What Temperature for Perfectly Grilled Chicken?

Grilled chicken is a popular dish around the world thanks to its versatility, delicious flavor, and numerous health benefits. However, getting the perfect result can be a challenge, especially if you’re grilling chicken for the first time. One crucial factor that can affect the outcome of your grilled chicken is the temperature you use. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to determine the perfect temperature for grilled chicken.

The Ideal Temperature for Grilled Chicken

Grilling is a cooking method that uses direct heat to cook food, and it is one of the best ways to cook chicken while maintaining its juiciness and deliciousness. However, to achieve the perfect result, you must use the right temperature. The ideal temperature for cooking chicken on a grill is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).

At this temperature, the chicken is cooked all the way through and is safe to eat, and the juices remain trapped inside, resulting in chicken that is both tender and flavorful. However, cooking chicken at a higher temperature or for too long can cause it to become dry and tough.

How to Tell if Chicken is Cooked at the Right Temperature

One of the easiest ways to tell if your chicken is cooked at the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken meat, and make sure it does not touch any bones. Once the thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius), the chicken is ready to be removed from the grill.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also test the chicken’s doneness by cutting into it to see if the juices run clear. The chicken should also feel firm to the touch, and the meat’s color should be white or slightly pink.

Factors That Can Affect the Grilling Temperature of Chicken

There are several factors that can affect the grilling temperature of chicken, including:

  • The thickness of the chicken meat: Thicker pieces of chicken require a lower temperature to ensure that they cook all the way through without burning the outside.
  • The presence of bones: Chicken meat near bones may cook slower, and it’s essential to ensure the internal temperature of the meat near the bone reaches the minimum temperature to be safe to eat.
  • The type of grill used: Gas grills, charcoal grills, and electric grills each have their ideal temperature range for grilling chicken. Make sure you use the right type of grill for your cooking style and preferences.
  • The marinade used: If you marinate the chicken before grilling, it’s essential to keep an eye on the internal temperature as the sugar in the marinade can cause the meat to burn quickly and stick to the grill.

How to Adjust the Temperature During Grilling

It’s essential to monitor the temperature of your grill during the chicken grilling process to ensure it stays at the right temperature. If you’re using a gas grill, adjust the heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and if you’re using a charcoal grill, use the vents on the bottom and top of the grill to adjust the cooking temperature.

If you find that the chicken is cooking too quickly, you can lower the temperature by reducing the heat of your grill or moving the chicken to a cooler part of the grill. On the other hand, if the chicken isn’t cooking as quickly as you’d like, you can increase the heat by opening the vents or increasing the gas heat.

Tips for Grilling Perfect Chicken Every Time

Here are some tips for grilling perfect chicken every time:

  • Preheat your grill before cooking the chicken. This will ensure that your grill is at the right temperature when you start cooking.
  • Brush the chicken with oil or marinade before placing it on the grill. This will help prevent the meat from sticking to the grill grates.
  • For thicker pieces of chicken, it’s essential to create a two-level fire by piling the coals on one side of the grill or turning on only one burner of the gas grill. This will allow you to cook the chicken slowly over indirect heat, ensuring that it cooks all the way through without burning on the outside.
  • Never use a fork to turn the chicken while grilling as it can pierce the meat, causing it to lose its juices.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving to allow the juices to redistribute and ensure the meat is tender and juicy.

The Bottom Line

Cooking the perfect grilled chicken requires finding the right temperature, monitoring the temperature throughout the cooking process, and applying the right technique. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can achieve juicy, flavorful grilled chicken every time you light up the grill.


  • What temperature do you grill boneless chicken thighs? – The ideal temperature for grilling boneless chicken thighs is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
  • What temperature do you grill chicken breast? – The ideal temperature for grilling chicken breast is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
  • Can you grill chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit? – Yes, you can grill chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but you must ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) to be safe to eat.
  • Do you grill chicken on high or low heat? – It’s best to grill chicken using medium heat to avoid burning the outside while ensuring the meat is cooked all the way through.
  • How long do you grill chicken? – It depends on the thickness of the chicken meat and the temperature used. In general, chicken should be grilled for six to eight minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).


[1] Grilling Tips for Perfect Chicken: Temperature, Marinade, and Sauce. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/cooking-chicken-on-the-grill#tips-for-grilling-perfect-chicken.

[2] What’s the Ideal Temperature for Grilled Chicken? Retrieved from https://www.masterclass.com/articles/whats-the-ideal-temperature-for-grilled-chicken.

[3] Grilling chicken breasts: A quick guide. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/grilling-chicken-breasts/faq-20457969.

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