How to Keep Chicken From Sticking to Grill?

Grilling the perfect chicken can be quite a tricky task, especially when it comes to keeping it from sticking to the grill. If you feel like you’ve been stuck in a never-ending struggle for that perfectly cooked chicken, you’ve come to the right place!

Today I’ll be helping you understand how to keep chicken from sticking to your grill and ensuring that your grilled meals are always delicious. Grab your tongs. Let’s get grilling!

Key Takeaways:

  • Chicken can stick to the grill for a variety of reasons, including lack of grease on the grates, too much heat, or flipping too soon.
  • To prevent sticking, oil the chicken before cooking and clean your grill often.
  • Use oils with a high smoking point when cooking chicken to prevent charring and sticking.
  • Preheat your grill before adding chicken to help lower the chance of sticking.
how to keep chicken from sticking to grill

Why Does Chicken Stick to the Grill?

Chicken can stick to the grill for a variety of reasons. One of the common causes is due to a lack of grease on the grates. When food comes into contact with hot metal, it naturally starts to stick if there isn’t enough oil or butter between them. Additionally, too much heat can also cause sticking, especially when cooking thin or delicate foods like chicken breasts.

Too much heat causes these proteins to cook quickly and contract at an accelerated rate – leading to sticking on the grill grates. Lastly, food items have a tendency to stick if they are flipped too soon – meaning that the surface hasn’t had time to develop sufficient sear marks which act as handles that allow you to separate food from the grill grates easily and without it sticking.

Ways to Prevent Sticking

Cooking chicken on a grill can be a tasty and enjoyable experience, but it can quickly turn into a mess if the chicken sticks to the grill. To prevent sticking, follow these tips to ensure your chicken comes out perfectly cooked and free from sticking.

Oil the Chicken Before Cooking

It’s important to properly prepare the chicken before you start grilling to make sure it doesn’t stick. Start by lightly oiling the chicken with a light cooking oil or olive oil. This helps prevent sticking and adds a delicious crispiness to the skin.

Make sure to completely cover the entire chicken, including underneath and in between skin and bones, with a thin layer of oil. This will help create a barrier between the chicken and the grill, preventing it from sticking when cooked. For an extra flavor boost, try using an infused or flavored oil prior to grilling – garlic-infused olive oil is especially delicious!

Clean Your Grill Often

Regular cleaning with a wire brush after each use is the best way to prevent chicken from sticking to your grill. Depending on the type of material you’re using, this process can vary slightly. For a charcoal grill, let the heat cool for about 30 minutes, then use a long-handled wire brush or water and baking soda to brush away any remaining food particles. If you’re using a gas grill, turn off the heat and wait for it to cool before brushing away any remaining particles.

If your chicken is still sticking to the grate of your grill, add an oil-based or fat-based liquid such as vegetable oil, melted butter or melted lard before grilling. Spray lightly with an oil-soaked paper towel directly at the grate before preheating. For added flavor and nonstick properties, season the underside of your chicken pieces with coarse salt prior to cooking. The salt acts as an abrasive scrub when cooked and helps prevent sticking on contact.

Use Oils With a High Smoking Point

Grilling can often leave your chicken sticking to the grill and no one likes having to pick off the charred pieces to put in their dish. To prevent this, it is essential to use oils with a high smoking point when cooking chicken.

Oils with a high smoking point, do not burn and break down at the high temperatures that grilling can reach when compared to other oils. Examples of oils with a high smoking point are grape seed oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and extra light olive oil.

To use these oils for grilling chicken, simply brush a light coating of these oils on both sides of the chicken you are intending to grill before putting it on the grill. As using a light coating prevents charring and sticking of food onto the grill, ensure that you don’t go overboard when brushing on the oil as too much will only cause more sticking rather than less in this case. These steps can help reduce sticking while also bringing out great flavor when grilling your chicken!

Preheat Your Grill

Preheating your grill before adding chicken is necessary to prevent sticking. When you preheat the grates of your barbecue, there will be some charring and coking of the grates which help to lower the chance of sticking. Make sure you preheat for 10-15 minutes on high heat with the lid down as this will also help get rid of any food particles that might have been left over from a previous cookout.

It’s important to note that preheating does deteriorate nonstick coatings often found in newer grills, so be sure to give your cooking surface a good scrub first. Additionally, oiling your cooking surfaces at the beginning of each cookout can also help prevent food from sticking and make cleaning up much easier. Allow 15-20 minutes to pass between oiling and cooking – this will allow oil to become tacky enough so it won’t drip off when food goes on.


So, there you have it. Everything you need to know to prevent your chicken from sticking to the grill and causing a headache. By following these simple tips, your grilled chicken will be removed easily every time.