How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill (Without Burning)

How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill Without Burning is a technique every home cook should know! Here are a few grilling tips for cooking the most tender grilled chicken every time!

how to grill chicken without burning on a gas grill

Grilling Chicken should be super easy, a quick way to get dinner on the table, right?! Yes and no!

While grilling chicken on a gas grill is super quick, for some, it’s not so easy.

This post will teach you how to properly season and marinate chicken—all types of chicken, too!

Whole Chicken, dark meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and chicken wings. You’ll learn what spices, ingredients, and marinades to keep on hand for super flavor-filled chicken every time!

Next, this post will teach you the best way to grill different types of chicken pieces.

You’ll learn what tools to keep close by so you always have juicy, cooked-to-perfection chicken.

How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill without Burning

First, let’s chat about grills.

To have the perfect chicken, it’s a good idea to clean your grill and prepare it for grilling.

Start with very clean grill grates. If you place your chicken onto a gunky grill grate, it’s bound to stick!

I really love this Citrusage Grill Care Kit. Whether the grill is hot or cold, the cleaner works like a charm! And the scrubber doesn’t leave behind anything precarious.

grilled chicken on a gas grill

Once your grill grate is whistle-clean, fire up the grill!

For a gas grill, crank the heat up to medium-high. Let the grill spend a good 10-15 minutes preheating.

You’re aiming for the 400 – 425 degree temperature range. Anything less than that almost guarantees a piece of chicken that doesn’t come up well.

If you’re worried about chickens varying in size, keep one side of your grill at a lower temperature to create indirect heat. I sometimes leave one burner off, so I have a cooler side of the grill.

Once your grill is hot and ready, oil the grates. I like to use a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil (or any other neutral oil)! Then, rub the paper towel over each grate using a pair of stainless steel grilling tongs.

Your grill is hot, oiled, and ready to go, so let’s get grilling!

gas grilled chicken breast

Grilling Chicken Breast

When grilling chicken breast, you want to make sure it’s about 5-8 ounces in size. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are larger, on the 10-12 ounce side, need a lot longer time to grill.

They often result in burned chicken that is dry and stringy—no one wants that! If you have larger chicken breasts, butterfly them down the middle. You’ll double your chicken, too!

If you need to, pound the thickest part of the breasts so they’re more even chicken pieces. This ensures you’ve got juicy chicken breasts; one side is delicious, but the other is dry!

Place the chicken presentation side down. Whichever side you want to get those perfect, iconic grill marks, that’s the side you want to lay on the grill first.

juicy grilled chicken

Over medium-high heat, let your chicken cook for 3-4 minutes with the lid OPEN. A closed lid creates an oven, and we want the sugar content of the marinade to caramelize and create a crust, which is those grill marks.

After 3-4 minutes, give your chicken a quarter turn. Leave it alone if it doesn’t release easily and doesn’t want to move! Proteins will naturally release when ready, so this goes for any protein you are grilling!

Once you’ve turned the chicken a quarter turn, cook for another 3-4 minutes with the lid OPEN.

Pay attention to the grill’s temperature.

Is it flaring up? Does any chicken piece seem to be cooking quicker than others? Watch as the chicken cooks on the first side, and adjust the grill temperature as needed.

Now that your chicken has been cooking for 6-8 minutes, you can flip your chicken over. Again, it should EASILY pull up! If it doesn’t, just let the chicken cook a little longer. It should have no resistance to being flipped.

When your chicken is on its second side, you can close the lid and head into the house to toss a salad or grab a platter. You have about 6 minutes before you must be back by the grill!

Chicken breasts must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees f. When an instant-read thermometer reaches 155 degrees, remove them from the grill, and while they rest, the chicken will come up to the right temperature.

Yes, chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When you remove your hot chicken from the grill and tent it with foil, the process of “Carry Over Cooking” takes place, raising the temperature of the chicken by 10-15 degrees.

grilling chicken thighs

Grilling Chicken Thighs

Grilling chicken thighs is very similar to skinless breasts.

However, this chicken cut is a bit fattier, and since it’s dark meat, it’s automatically juicy! I prefer chicken thighs over boneless chicken breasts.

For boneless chicken thighs, grill for 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip and grill for the same amount of time.

For bone-in chicken thighs, it will take 12 minutes per side, and you’ll want to start with the skin side down. If I am cooking skin-on chicken thighs with a bone, I’ll preheat my grill to 350 and let the chicken thighs cook low and slow.

