How to Grill Perfect Chicken Every Time Without Prior Experience

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How to Grill Perfect Chicken Every Time
Without Prior Experience

Grilling delicious, mouth-watering chicken for crowds might be easier than you think. Below are some step-by-step instructions to help you consistently make perfect chicken on a charcoal grill or BBQ pit even if you are not a grilling expert.

Watch Marlin Cook Chicken and Taters on a Meadow Creek Chicken Cooker

Handling Raw Chicken Burning Charcoal in the Charcoal Pan Loading Grate With Chicken

Use Good Manners

Make sure you work with clean equipment and keep the chicken refrigerated or on ice until you are ready to cook it. Never touch the meat with dirty hands and always wear latex gloves when handling the meat.

Choose the Right Equipment

Choose a grill or design your BBQ pit with approximately 18" between the fire and the grates. This helps reduce charring and gives it a delicious smoked flavor.

Add Charcoal to Your Fire Pit

Cooking on a commercial charcoal grill such as one of the Meadow Creek BBQ Series Chicken Cookers will require approximately 3/4 lb. of charcoal per pound of chicken. If you are not sure how much charcoal your cooker will take, consult the owner's manual or the manufacturer.

Arrange the correct amount of charcoal in a pyramid in the center of the grill.

Start the Fire

Drench the briquettes thoroughly with lighter fluid. Use approximately 1/2 fluid ounce per pound of charcoal.

Bonus Tip: If you add more after the charcoal is burning, the fluid will light before it soaks into the charcoal.

Light immediately with a match or lighter.

Please note that a propane gas torch also works well when lighting the charcoal in your grill. If you have a torch and prefer to use it instead of lighter fluid, go ahead.

Load the Grates

While waiting for the edges of the coals to turn white, place the grates on a table and arrange the chicken on the grates. Keep the skin side all facing the same direction. This will give you more control against charring.

If you are using double-sided sandwich grates, close each grate and securely lock both ends.

In some cases, it works well to load the chicken over your fire. The downside to loading the grates over the fire is that some of the chicken can start cooking by the time you finish loading the grate. Also, the heat coming through the grate can melt your disposable gloves if you're not careful.

In spite of these reasons, we enjoy loading over the fire when grilling with the Meadow Creek BBQ42 Chicken Cooker. This cooker features hooks on the lid that stabilize the rotating grate. If you do it this way, we recommend you prepare the coal bed before loading the grates and also get a helper so it doesn't take so long to load the grate.

Prepare the Coal Bed

Allow the charcoal to burn for approximately 15–30 minutes until the majority of the coals are white around the edges. Don't be concerned if some of the coals are not lit yet. Spread the charcoal evenly across the bottom of the grill. Mix the unlit briquettes with the others.

Place the Loaded Grates on the Grill

Now place the grates over the fire. Within 10 minutes or so, the chicken will begin cooking.

Season the Chicken

About 30 minutes after putting the meat on the grill, sprinkle barbecue seasoning on the meat conservatively (1 lb. of seasoning will do approximately 40–50 lbs. of chicken). Next, turn the chicken and season the other side. Try our Traditional Rub for some outstanding barbecue seasoning on grilled chicken.

Bonus Tip: When you season your meat over the fire, some of it will drop down into the fire, sending an enticing aroma out into the crowd. It also eliminates a mess on your table.

Frequently Turn the Chicken

Keep an eye on the bottom side of the chicken and turn the meat frequently to reduce charring. This is where locking double-sided grates come in extra handy. They make turning your chicken easy, offering single-handed turning of an entire rack of chicken.

Because the inside chambers on multiple pit cookers get hotter than the outside, you may want to swap the grates when the chicken is about half done, bringing the inside ones to the outside and vice versa.

Grilled Chicken Grilled Chicken on a BBQ42 Grill

Control Flare-Ups

During the cooking process, there could be flare-ups in the firebox. You can use a clean, low-pressure (Hudson type) sprayer to keep the flame well under control. This method produces chicken with a beautiful golden color, which earns compliments before people even begin to eat it.

The charcoal you added in the beginning will last until you are done cooking one rack. To cook another round, add more charcoal as needed without increasing the temperature too much. When you raise the heat too far, the meat will char before it is fully cooked. The worst thing that can go wrong is to serve a piece that is not done!

Watch the Temperature

The weather can make a difference in how fast the meat cooks, so keep a close eye on the chicken and check the temperature with a probe thermometer to make sure the inside is done. Once the meat reaches approximately 185 degrees, it should be ready to eat. Use your own judgment to determine exactly when it is done. For example, if you prefer crispy skin, it will take a little more time than it would otherwise.

Enjoy Some Delicious Barbequed Chicken!

When you follow this method, you should have some of the finest mouth-watering chicken 1–1.5 hours after putting the meat over the fire. This is one of the best ways to quickly grill large amounts of delicious award-winning chicken for fund-raising or simply to feed a crowd.

We wish you the best in your grilling endeavors, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Heavy Duty Chicken Cookers Designed to
Quickly and Easily Grill Large Amounts of Chicken for a Crowd

Learn More About Our Revolutionary BBQ Pits

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BBQ42C Collapsible BBQ Pit
$785.00 (USD)
BBQ96 BBQ Pit Trailer
$2,925.00 (USD)
BBQ144 Chicken Cooker Trailer
$4,175.00 (USD)
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BBQ Smokers, Pig Roasters, Chicken Cookers, and Grills From Meadow Creek
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Struggling to choose the right cooker for your needs? Check out our Meadow Creek cooker comparison charts. If you would like to discuss your dream cooker over the phone, call Marlin toll-free at (877) 602-1568 to get some good, friendly advice. Or if you're close by, come visit our display lot in Pikeville, Tennessee to check out these fine barbeques! We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all our Meadow Creek barbeque equipment (except the Ultimate Catererssorry, too much risk). Please realize that we (Yoders Smoky Mountain Barbecue) are a dealer for Meadow Creek. This promise applies only if you buy from us. If for any reason you are not happy with your unit, you may return the cooker to us within 30 days of the delivery or pickup date, and we will refund the purchase price minus the shipping and handling. You are responsible to pay the return shipping.
What did you think of the videos? Meadow Creek makes some amazing smokers, pig roasters, chicken cookers, and grills. All this equipment is made in the Amish Community of Lancaster County, PA. The talented craftsmen at Meadow Creek hand-make each unit. They seriously go the extra mile to make sure youre smoked pink. What really puts the sauce on the brisket is all the revolutionary features and options that make barbecue fun and easy, and even a money-machine, if BBQ is your business.
Integrity: Meadow Creek cookers are made in a culture of Godly ethicshonesty, diligence, and fairness. Whether its a Shoo-fly pie or a barbecue smoker, you will be treated right.
Stainless Steel Grates: Every Meadow Creek barbecue cooker comes standard with non-rusting stainless steel grates. This eliminates the hassle of scrubbing rust and the danger of possible rust contamination on your meat.