Getting Crisper Chicken Skin

I recently got a gas grill. Yes, a grill that actually runs on gas instead of charcoal or wood! But… it’s in infrared grill! I haven’t used it enough yet to know what all infrared will do to change my grilling, but I do know that it seemed to do a great job on a couple of chickens.

Seasoned Chickens

When grilling chicken on a gas grill, it can be difficult to get much smoke flavor. With the Char-Broil Quantum 4 burner, wood chips go right on the grill, without having to do anything else to them, and they create a pretty nice amount of smoke. This allows some good smoke flavor while still cooking at a bit higher temperature to get the chicken skin crispy. The grill did a nice combination of the two.


It’s always tempting to do the whole barbecue thing on chicken, but I find that I like the versatility of doing a non-barbecue chicken, but with lots of fresh herbs instead of barbecue rub. Next time I need to do one of each maybe, but leftover barbecue chicken doesn’t lend itself to chicken salad quite as much.

Herbs to chop

our herbs have gone nuts this year, so I cut off some basil, oregano and thyme and chopped them up, then slid the herbs, with some salt and pepper under the skin of the chickens. That’s all the seasoning I did other than to lightly coat them with olive oil. The grill was warmed up for about 15 minutes, with the two outer burners on and the inside burners left off.

Chickens in the Infrared

Honestly, I didn’t even bother looking at the grill temp, but I put a couple of handfuls of apple wood chips on the grill above the lit burners (the outside ones, if you’ll recall), and turned the burners to about medium heat. The chickens went on the grill right in the middle, and I left them alone for about 30 minutes, then I added more chips and closed ‘er up again.

Chickens about to leave the hot grill

The chickens got to 160F in about an hour, and I took them off the grill and inside to rest for a few minutes. (The temp carried to 165 while the chickens rested). The new grill has a feature that self cleans… All the burners go on high, and the grill shuts itself off after 15 minutes. I just kind of wiped it all down afterwards, no muss no fuss!

Chicken Dinner

How did the chickens turn out? Juicy and delicious! The herb-ness was great, and the skin was crispy. What more can you ask for from a chicken? And the grill? So far, so good (but it will take a lot to displace the Bubba Keg as my number 1 grill!)

And why is the skin crispier? Using the infrared grill, I had enough surface area to place the chickens over an unlit portion (so as not to burn the chicken) while using the outer burners to “bake” the chicken with higher heat. That, coupled with the olive oil, got the skin wonderfully crisp!

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. Great looking chicken, Curt. I bought a combo unit this year that has a gas grill. I use it some but I’m still getting used to it. I prefer coal still but it is good to have access to both.
    Chris recently posted..Product Review: Sweetwater Spice Company Brine ConcentratesMy Profile

  2. Chris,

    I’m just getting used to the infrared… It seems to be much more even and predictable than regular gas. I think it will prove to be more versatile than regular propane grills… But I’ll never prefer anything over making a fire with wood. :)
    Curt recently posted..Getting Crisper Chicken SkinMy Profile

  3. Those chickens look scrumptious! Now I’m craving a whole roasted or grilled chicken.

  4. Russell,

    Thanks. I’ve got another one on today, along with turkey tenderloins and a couple eye of round roasts. I’m trying some variety on the infrared grill, ending with a ribeye steak tonight!
    Curt recently posted..The Phil McRibMy Profile

  5. I have to say too that those chickens look tasty! Now I’m craving a whole roasted or grilled chicken. It will end up being handier than regular propane grill but I’ll never prefer anything over making a fire with wood.

  6. Rosa,

    This can be done using a wood fire, too; I just tried it on the new infrared. Adding the wood chips on the grill allowed for a smokiness that was nice, but I still do prefer charcoal/wood, too.
    Curt recently posted..The Phil McRibMy Profile

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