Grilling Chicken to Perfection

Grilling chicken to perfection doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you prefer bone-in chicken, tender breast, or a whole chicken, each part requires the right temperature and cooking method. To ensure your chicken always boasts the best flavor and texture, rely on this convenient grilled chicken temperature chart, available for download.

Chicken is not only affordable but also incredibly versatile. It pairs well with a vast array of side dishes, can be added to salads, transformed into burger patties, or incorporated into casseroles and tacos. But what makes grilled chicken truly irresistible is the infusion of smoky flavors.

Why This Works

Our Grilled Chicken Temperature Chart provides you with the ideal grill temperature, heat type, and approximate cooking time for various chicken parts and whole chicken. With this invaluable resource, you’ll never have to wonder about how long to grill chicken.

Simply download and print the chicken grilling cheat sheet, and you’re good to go! For added durability and convenience, consider laminating it or framing it for easy access in your kitchen or backyard grilling area.

How It Works

We’ve designed this printable chart to eliminate any guesswork. It’s user-friendly and offers all the necessary information at a glance.

Step 1 – Locate your desired chicken cut in the first column.

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Step 2 – Check the second column for the approximate cooking time required for your chosen chicken part.

Step 3 – Find the type of heat (direct or indirect) indicated in the third column.

Step 4 – Preheat your grill to the temperature shown in the fourth and final column.

Grilled Chicken Temperature Chart

Our chicken grilling cheat sheet covers all chicken parts, whole chicken, and even spatchcocked chicken. Achieving the perfect grilled chicken hinges on using the correct grilling temperature and heat type to avoid undercooking or overcooking.

Remember, chicken is lean meat and can easily dry out if left on the grill for too long. While the times and temperatures listed in the grilled chicken temperature chart are approximate, the most crucial factor is the chicken’s internal temperature. Once it reaches 165°F, your chicken is done.

Grilled Boneless Breasts

For grilled boneless breasts, preheat your grill to 375°F. This delicate meat cooks quickly and is best prepared over direct heat. Expect boneless chicken breasts to be fully cooked in approximately 12-15 minutes on the grill. Don’t forget to flip the breasts halfway through cooking for even doneness.

Bone-In Breasts

Bone-in breasts take about 25 minutes to cook. Like boneless breasts, they require direct heat and a grill preheated to 375°F. Ensure even cooking by flipping them halfway through. If you notice any uneven cooking, consider rotating the breasts.

Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders, those small strips of meat attached to the underside of chicken breasts, are equally delicate and cook swiftly. On direct heat at 375°F, chicken tenders will be ready in 4-6 minutes.

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Chicken Wings

Grilled chicken wings are a beloved choice for many. With endless seasoning possibilities, they never disappoint. Wings grill quickly and can be enjoyed after approximately 25 minutes at 350°F over direct heat.

Looking for some exciting grilled wing variations? Try our Grilled Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings, Grilled Double IPA Chicken Wings, Grilled Pineapple Mango Chicken Wings, and Grilled Orange and Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings. And don’t forget that you can also smoke chicken wings for an amazing flavor experience!

Boneless Thighs

Dark meat, such as boneless thighs, offers unparalleled flavor and moisture due to its slightly higher fat content. Boneless thighs are convenient to grill and only require 20 minutes on direct heat at 375°F since the bone has been removed. They can be a great substitute for grilled chicken breast in your favorite recipes.

Bone-In Thighs

Grilled bone-in, skin-on thighs possess their own unique appeal and cook relatively fast. In 30-40 minutes on direct heat at 400°F, your thighs should reach the USDA recommended internal temperature of 165°F. Remember that cooking times may vary due to several factors, so using a meat thermometer is essential to ensure safe cooking.


Grilled chicken drumsticks are always a hit at gatherings—they’re delicious and fun to eat! As a thicker, bone-in cut, drumsticks require approximately 40 minutes at 400°F over direct heat. For an added twist, try making grilled chicken lollipops by cutting a section on the smaller end and grilling them in an upright position.


One of the best things about chicken quarters is their affordable price. If you prefer smaller cuts, you can separate them into drumsticks and thighs. When grilling chicken quarters, expect them to be ready in 35-45 minutes at 350°F over direct heat. If you’d like to baste them with BBQ sauce, do so in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking to caramelize the sauce.

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Whole Chicken

To elevate your grilling game, give a whole chicken a good massage with your favorite dry rub mix and grill it on a beer can. The beer inside the can helps keep the chicken moist and promotes even cooking. If you opt for indirect heat at 375°F, your grilled whole chicken will be fully cooked in approximately 105-150 minutes. You can also grill the whole chicken at 350°F, but it will take a bit longer to reach the required internal temperature.

Spatchcocked Chicken

Butterflying or spatchcocking a whole chicken involves removing the backbone and flattening the bird to expedite the cooking process. Grilled spatchcocked chicken cooks faster, requiring 30-50 minutes on indirect heat at 375°F. For an even speedier grill, try grilled spatchcock Cornish hens. They’re smaller than regular chickens and will be fully cooked in about 30 minutes using the same indirect heat.

Best Chicken Grilling Tips

Want to enhance your grilling skills or guarantee delicious chicken every time? Keep these tips in mind for your next chicken grilling adventure:

  • For faster and more even cooking of chicken breasts, lightly pound the thicker end to flatten them slightly. Avoid over-thinning, as it can result in dry chicken.
  • Always grill chicken with the lid closed to prevent heat loss and reduce cooking time.
  • If your bone-in chicken is browning too quickly, move it to the indirect heat zone to ensure internal doneness without charring the exterior.
  • Infuse flavor into your chicken by marinating, wet brining, or using a dry rub. Allowing the chicken to absorb the flavors in the refrigerator yields incredibly moist and tasty results.
  • Quality matters. Free-range, organic chicken boasts a firmer texture and more intense flavor. If you can afford the added cost, it’s well worth it.
  • You can even grill frozen chicken, although it’s not ideal. Refer to the chicken grilling cheat sheet, but remember to reduce the cooking temperature by 20% and increase the total grilling time by 50%.
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Note: If you’re in the mood for chicken burgers, consult our printable Burger Temperature Chart. Chicken burgers are lighter alternatives to beef and just as satisfying!


How to Download

Grilling chicken doesn’t have to be challenging. To make your experience even easier, we offer a free printable grilled chicken temperature chart. Simply enter your email address in the box below, and we’ll send the PDF directly to your inbox for download.

Related Grilling Tips

Grilled Chicken Temperature Chart

Grilled Chicken Temperature Chart

Enjoy your grilling adventures with Family Cuisine!

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