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How to Grill a Quarter Chicken
Grilling season is upon us, and many of you are looking for ways to prepare a tasty meal. Quarter chicken is an excellent option because it’s quick to cook and can be eaten with your hands.
But how do you make sure that you grill the quarter chicken perfectly?
In this blog post, we will answer all of your questions about how to grill a quarter chicken!
Grilling chicken is one of the most basic recipes in any cook’s repertoire and can be done with just some salt, pepper, and oil. The best thing about these simple ingredients? They let the meat speak for itself.
Let’s get into it.
What is a Quarter of Chicken?
A quarter of chicken is one-fourth of a whole chicken. This can be a breast and a wing, or the most common pair, a leg and thigh.
This leg and thigh are commonly referred to as a leg quarter. You can find them fairly cheap at your supermarket and grill them up for a delicious meal.
Why use a Quarter Chicken?
One of the best things about quarter chicken is how fast it cooks. A whole oven-roasted chicken can take up to an hour and a half, but you’ll only need 25 minutes to get a quarter chicken cooked through and juicy!
The same applies when it comes to grilling a quarter chicken.
Buying chickens that have been quartered is cheaper and less work than buying a whole chicken. I love finding leg quarters on sale because I know it is time to fire up the grill.
Why are Chicken Leg Quarters so Cheap?
Leg Quarters are cheap because the consumers have been conditioned to believe that the dark meat (legs and thighs) is unhealthy.
This caused the chicken legs and thighs to be less desirable which lowered the demand.
The dark meat of the legs and thighs is actually the better choice in my opinion because it has a better natural flavor.
Are Chicken Quarters Healthy?
Chicken quarters have many benefits like providing minerals phosphorus and of course, being a great source of protein.
The most unhealthy part of the quarter is the skin so be sure to remove the skin and any excess fat before cooking to minimize your saturated fat intake.
How to Grill a Quarter Chicken
- 6 Chicken Leg Quarters
- ¼ cup Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning optional
- ¼ cup BBQ Rub optional
Step One: You want to set the grill up for medium heat. I like to set it at 350 degrees. For this, you will only need one zone for direct heat.
Remember, if you try and cook it at too high of a temperature, you will burn the outside up before it is cooked all the way through. Set on low and it will take too long to cook.
Step Two: While you are waiting on the grill to heat up, season your leg quarters with one of the most delicious dry rubs liberally. Set aside until the grill is ready.
You can also do this ahead of time by putting them in the fridge until you are ready.
Step Three: Throw them on the grill. Wait to turn them until you can see the chicken start to change color about halfway up the piece of chicken.
For a quarter chicken, the cooking time should take anywhere from 30-50 minutes depending on the temperature of the grill.
The leg quarters are done when their internal temperature is 165 degrees or higher in the thickest part of the meat.
Step Four: Once the chicken quarters are done and their internal temp has reached 165 degrees, take the chicken off of the grill and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Allowing the chicken to rest will redistribute the juices in the chicken.
My 5 Best Tips for Grilling Quarter Chicken
Tip #1: Season your Chicken Well. It is important to season your chicken really well to impart flavor. I recommend using a dry rub and allowing it to marinate for a few hours before cooking.
Tip #2: Low and Slow. Cook your chicken at a lower temperature even if it takes a little longer to cook. I recommend 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.
If you set the grill too high then you will most likely burn the outside before the inside is cooked.
Tip #3: Get the Perfect Grill Marks. This is a two-part tip. The first part is – that you should only turn or flip your chicken one time.
You want to turn it the one time when the chicken is cooked about halfway up the chicken. I know this is hard as we want to be involved in the grilling process.
The second part is – in order to get the perfect grill mark pattern you will want to rotate (not flip or turn) clockwise one quarter to one-half turn. This will create the cross pattern grill marks that are famous.
Tip #4: Baste it at the end. You want to baste your quarter chicken with about 6-8 minutes left until they are finished cooking. Just brush the tops with some melted butter. This will help take the flavor to the next level.
Tip #5: Rest. After the chicken is finished cooking, make sure their temperature is at least 165 degrees in the thickest part of the meat, and then take the chicken off to rest.
Yes! I said rest. Allowing your chicken (or other meats) to rest for up to 15 minutes will let the juices redistribute throughout the meat. This is a key to having juicy chicken.
How hot do you Grill Chicken Leg Quarters?
The Leg Quarters will take 30-40 minutes to cook, but you can make sure they’re done in the end by making sure it gets up to 165 degrees.
If when cutting into them there is a bit of pink around the bone and not cooked all through then just give it more time on either side or until it’s at least 165 inside as well!
How to Make Chicken Quarters Skin Crispy?
The main thing to do to get crispy skin on your chicken quarters is to preheat your grill to 450 degrees F. Then put your chicken quarters onto the grill skin side down and give it enough time for the skin to crisp up.
The skin will naturally let go of the grill grates once it is crispy. If you notice it is sticking when you go to flip the chicken over, give it some more time to crisp up. Just make sure to watch it.
Grilling Chicken Leg Quarters Skin up Or Skin Down?
You always want to put your chicken quarters on the grill with the skin side down first, give it enough time to crisp up before you flip the chicken over.
Once you have the crispy skin then you can flip it over and finish cooking. This will give you the crispy skin that everyone raves about.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Leg Quarters on a Gas Grill?
It will take anywhere from 30-55 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your leg quarters. You want to use a meat thermometer to make sure they temp at 165 degrees or higher.
This will ensure you are eating fully cooked chicken.
So there you have it, a few tips on how to grill chicken quarters like a pro. Be sure to experiment with different spices and marinades to find the perfect flavor combinations for your taste buds.