The Absolute Best Cut Of Chicken For Grilling, According To A Chef

grilled chicken thighs and legs
grilled chicken thighs and legs - from my point of view/Shutterstock

Hot dogs can be rather forgiving on the grill. Hamburgers are easy, too, but pose slightly more of a challenge if you're trying to nail a certain temperature. From there, though, grilling can become a fraught experience for some -- which is why we compiled 16 helpful tips. With flames jumping and food cooking quickly, the fear of overcooking -- or even burning -- food makes some demure. Take chicken, for instance, a meat that can go from juicy and seared to dry and charred quickly; it's enough to make the grilling novice hand over their tongs. But not all cuts of chicken are created equal, and thus, choosing the right one can make all the difference.

Tasting Table reached out to Chef Sean Olnowich of Bounce Delray Beach to find out which cuts of chicken perform best when grilling out. "For me, the best cut of chicken to grill is a boneless thigh," Olnowich told us. "The thigh has a bit of fat that keeps it very juicy and extremely flavorful and tender. Dark meat does much better on the grill as it retains its moisture. White meat tends to dry out very quickly, especially after removing it from the grill as it carries over."

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts Of Meat You Should Be Grilling

Chicken Thighs Are Forgiving But Not Foolproof

marinated chicken thighs
marinated chicken thighs - Ukrainian Food Photo/Shutterstock

While some shy away from dark meat, the texture some find off-putting is part and parcel of the richness that keeps it from becoming desiccated. The highly-worked hind muscles of the chicken receive more myoglobin, which results in the color, but also store more fat and contain more nutrients than white meat due to their role in the animal's mobility.

If you are already a fan of chicken thighs or have decided to give them a go on the grill, understand that they aren't totally foolproof and can dry out if not handled properly. First, make sure that your grill has hot and cool areas for zoned cooking. Hot spots are great for sear and creating a crust, but you want to let the chicken cook on indirect heat so that it doesn't get scorched. To that end, use the lid and vents on the grill (if it is charcoal) to control the intensity of the fire. Finally, it never hurts to have an internal probe thermometer handy to accurately check the internal temperature of your chicken thighs.

An added benefit of chicken thighs is that their stronger flavor means the meat can be marinated -- here are some of our favorite grilling marinades -- and rubbed without getting lost in the sauce, so to speak. Spicy, funky, sweet, or a combination of flavors can pair beautifully with chicken thighs, all while letting the rich meat shine.

Read the original article on Tasting Table