Pre-cooking Chicken Legs and thighs

Discussion in 'Grilling Discussion' started by dconklin, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. dconklin

    dconklin Active Member

    Do you pre-cook your chicken legs before putting BBQ sauce on them and putting them on the grill?
    I have had too many times of going to other people's cook outs and the BBQ chicken legs or thighs were dried out. I have been pre-cooking mine either in boiling water with garlic or in the oven at 300 degrees with the BBQ sauce on them. I then bring them out quickly throw them on a heated grill to finish cooking them. They have always been the most moist chicken legs and thighs I have had off the grill.

    Do you pre-cook? If not how do you keep them frying drying out too much?
  2. No, I don't precook them. I don't find them drying out on the grill. You shouldn't cook them with BBQ sauce on the grill; usually that only goes on at the end with a few minutes left. Maybe that is why they dry out for you?
  3. Jessi

    Jessi Active Member

    No, I haven't done that before. I don't have any issues with mine drying out either. I do baste mine with BBQ sauce more than once while they're cooking, though, so maybe that helps. If they're drying out, chances are they're being left on the grill for too long, too, so pulling them off when they're just cooked is important. If pre-cooking works for you, though, awesome....just seems like extra hassle or defeats the point of grilling outside for me, if I'm going to heat up the house anyway.
  4. dconklin

    dconklin Active Member

    Yeah it has been working for me this way but yeah it does take extra work, they are delicious this way. I do not fully cook them before grilling. I often add them to cold water with garlic and turn the burner on high. Once the water starts to boil, I remove them and immediately put them on grill. I do not pre-bake them as often as in water, but when I do it is on lower heat and again not fully cooked first.
    I want to try them without pre-cooking them but because of my experiences with other people's chicken being too dry when they don't pre-cook it had me worried about trying it. That is actually the reason I have been pre-cooking them for years-fear they would turn out dried out like others. They must have just been over cooking them.

    I will be brave and try them without pre-cooking this year now that I know others have success :)
  5. Arnold

    Arnold Member

    I've never tried to pre-cook chicken when putting it on the grill, but I can see how it might be a great idea. I hate biting into a piece of chicken that's pink on the inside. I'm ready to stop eating by then.
  6. rayne

    rayne Member

    dconklin, if I'm going to all that work to precook them in the oven, then I'm just going to cook them all the way in the oven. I have found that the juiciness of the chicken from the grill has to do with the length of time you take to cook it. The slower the better. And Tequila is right, the BBQ sauce never goes on until they are just about done. Maybe one or two minutes before.
  7. dconklin

    dconklin Active Member

    I do boil them more often then bake them. I am definitely trying them this year without precooking them. It was just all the past experiences at other BBQs that made me worry about it. Do you marinade yours for a little bit or just throw them on the grill as is?
  8. shaun

    shaun Active Member

    I haven't ever pre-cooked chicken for the barbecue, I don't think it is necessary if you know how to cook the meat properly. I always pre-cook ribs, I braise the ribs in water and then use the grill. The braising softens the meat and makes it easier to tear the meat from the bone.
  9. Jessi

    Jessi Active Member

    Have you ever tried grilling them yourself, not pre-cooked, at all? Or are you just going by what you've seen at other people's barbecues and you don't like theirs all dried out?

    If you haven't, I highly recommend trying them just on the grill some time on your own grill. You may find that your friends/family simply suck at grilling chicken and it's not really the difference of precooking that's creating a different outcome.
    bigal3 likes this.
  10. Cowboy

    Cowboy Member

    Low and slow does wonders for chicken. I don't precook anything that goes on the grill and I think perfecting it is just a matter of trial and error. Give it a try. You can do it!!
  11. Nanatracyann

    Nanatracyann Member

    I have to say that putting chicken legs in the 'Crock Pot' even for a few hours before grilling makes a world of difference..they seem to be have more juice and tenderness to them..give it a try!
  12. Caryn

    Caryn Active Member

    I never pre-cook my chicken ahead of time before putting them on the grill. I always put my chicken directly on the grill and then putting the barbecue sauce on the chicken for the last 7 to 10 minutes. My chicken always tastes nice and moist. Perfect flavor and nice and tender.
  13. smoky

    smoky Member

    I'd precook ribs but never chicken. I usually cook my chicken on the upper rack at low to medium, turning it often. If you don't add the barbeque sauce until close to the end, they will be tender, juicy, and cooked through without burning.
  14. Jessi

    Jessi Active Member

    I love chicken out of the crockpot. It's always so moist and delicious. But I wouldn't think to bother lighting up the grill to cook them again after. I guess if it works for people, that's awesome, but it just feels like double duty to me.
  15. dconklin

    dconklin Active Member

    I actually like the skin to be crispy and have a slight burnt to it but the chicken to be quite juicy. I don't like the skin completely burnt but it has to be crispy with a hint of burnt bbq sauce, I don't like the skin to be too soft-it feels slimy to me. I think I am just a pain to please when it comes to chicken legs :)
  16. treetracker

    treetracker New Member

    I used to precook the chicken, but now I just cook it slowly, turning frequently. It helps that I only cook thighs. I add sauce at the end too. It works for me. Now if I could just figure out how to stop the flair ups when I add the chicken to the grill.
  17. bigal3

    bigal3 Member

    There is no point making double work for yourself. That's what you are doing when you boil. In addition you leave half of the essence of flavor in the pot; the fat that absorbs a lot of the seasonings you used. There is no need to preboil if you keep an eye on it once you put it on the grill. If your fire is right and you watch it you should have no problems.

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