How Long To Cook Chicken Leg Quarters On The Grill

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How To Grill Chicken Quarters Outdoor Recipes - Grillseeker

How to Grill Chicken Leg Quarters to Perfection: A Comprehensive Guide

Summertime is synonymous with grilling season, and the smoky, charred flavor of grilled chicken leg quarters is a must-try for any barbecue enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned grillmaster or a novice, this detailed guide will equip you with everything you need to know to grill succulent, mouthwatering chicken leg quarters that will steal the show at your next backyard gathering.

Before we dive into the grilling techniques, let’s explore the humble chicken leg quarter. This flavorful cut consists of the thigh and drumstick, offering a delightful combination of white and dark meat. Chicken leg quarters are incredibly versatile, lending themselves to a wide range of marinades, rubs, and grilling methods.

The Art of Marinating Chicken Leg Quarters

Marinating your chicken leg quarters is an essential step that infuses them with flavor and tenderizes the meat. The marinade can be a simple combination of olive oil, herbs, spices, and lemon juice, or you can get creative with more complex concoctions. The key is to allow ample time for the marinade to soak into the chicken, typically between 6-12 hours.

If you’re short on time, you can opt for a quick marinade by using acidic ingredients such as white wine, vinegar, or buttermilk. These ingredients will partially break down the proteins in the chicken, resulting in a more tender texture within a shorter marinating period.

Grilling Techniques: Direct vs. Indirect Heat

When grilling chicken leg quarters, you can choose between direct or indirect heat, both offering their unique advantages.

Direct heat grilling is ideal for searing the chicken, creating a crispy exterior. Place the chicken directly over the heat source for an initial period to sear both sides, developing a beautiful golden-brown crust.

Indirect heat grilling, on the other hand, involves grilling the chicken over a heat source placed on the opposite side of the grill. This method results in a more evenly cooked chicken with less risk of burning. To set up indirect heat, place the chicken on one side of the grill and the heat source on the other.

Cooking Time and Temperature

Grilling chicken leg quarters to perfection requires precise cooking time and temperature. For maximum safety and tenderness, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C). This temperature indicates that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken leg quarters and the grilling method used. As a general guideline, grill the chicken for approximately 25-30 minutes over direct heat, or 35-45 minutes over indirect heat. Remember to flip the chicken every 10-15 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Finishing Touches: Sauces and Garnishes

Once the chicken is cooked to perfection, you can enhance its flavor further by brushing it with your favorite sauce. A simple glaze made with honey, soy sauce, and garlic adds a sweet and savory touch. You can also opt for a spicy barbecue sauce or a tangy lemon-herb sauce.

Finally, don’t forget to garnish your grilled chicken leg quarters with fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, or chives. These herbs add a vibrant pop of color and freshness, complementing the smoky, charred flavor of the chicken.

FAQ on Grilling Chicken Leg Quarters

Q: How do I prevent the chicken leg quarters from sticking to the grill?

A: Before grilling, grease the grates of your grill with vegetable oil or cooking spray to create a non-stick surface.

Q: Can I grill chicken leg quarters without a marinade?

A: Yes, you can grill chicken leg quarters without a marinade. Simply season the chicken with salt, pepper, and any other spices you desire before grilling.

Q: How do I achieve a crispy skin on the chicken leg quarters?

A: To achieve crispy skin, pat the chicken leg quarters dry before grilling. This will help reduce moisture and allow the skin to crisp up.


Armed with this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to grill chicken leg quarters like a pro. Remember to marinate the chicken for optimal flavor and tenderness, choose the grilling method that suits your preference, monitor the cooking time and temperature for doneness, and enhance the grilled chicken with sauces and garnishes. Happy grilling!

Do you have any other grilling tips or tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Grill Chicken Leg Quarters | eHow

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