How to Tell if Chicken Is Done on the Grill

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There is nothing better than the taste of grilled chicken in the summertime. The smoky flavor that comes from the grill is unbeatable.

However, it can be tricky to know when chicken on the grill is done. In this article, we will discuss some tips for determining when your chicken is completely cooked.

We will also provide tips to ensure your chicken is always cooked perfectly!

Importance of Knowing When Chicken on the Grill Is Done 

Summertime is grilling time, and chicken is an all-time favorite choice for the grill.

But before you throw those chicken breasts on the fire, it’s important to know at what temperature the chicken is done.

Undercooked chicken can be unsafe to eat, while overcooked chicken can be dry and unappetizing. 

So what’s the best way to tell when chicken is cooked through?

You will know your chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This was pulled from the USDA, as the USDA recommends cooking chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken, or you can cut into the thickest part of the meat to check for doneness.

If the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink, your chicken is ready to eat!

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How to Grill Chicken Perfectly Every Time 

At what temperature is chicken done? The quick answer is at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

But the best way to make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through is to use a meat thermometer.

You can find them at most kitchen stores or online. Chicken that’s been properly grilled will be juicy and tender on the inside, with crispy, slightly charred skin on the outside.

Here’s how to grill chicken perfectly every time.

First, start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat. If you are using a charcoal grill or cooking boneless and skinless chicken, the heat should be lower.

Then, prepare your chicken by patting it dry with paper towels and trimming any excess fat. 

Next, season the chicken as desired. You can’t go wrong with salt and pepper.

You can also use a store-bought seasoning blend or make your own using a combination of dried herbs and spices.

Once the chicken is seasoned, place it on the grill and cook it for five to seven minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Be sure to flip the chicken occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the grill and so that both sides have a chance to cook evenly.

And there you have it! Perfectly grilled chicken every time.

What to Look for When Determining if Chicken Is Cooked Through 

Chicken is a classic grill item, but it’s important to make sure it’s cooked through before serving.

Here are a few things to look for when checking to determine whether the chicken is done:

The chicken internal temp grill should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the chicken breast.

The juices should run clear when you cut into the chicken. If they’re still pink, the chicken needs to cook longer.

The flesh should be firm to the touch and no longer pink.

If you’re not sure whether the chicken is done, err on the side of caution and give it a few more minutes on the grill. Better safe than sorry!

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Factors That Can Affect How Well Chicken Is Grilled 

When grilling chicken, it’s important to take into account a few key factors to ensure that your chicken turns out juicy and flavorful.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is cooking time.

Chicken breasts should be cooked for about five to seven minutes per side, while chicken thighs and drumsticks need slightly more time, about 15–20 minutes in total. 

But cooking time isn’t the only thing that matters—grill temperature is also key. What temperature is chicken done?

Now you know that’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit! You will also want to make sure that your grill is nice and hot—but not too hot.

Too much heat will burn the outside while leaving the inside of the chicken undercooked. 

On the other hand, if your grill isn’t hot enough, you won’t get that nice char on the outside, and it will take longer to cook.

It’s a delicate balance but totally worth the effort. Here’s a pro tip: give your chicken a good sear on both sides before moving it to the cooler part of the grill to finish cooking through with indirect heat.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy perfectly grilled chicken every time!

Tips for Ensuring Perfectly Grilled Chicken

Chicken is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal, but it can be tricky to grill. If the chicken is not cooked all the way through, it can be unsafe to eat.

However, if it is overcooked, it will be dry and tough. There are a few simple tips that can help you achieve perfectly grilled chicken every time. 

  • First, make sure that your chicken is fully thawed before you begin cooking.
  • If it is not thawed completely, it will not cook evenly.
  • Second, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Third, when you place the chicken on the grill, do not move it around too much. Let it cook for four to five minutes (at least) before flipping it over.
  • Lastly, what temp should chicken be? —165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. 

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How Long Does It Take to Grill Chicken?

When it comes to grilling chicken, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, as well as the type of grill you are using.

However, there are a few general guidelines you can follow to ensure that your chicken is cooked through. 

For boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you should plan on grilling for five minutes per side.

If you are using bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, you may need to cook them for 10–12 minutes per side.

And finally, if you are grilling a whole chicken or roasting a chicken in the rotisserie, you will need to cook it for at least 20–30 minutes.

