Grilling is a popular method of cooking that has been around for centuries. It is a method that involves cooking food on an open flame, imparting a unique smoky flavor that is hard to replicate with any other cooking technique. One of the best things to grill is chicken, and when you combine that with beer brining, you get a dish that is truly outstanding. In this article, we will explore the art of grilling beer-brined chicken, and why it is a dish that every food enthusiast should try.
The Science of Beer Brining
Before we dive into the grilling process, let’s take a moment to understand the science behind beer brining. Brining is a process of soaking meat in a solution of salt and water for an extended period. The saltwater solution penetrates the meat, adding flavor, and making it tender and juicy. Beer is an excellent addition to brine because it contains acid, enzymes, and sugars that help tenderize the meat and add depth to the flavor. It also helps to impart a unique, slightly sweet, and slightly hoppy flavor that is hard to replicate with any other ingredient.
Now that we know why beer brining is an excellent technique let’s get to the recipe. The first step is to gather your ingredients. You will need:
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 cans of beer (preferably a lager or pilsner)
- 1 cup of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
Once you have your ingredients, it’s time to get started.
- In a large pot or container, mix the beer, salt, sugar, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, paprika, and thyme until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Add the chicken to the brine, making sure that all the pieces are submerged. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- When you are ready to grill, remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates to prevent sticking.
- Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy.
- Flip the chicken over and continue to grill for another 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165┬░F.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks
Grilling beer-brined chicken may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, it can be a breeze.
- Make sure that you use a beer that you enjoy drinking. The flavor of the beer will infuse the chicken, so pick a beer that you love.
- Don’t brine the chicken for too long. Over-brining can result in the chicken being too salty.
- Make sure that the chicken is completely dry before grilling. This will help to ensure that the skin gets crispy.
- Don’t be afraid to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. This will ensure that it is cooked through but not overcooked.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure that the chicken is moist and tender.