It’s better to have well-cooked chicken thighs than burnt and crispy on the outside and raw on the inside!

If you feel like the chicken is getting too done or looking a little extra golden brown, move the chicken thigh to a cooler part of the grill or, if you have one, a top rack.

Chicken Thighs need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚. Remove the chicken from the grill when it reaches 155˚, then cover it with foil while it rests, and the carry-over cooking will bring the chicken to 165˚.

However, the sweet spot with tender, fall-apart chicken thighs is above 175˚. Grill to 170 degrees, and remove to rest. Your chicken thigh game will improve tremendously when you do this!

grilling chicken wings

If you’re curious about how to grill chicken wings, you can read all the tips and tricks I use in that post. Plus, the Maple Buffalo Sauce should NOT be slept on!

Simple Tips for Seasoning & Marinading Chicken

A lot of people think chicken is bland. Not if you know how to properly season your chicken and easy marinade recipes to fill it with flavor!

chicken marinade

First, let’s discuss what ingredients you should keep in your pantry!

Spices to Keep on Hand:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
montreal steak seasoning

Dry Rub + Seasoning Blends to Keep on Hand:

  • Lemon Pepper – I’m not a huge fan of pre-packaged lemon pepper. I would rather zest a lemon and grind my black pepper!
  • Montreal Seasoning
  • Smokehouse Maple Seasoning is seriously one of my favorite blends ever! I use it on everything!
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning

Wet Rubs – These usually use a dry rub with oil and maybe vinegar or Worcestershire sauce to make it wet. It’s a great way to pack the flavor onto bone-in chicken!

Wet Marinades to Keep on Hand:

Dale’s Seasoning – this is an absolute favorite! You can take your chicken from the package right to the grill, and the chicken is delicious!

Italian Dressing—This packs a ton of flavor into your chicken, especially when you let it marinade overnight.

My favorite way to marinade chicken is an all-purpose marinade with Soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

The top secret ingredient is squeezing one lemon over the marinating chicken while your grill preheats! You can find that easy recipe in the printable recipe card below.

Chicken in a Spicy Asian Marinade

Simple Steps for Seasoning Your Chicken

When you get home from the market, immediately remove the chicken from those foam- and plastic-covered containers.

Either season with a blend or just a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper then put it into an airtight container or wrap it tightly in butcher paper. Store it in your fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it.

The best results in seasoning your chicken are easily achieved when you’re not rushing! ((That’s why the salt and pepper step just above is helpful!))

If you’re using a spice blend, seasoning blend, or dry rub, give the chicken 24 hours to really permeate the flavors throughout. When using a wet rub or wet marinade depending on how much sodium and flavor determines how long it needs to marinate.

You’ve seen the chicken recipes that use pickle juice, like this Vidalia-Pickle Chicken Recipe! Adding an acid like pickle juice, lemon or lime juice, wine, etc, breaks down your chicken very quickly.

The chicken only needs about 30 minutes in that much acid. If you’ve ever had mealy chicken, it was probably because the marinade had too much acid, and it sat for too long.

You can use a highly-acid marinade; it just takes way less time! Which is handy when you’re trying to make a quick dinner!

easy grilled chicken recipe

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you keep chicken from burning on a grill?

Put a light oil coating on CLEAN grill grates, preheat the grill properly, and a light oil coating on the chicken helps, too!

What is the best way to cook chicken on a gas grill?

Over a medium-high heat grill (about 350˚-425˚), grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side until an internal temperature of 165˚ is achieved.

How do you keep chicken moist on a grill?

While the chicken is grilling, you can use a grill brush and “paint” some of the marinade you used, or barbecue sauce on the chicken as it cooks. If you’re worried, a simple drizzle of good olive oil or melted butter after the chicken is grilled helps tremendously!

tuscan lemon chicken

Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try:

Save this to your favorite Chicken or Grilling Board on Pinterest!

How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill wihtout burning
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All-Purpose Marinade

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: grill
  • Cuisine: southern


This all-purpose marinade is great on chicken, pork, steak, or even salmon!


  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Juice of One Lemon


In a jar, shake together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Pour over your protein.

While your grill or oven preheats, squeeze one lemon over the protein, tossing to coat evenly.

Grill or bake as usual!

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

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