How to Boil Chicken Before Grilling

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Some cooks prefer to boil chicken before placing it on the grill, to cut down on cooking time or to ensure that the meat is completely cooked before serving. Of course, the best way to make sure that meat has been cooked thoroughly enough to eat safely is to use a kitchen thermometer and cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Oven mitts
  • Tongs
  • Colander
  • Kitchen thermometer
Boiling before grilling helps speed up grill times.
Boiling before grilling helps speed up grill times.

Step 1

Fill a pot with water and begin to heat on a high flame. Add seasoning to the water such as salt, pepper, onions, garlic, carrots and celery to flavor the meat.

Seasoning makes the meal.
Seasoning makes the meal.

Step 2

Place the chicken carefully into the pot when the water has come to a rolling boil. Use tongs and oven mitts for this process to prevent being burned by any hot water that may splash up.

Keep safety in mind when placing the chicken in the pot.
Keep safety in mind when placing the chicken in the pot.

Step 3

Let the water come back up to a boil and turn the heat down to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

It's worth the wait.
It's worth the wait.

Step 4

Preheat the grill or light the coals for the barbecue while the chicken simmers.

A hot grill is necessary.
A hot grill is necessary.

Step 5

Turn the heat off and drain the water and chicken over a colander. Use tongs to remove the meat from the colander and place on a plate. Season with salt, pepper, a barbecue rub or sauce to taste before placing on the hot grill.

Almost done.
Almost done.

Step 6

Grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Test by using a kitchen thermometer and inserting the probe into the thickest part of the meat. Time saved by boiling will depend on the size of the chicken piece, whether it is boneless or not and the heat of the grill. Without boiling, a chicken breast, whole leg or thigh with the bone in requires 20 to 30 minutes of grilling time. Boiling prior to grilling will cut this time in half or more. Smaller drumsticks, wings or half of a boneless chicken breast will grill in under ten minutes when boiled first.

Kitchen thermometers are a grillers best friend.
Kitchen thermometers are a grillers best friend.

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