By following these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your chicken is cooked through and juicy every time.

How to Know When Chicken Is Done Without a Thermometer 

Any seasoned grill master knows that one of the most important skills to learn is how to tell when chicken is done cooking without a thermometer.

After all, nobody wants to serve undercooked poultry

Here are a few simple tips that will help you take your chicken from the grill to the dinner table with ease.

First, make sure that your chicken is cooked evenly by flipping it no more than every four minutes.

This will help to prevent overcooking on one side while the other remains raw. 

Second, make a small puncture in the meat and press down onto the meat.

Take a look at the juices running off of the meat; they should be clear, not pink or red.

Finally, give the meat a poke with a fork; it should feel firm to the touch but not hard.

With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time!

The Importance of Letting Your Chicken Rest after Grilling

After you’ve grilled your chicken to perfection, it can be tempting to slice it right away.

However, it is important to resist this temptation and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before carving.

This gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier and more flavorful.

It also helps to ensure that the chicken is cooked all the way through. 

In case you didn’t know, meat of any kind will continue to cook for several minutes after being removed from the heat.

That means that if you cook your meat completely before removing it from the heat, by the time it’s finished resting, it may be overcooked.

That’s why it’s important to let your chicken rest after taking it off the grill. 

By letting the chicken rest, you give the heat time to evenly penetrate the meat, ensuring that your meal is safe and delicious.

If you cut into it too soon, all of those juices will spill out and leave a tough, dry piece of meat behind.

So the next time you grill chicken, remember to let it rest before serving. Your taste buds will thank you!

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Common Mistakes Beginners Make 

One of the most common mistakes beginners make when grilling chicken is not using a meat thermometer.

It’s important to cook chicken all the way through to prevent food poisoning, and the only way to ensure that it’s cooked properly is to use a meat thermometer or a trained eye (which most beginners don’t have). 

Another common mistake is failing to preheat the grill. This step is essential for ensuring that the chicken cooks evenly.

If you put your chicken on a cold grill, you won’t get that delicious crispy char on the outside, and it will take too long to cook.

Additionally, beginners often make the mistake of overcooking or undercooking the chicken.

Both of these problems can be avoided by using a meat thermometer and paying attention to the cooking time. 

Many beginners also make the mistake of not letting frozen chicken thaw completely before grilling.

If you put meat on the grill while the meat is still frozen, you will overcook the outside and be left with a cold, raw center—which nobody wants to eat.

With a little practice, anyone can master the art of grilling chicken.

By following these simple tips, beginners can avoid making common mistakes and enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked chicken every time.

Always Keep an Eye on the Grill

Every grill is a little bit different. Some grills have hot spots, which means that certain areas are hotter than others.

It’s important to keep an eye on the grill and move the chicken around so that it cooks evenly. 

This is especially important if you’re cooking for a large group of people because you don’t want anyone to end up with burnt or raw chicken.

By paying attention to the grill, you can avoid any disasters and ensure that everyone leaves the table happy and full.

How to Prepare Chicken for the Grill

Many people enjoy grilling chicken, as it can be a healthy and delicious way to cook.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing chicken for the grill.

First, it’s important to choose the right cuts of chicken.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a good option as they are lean, but they can easily be overcooked. 

Chicken thighs or drumsticks can also be used and often fare much better on a grill.

If you aren’t marinating the chicken before grilling, it is important to at least season it with salt and pepper beforehand.

This will help to add flavor and moisture. If your chicken is frozen, make sure that you allow ample time for it to thaw before grilling.

It’s best to thaw chicken in the refrigerator overnight. 

Make sure the grill is properly heated before cooking the chicken.

The temperature should be high enough to sear the outside of the chicken but not so high that it causes the meat to dry out. Finally, be sure to cook the chicken all the way through. 

A thermometer can be used to check for doneness, but considering cooking times will also help to ensure that your chicken is fully cooked.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy perfectly grilled chicken every time.


Grilling chicken is a great way to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when grilling chicken. It’s important to choose the right cuts of chicken and properly season them.

The grill should be properly heated before cooking the chicken to optimize the cooking time.

And finally, be sure to allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after grilling.

By following these simple tips, you can master the art of grilling chicken and enjoy perfectly cooked chicken every time.