Grill Week 2015: Brined and Grilled Chicken For A Crowd

J – You can go BIG with this one!

The thing about cooking for a crowd is, well, you have to COOK for a crowd. Some things will just not work when you have a large number of hungry people who want to eat at different times … or who just want more of the good stuff you are cooking.

Grilled chicken needs special attention when done for a crowd. Each piece need to cook in roughly the same amount of time … and quickly. So, portions need to be equal and on the small side.

People can always take more if they want. But, at big hunk of chicken breast might go half eaten and wasted.

Breasts should be partially boned, not boneless. They cook better. Legs and thighs, bone in. Same with wings. If you break down whole birds, save/freeze the backs and necks for stock.

Brining for 24 to 48 hours is critical for retaining moisture and having great flavor … sauce or not. Don’t worry, with our brine recipe you cannot “over brine.” The salt/sugar/water ratio is balanced. If you need more brine, scale everything up 2x or 4x or whatever.

When it’s grillin’ time, work in batches cooking as needed. If you have a sauce and want to baste with it, baste near the end of the cooking time.

Grill Week: Brined and Grilled Chicken For A Crowd
Recipe type: Mains
Prep time: 25 hours
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 25 hours 35 mins
Serves: 4 to 6
  • One or two 3½ pound chickens, cut into 6 pieces each. Save backs and necks for stock.
  • Brine recipe, one batch will do for two birds.
  • Canola or other high-temperature oil for grilling.
  1. Brine cut up chicken for at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  2. Remove from brine and pat dry, removing spice bits. Discard brine.
  3. Bring to room temperature for about an hour before grilling.
  4. Heat grill on high, reserving an area for indirect cooking.
  5. Lightly oil chicken pieces.
  6. Place on grill skin-side-up over high heat, uncovered. Rotate after five mins. Flip after another 5 mins.
  7. When skin starts to show grill marks, move to indirect heat, skin-side-up and cover. Baste if desired.
  8. Cook at 400 degrees until 160 degrees internal temperature.
  9. Remove and keep warm.
  10. Serve quickly for best flavor.

Brine recipe

Remove chicken pieces at 160 degrees internal temp. and keep warm. The temperature will rise to 165 degrees or so in about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!