Grilling Chicken; Which side to start with

Joined Dec 18, 2010
I like grilling chicken spatchcocked.  That is a technique that gets me to transition from a busy life to a relaxing dinner withut too much time and effort.

Grilling chicken can be a challenge due to flare-ups.  I use a gas grill mostly.  Unfortunately I had to upgrade it from BBQ rocks (fake briquettes made of some kind of ceramic-like material) to "flavorizor bars" recently.  The rock holder rusted out and has been "discontinued" by the manufacturer.  The frequency and intensity of flare-ups is much more difficult to control with the metal bars than with the BBQ rocks.

In the past I would start cooking the skin side to get nice color and crust.  The flip and finish cooking through the bones.

Unfortunately this no longer works and I've started cooking the bone side first in an attempt to render off the skin fat.  Unfortunately after flipping to the skin side it never crisps up like it did in the past.

What would you recommend?
Joined May 5, 2011
Here are a couple of ideas, Brian:

1. Set up your gas grill for indirect grilling (if you have a large enough grill, turn off the outside burners and put the chicken in the center). Sear the chicken, skin-side down, over direct heat. Then transfer, bone-side down,  to the unlit portion of the grill. Finish cooking to an internal temp of 165.

2. Follow #1 above, but put a heavy aluminum foil-covered brick on top of each breast, This compresses the meat and encourages the fat to render.

Hope this helps.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
You could probably have some heavy grade expanded metal lath cut to fit your grill for the lava rock. I've come to prefer the ceramic tiles or pyramids over the lava rock. Not a fan of flavorizer bars at all personally.  You can order the tiles lots of places if you can't find them locally, but my current set I got from  Good luck.

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