Should you boil chicken before grilling it?


Quick Answer

Boiling chicken before grilling is not required, however, parboiling the meat can make grilling easier. Grilling raw chicken can be more difficult due to the uneven thickness of the pieces, particularly when it comes to chicken breast. Always ensure chicken is cooked through completely before serving it, as uncooked chicken can cause food poisoning.

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Full Answer

To parboil the chicken, add it to simmering, not boiling, water. Parboiling it does not cook the meat through completely, but allows the cook to finish it by grilling afterwards. Chicken breasts take about 10 minutes to parboil. Legs, thighs and quarters take about five minutes and chicken wings take 15 to 20 minutes. After parboiling, they can be dry-rubbed with seasoning. Heat the grill for 15 minutes and place the chicken on, allowing it to cook for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it over.

To cook chicken breast over a grill without parboiling, first place it in a strong zip-lock bag, and then pound it with a rolling pin until it is even in thickness. Keep the thickness of the breast at about three-quarters of an inch. Soak the chicken in a salty brine for 30 minutes. Next, with a clean and oiled grate, grill the chicken at 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grill it for a few minutes on each side, over direct heat, to both brown and cook the chicken through.

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