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June 25, 2023

Our Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

Whether you’re using blazin’ hot coals, or an open flame, grill season is upon us. We’ve rounded up our best and most popular grilled chicken recipes to help you get the most from your grill.

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Grilled harissa chicken on a plate with arugula

The Secret To Grilling Chicken

Marinades. Simple salt and pepper seasoning is better than nothing, but we’re here with all of our best marinades to take your grilled chicken from zero to hero. The second secret to grilled chicken is time–those marinades need at least thirty minutes to start working their magic. Thicker sauces can be brushed on while grilling, if you’re pressed for time. The third secret is a cold beverage, whether it’s a beer or an icy Agua Fresca, it’s important to have a refreshing drink in hand. Ok! Go forth and grill.

grilled Hawaiian chicken kabobs on a baking sheet brushed with remaining marinade next to a bowl of additional marinade

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Whole Chickens, Wings & Tenders

We love grilled whole chickens–they’re the seasonal answer to rotisserie chicken. If you’re unable to finish an entire chicken in one sitting, you’ll have great leftovers throughout the week. There’s also a few recipes for wings and tenders here that are not to be missed. We find that it’s way easier to make wings on the grill than to manage cooking them inside the house. And tenders are tenders–always good and always a crowd pleaser!!

Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs might be our favorite part of the chicken to grill. Their dark meat makes them fattier than other parts of the chicken, and more fat means more flavor! Once you’ve tried straight up grilled chicken thighs, you can move on to some of our flavor upgrades, including some killer taco recipes using thigh meat.

Chicken Breast

Modern chicken breasts can be quite large. We’ve found that it can help to butterfly them for even cooking. In general, we find an instant-read thermometer comes in super handy when cooking chicken breasts because you don’t want them to be overcooked and dry. Use the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast, and make sure it reads 165°F.

Grilling Tips From The Modern Proper

  • Embrace the Maillard Reaction, or the “browning reaction,” the process that meat undergoes when it is cooked over high heat. This is where the flavor comes from. Grill the chicken until brown and lightly charred.

  • A clean grill is a happy grill. Give your grill a good scrub with a grill cleaning brush before and after every time you use it. Lightly brush the grates with oil using a silicone basting brush before grilling. Chicken has a tendency to stick to the grill more than other meats, and this will help the meat release from the grates.

  • Invest in an instant-read thermometer. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary slicing, poking, and overall guesswork.

  • Double duty: Set a small amount of marinade aside to use as a quick dressing for salads, rice, or bread dipping!

  • Sides: You’ve got the grilled goods, now make sure you don’t skimp on the sides with our 30 Best Summer Side Dishes

  • Glass containers: We really try to use as few plastic zip top bags as possible, and while they make marinating chicken extremely easy, glass lock containers also work great and are reusable.

Grilled chicken thighs on a serving plate marinated in brown sugar, salt, garlic & onion powder, paprika, pepper & olive oil

Go Forth And Grill

For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

Our Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

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  • Jenn

    So many incredible ideas for summer! So excited about this list. I've already made a few of these from this list that were great and can't wait to try more!

    Thanks Jenn, so glad you are excited by the list!