You just found an incredible chicken grilling recipe, and you can’t wait to make a meal off it. You get all the tools and ingredients needed to make the grilling session successful, and you also fire up the grill. Even if you followed the recipe to the letter, your chicken doesn’t taste as sweet as you imagined it would. So, what went wrong? It is possible that you made a mistake, which is okay because everyone does that. Here’s how to avoid chicken grilling mistakes/blunders next time.
Neglecting the prep step
Chicken protein is sensitive and should be treated as such. That is why you shouldn’t skip the preparation step. Before placing the pieces on the grill gates, make sure they are at room temperature. To do this, you must allow the chicken to defrost slowly and safely in the fridge. If you are in a hurry, the last-minute tip would be to fill the sink with cold water and submerge your frozen chicken. Change the water every 30 minutes to expedite the defrosting.
Forgetting to dry the chicken
Whether you are cooking skin-on or seasoned chicken, you shouldn’t forget to dry it. After defrosting the meat, the next step should be patting it with a dry paper towel before seasoning and brining. Repeat the drying procedure before throwing your delicacy into the grill. Wet skin promotes the formation of steam, which isn’t something you would like. With the water out of the way, the spices easily seep into the meat. You will also get a beautiful color and crust on the chicken.
Not brining the bird
If you fail to brine the bird, you are likely to miss out on the goodies that well-salted chicken offers. Although it requires planning, the rewards are worthwhile. You can use one of the two types of brine: wet and dry. Your choice should depend on how much time you have. Dry brine usually requires less time to sink in compared to wet brine. However, the latter has juicy results.
Being stingy with the marinades
Don’t shy away from seasoning your chicken with the fear of overdoing it. The moment the protein fibers hit the grills, the chances are that they will lose some of the flavors as they cook. Also, remember that seasoning can be anything. Besides the regular salt and pepper, feel free to experiment with dry peaches and apples, especially when you want to increase sweetness and char taste.
Selecting the wrong grill method
There are many ways of searing foods on a grill, which makes it challenging to choose the right one. Gas and charcoal are the commonest. Pellet grills and electric are also pretty standard. None is the best, and your choice should be guided by the result you desire. The rule of thumb is that charcoal is more hands-on, but gas is consistent.
Applying sauce from the onset
Slathering sauce is a good thing; just not in the beginning. Put down the mop before you mess up your bird delicacy. When you cover your chicken with barbecue sauce from the minute it hits the grill; you are setting yourself up for a burnt frustration. Filling the meat with sugar ruins the flavor and gives you a false sense of ready chicken even when that isn’t the case. If you have a no leftovers policy, hold off the sauce and use it after a few minutes of cooking
Opening the lid too often
Many cooks don’t know that leaving the lid open compromises the quality of the chicken. Although it is human nature to keep checking on the meat, remember that the grill is like an oven. Every time you open the lid, heat escapes and the temperature drops drastically. It will not only take forever to prepare the meal, but the result will be dry, overcooked chicken.
Treating all meat the same way
Every kind of chicken is different and should be grilled with this consideration. A skin-on, bone-in, thigh and breast have different protein fibers that take varying periods to cook. For instance, a skin-on piece should last for longer over the fire than a boneless one. The art gets better with time, but if you are starting, consider giving some parts a longer time to cook than others depending on the type.
Cooking vegetables and meat together
We love kebabs, but we aren’t doing that now. Mixing chicken with vegetables when grilling is another way of getting food poisoning. Cross-contamination is more real that you would imagine, and raw veggies can easily make you unwell. Another disadvantage is that the two ingredients don’t cook at the same rate. You might find that the onions are crispy while the meat is red at the center. For best results, grill your chicken and vegetables on separate grills.