups. I get beautiful crust, no char and juicy chicken, whether it's a skinless breast (bleah) or whole, spatchcockd bird.

                1. An initial sear for grilled chicken does nothing of value for the ultimate result. Chicken on the grill, regardless of the fuel, should always be cooked indirectly and basically roasted until it hits around 145 to 150 degrees. It can then be moved to sit directly over the heat source to crisp the skin and sauced when finished (if you want to burn the sauce a bit, sauce and leave over direct heat for half a minute or so per side). It's a very simple technique, but it's also almost foolproof.

                  The temperature in the grill only affects how long the roasting stage will take. A 400 degree grill should get drumsticks ready to finish in about a half hour.

                  Boiling chicken first simply takes away some of the fat and flavor. I cannot condone such an approach.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    I have to disagree; one of the best dishes I've ever made on the grill is from Ann Burrell, not the grilling technique, which I've used with great success, though I use medium low after the initial step. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                    By using a lower direct heat, you get luscious carmelization that lower and slower produces, not baked and then seared chicken.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Anne Burrell kinda grosses me out, so that recipe is new to me. I am confident, however, that it would be better indirectly grilled with maple wood, some thick rosemary stems, and briquettes for thirty minutes before placing over the heat. I've never mentioned baked and seared, just how much more forgiving indirect grilling is to direct when it comes to chicken.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Yeah, I don't like her vibe, a lot of her recipes have errors in them, but the ones I've used have rocked, like this one, a big time favorite, and doing it indoors off the grill is a total disservice to it, it really needs the direct heat.

                        To me, indirect heat is baking, not grilling, if you do it the whole way.

                        You should try it as written. But most importantly, there is no reason to believe that "Chicken on the grill, regardless of the fuel, should always be cooked indirectly and basically roasted until it hits around 145 to 150 degrees."

                        I always cook chicken directly, usually on low. I do it at least a couple of times a week for much of the year with much success, and with chicken, I never use indirect heat.