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Apr 26, 2013 04:47 PM

Need moist chicken grilling secrets

The Chowhound community really stepped up to the plate when I put out the call re: juicy burgers, so my wife asked if a few of you would help out with revealing chicken secrets, too!

Here's the deal. Trying to grill white chicken meat (with bone) is a toss up- sometimes a few pieces come off the grill moist, sometimes most of it is tough and dry. We love to grill, we love chicken, but we need more assurance we know what we are doing to get moist results. My wife leaned over my shoulder a moment ago and said, "we need more information, not assurance!"
No pressure, but we're grilling chicken for ten people tomorrow night and we'd like to stay friends with all of them.
Thanks again.

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  1. Brining is your friend:

    Experiment with different flavorings in addition to the basic recipe above. I add a little soy sauce and a little dry sherry to my brine.

    1. I grill bone in chicken thighs all the time. I know they aren't white meat, but they are very forgiving on the grill and always come out moist for me.

      I sear them for about 5 minutes on each side on direct medium heat, then I turn off the middle burner and indirect grill them for about 30 minutes (or more depending on the size).

      At the end I put them over direct heat for a few minutes if I need to crisp up the skin.

      1. Buy the smallest breast you can find. (Good luck with that)
        Brine in a basic brine
        Do not over cook!


        2 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          We grilled our chicken, as planned and posted to y'all. We brined chicken breasts overnight in the kosher salt water- brown sugar brine. Then we got up this a.m. and brined the chicken legs in a second batch of brine. My wife had legs, I had breasts. She said the legs were moist. I have to report that the breasts were still a little dry. Tasty, and very acceptable to share with guests, but maybe a little dry. I may have left them on the grill too long? We got some compliments from the guests and it was a fun evening all around, though.
          Brining: Worth trying again. If CDouglas says "brining is your friend," then I have to let the friendship grow over time. I didn't take the chicken's internal temp tonight, woodburner. Some of those breast pieces were small- I hope the product you recommended is a tiny thing for future purchase.
          Thanks again,
          Florida Hound

          1. re: Florida Hound

            Gotta use a thermometer... it can be a $5 probe with a dial instead of digital, from the supermarket, but that's the key to pull chicken off while its still moist...

        2. Brining is great, but I think you need to watch the chicken's internal temp. They say 160-165 is done. Yeah... plenty done. But if you do it a few degrees less, you'll have moist breasts, So,,, the tip... use an accurate, digital probe thermo, and pull each breast off when the center temp reaches 150. It will climb furhter after it comes off. And they're not all done at the same time. Do this, you have moist white meat. Is it your birthday? Get a Thermapen. Yeah, its 90 bucks... but its accurate and super fast. Don't immerse to clean, and get water in the metal-plastic joint... just wash the metal probe. Good luck.

          1. I'm not as enamored with brining as many. I feel it adversely affects the texture of the flesh. Personally, I think the secret to grillin' chicken is to sorta roast it with indirect heat and smoke to about 140 degrees. Then, place it over the hot coals to create a crust in a coupla minutes. Sauce gets applied at the end.

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