How often to turn barbecue chicken to maintain a crispy, sticky crust

Barbecue chicken

Grilled chicken – Jasondoiy/Getty Images

Whether you’re getting ready for a poolside outing or just in the mood for a barbecue, you can’t go wrong with chicken. Recipes range from classic, like this Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken, to ultra-flavorful Bourbon-Chili BBQ Chicken. However, regardless of the details, barbecue chicken recipes generally aim for the same texture: crispy. Achieving this consistency is not a matter of luck or even ingredients but of technique. To enhance the crispiness of your chicken, be sure to turn it several times on the barbecue. This is actually the second twist that could very well make the charm of a tasty and crunchy meal.

Turning your chicken while adding sauce several times keeps all sides of the bird warm and gives the crust the time it needs to form. Generally, you will want to turn your chicken at least twice. However, you can certainly continue to flip as you see fit. As for the logistics of this process? Just be sure to keep your grill hot, your tongs ready, and your brush coated in sauce.

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts of Meat You Should Grill

Flip grilled chicken at least twice to maximize crispiness

Barbecue chicken

Grilled chicken – Banu R/Getty Images

Barbecuing isn’t exactly a science, but there are a few simple rules to help you flip and crisp your chicken to perfection. In particular, you will need to start by preheating your grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Exact temperatures vary; some recipes suggest a sweet spot between 425 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, while others up the stakes to 525 degrees for gas and electric grills. For grilled chicken (not just grilled chicken), stay between medium and medium-high heat; a minimum of 450 degrees may be the best place to start.

Once you’ve put your chicken on the grill, it’s time to start coating and turning it. Coat your chicken with barbecue sauce once it hits the grates and flip it after just a few minutes. Add more sauce to the other side. Take a few minutes, but make sure to flip it, adding sauce to the just-grilled side.

While these two flips are the minimum, it’s best to continue flipping and adding sauce until the inside of your chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you follow these steps, you’ll have better control over the texture of your meal, although you don’t have to prepare grilled chicken on the barbecue for a delicious and flavorful meal. The oven also does the job in all recipes, with a high temperature for crispiness.

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