Grill Master :: Bone-on Chicken

1150900_10151829057417792_1614071769_nMove over hot dogs and hamburgers. Move over brats and grilled veggies. Sights have been set on one of the more intimidating grilled foods; bone-on chicken.

For many, taking on the challenge of grilled, bone-on chicken is something considered too difficult, too impossible, too risky. And therefore many a grill master miss out on the joy of not only grilling but devouring one of the finest foods one could ever grill.

Forget what you’ve maybe heard before about how difficult it can be to grill up delicious bone-on chicken. I intend to lay out for you some very simple, easy to follow steps, that with a little practice will lead to both confidence and amazing grilled, bone-on chicken.

I do all my grilling using a charcoal grill. If you happen to be using a propane grill (shame on you), these steps ought to work very much the same. The only thing you’ll likely be missing is the extra flavor given to you by grilling over charcoal.

PREPARING YOUR CHICKEN
1. In a shallow pan or cookie sheet, lay out your chicken, pat dry with a paper towel, and season both sides. I prefer to use course ground salt and ground pepper as well as a bit of Old Bay Seasoning, but you can use a which ever spices you prefer.

PREPARING YOUR GRILL
1. Whether you’re using charcoal or propane, you want to create a hot side and a warm side to your grill. Make sure that your grate is clean and clear of last nights dinner.
2. While not actually part of your grill, make sure you have a trustworthy spray bottle with water close by. It’ll be put to good use once the chicken goes on the grill.

GRILLING THE CHICKEN
1. Place your chicken over the hot side of your grill with the lid of the grill left off, for 5 minutes. During this time, you’ll be kept busy fighting off the flames that will surly be produced by the drippings from the chicken. When it comes to fighting the flames, you simply want to keep them in check. A little bit of flame won’t hurt your chicken.

*In the event that the flames win the battle, and your chicken skin burns. Don’t worry, you can always remove it prior to serving. In the mean time allow it to be a buffer between the chicken and the flames.

2. After the chicken has spent 5 minutes on the hot side of the grill, move it over to the warm side of the grill and cover the grill for 5-7 minutes. Be sure to NOT flip the chicken at this point. You want to be on the same side of the chicken as you started with. I will simply rotate my grate, moving me chicken to the warm side of the grill, without having to lift it.
3. At this point your chicken has been on the grill a total of 10-12 minutes. Now you want to flip your chicken and place it again on the hot side of the grill for 5 minutes. Remember where you left the spray bottle of water? You’re gonna need it again. You’re simply repeating step 1, but on the other side of the chicken.
4. After the 5 minutes has passed, return the chicken to the warm side of the grill for another 5-7 minutes, or until done. Or I could just say repeat step 2.

*At this point, I’ll reduce my heat in the grill overall by closing off my bottom vents (keeping the top vents open). If you’re using a propane grill, I might think you’d reduce your overall heat to low, but that’s a guess. You can continue to cook your chicken till it’s done. Using your grill tongs, press firmly on the fattest part of the chicken. It should feel firm and a bit springy; even releasing a bit of juice. If it feels soft, continue cooking. Whatever you do, try to avoid the temptation to cut into the chicken and have a peak. This will release all those savory juices that you’ve been waiting for the last 20 or so minutes to enjoy yourself.

5. Remove the chicken from the grill and let stand for 3 minutes before cutting or eating.
6. Enjoy and plan your next grill adventure.

TIPS
1.If you’re planning to make BBQ chicken, I recommend applying the sauce while the chicken is cooking over the warm side of the grill. I will apply sauce to one side of the chicken during step 4 of the cooking process. Once the initial 5-7 minutes has passed, I’ll flip the chicken and apply sauce to the other side, allowing the chicken to finish cooking.
2. I try to avoid over-flipping the chicken. Bone-on chicken especially will tend to tear and break apart the more it’s handled during the cooking process. I typically will only turn my chicken twice. I will start off with my chicken bottom side down (the side where the bones are more visible), cook hot side/cook warm side. Flip to top side down (the side with all the skin), cook hot side/cook warm side. Flip back to bottom side down and allow the chicken to finish cooking on the warm side of the grill.

It may take a bit of practice, but the more you do it the more confident you’ll become and before you know it, you’ll be grilling up delicious bone-on chicken all summer long.

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50 Degrees, Time to Grill

Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, splendid… These are but a few words that come to mind when I think about the weather we were greeted with today. While not yet spring; cracking the 50 degree point sure made it feel like it. What better way to celebrate and enjoy the day than to pull the cover from the Weber and grill some USDA beef?

The plan was hatched and set into motion around lunch time, earlier in the day. All that was needed to make the plan a huge success was a fresh bag of charcoal; Kingsford of course. Easy enough to pick up from the store after work. So upon arriving home, I quickly pulled the grill from storage and made it ready to once again set meat to heat.

The coals turned to an orange, ember glow easily enough, the meat was seasoned and ready, begging to be laid on to the rack of the grill. While Lily enjoyed her self on the swing; something she’s waited months to again be able to enjoy, the gentle breeze danced about. The picture was near perfect, save for a small bit of crusted snow in the shadows of the lawn.

Once the meat hit the grill it was only a matter of time before the transfer to plate to dinner table would be complete. Twenty minutes, and four turns later the meat was perfectly cooked to a juicy medium-well. Complete with steamed fresh green beans and garlic parmesan noodles, the meal was a tasty reminder of more spring and summer days to come.

While waiting on the coals I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy a bowl of Skilling.

Cooked to perfection. I always say a well seasoned & cooked steak needs no extra table dressing (i.e. A1 Steak Sauce).

Delicious!

Adventures in Charcoal

Last spring I became the proud owner of a wonderful gas grill.  A few days ago I became the not-so-proud owner of a not-so-wonderful gas grill.  I had been noticing some unevenness in the overall temperature of the grill and upon further investigation realized I had two significant cracks in my gas lines.  Typically this isn’t too big an issue as you swap out the old lines for new.  Unfortunately, all three of my lines were rusted beyond repair, along with the screws holding them in place.

Being the summer time grill master that I am, the thought of finishing out the summer without a grill just wouldn’t do.  So I resorted to an old friend; the Weber charcoal grill.  This is the grill my mother taught me on; so it was only natural to return to the charcoal (as well as economical for the times).

After a couple of days wait to finally initiate the new grill, I set out to break it in tonight.  Lindsay  pulled some steaks from the back of the freezer and I took care of the rest.

Allow me to share the experience with you via photo essay.

Grilling Out 001

Preparing the coals…

Grilling Out 003

Grilling Out 005

Preparing the meat… garlic salt, seasoning salt, cracked white pepper, rosemary (both sides).

Grilling Out 006

The bacon was for later with the green beans… cracked white pepper.

Grilling Out 008

Unfortunately, the cast shadow makes the meat look charred; which was not the case at all.  The steaks were cooked to a perfect medium/medium well.  Low and slow, the secret to perfect grilled meat.

Grilling Out 007

The wait is all most over.

Grilling Out 009

The end result… Rosemary char-grilled top round steak with garden fresh green beans and grilled cracked white pepper bacon.

A very tasty first attempt on charcoal in quite some time.