If you're looking for an easy and delicious way to cook chicken legs, look no further than your trusty blackstone griddle. This versatile piece of equipment is perfect for cooking meat, and chicken legs are no exception. In this article, we'll take you through every step of the process, from choosing the right chicken legs to cleaning up after you've finished cooking.
Choosing the right chicken legs for griddling
The first step in cooking chicken legs on a blackstone griddle is to choose the right ones. You'll want to look for legs that are uniform in size and shape, with plenty of meat and a healthy amount of fat. You can choose to cook with skin-on or skinless chicken legs - it's up to your personal preference. However, keep in mind that skinless legs may dry out more quickly than skin-on ones.
Another important factor to consider when choosing chicken legs for griddling is the quality of the meat. Look for legs that are fresh and have not been frozen, as frozen meat can become tough and lose flavor. Additionally, consider purchasing organic or free-range chicken legs, as they tend to have a better taste and texture than conventionally raised chicken.
Preparing the chicken legs for the griddle
Once you've selected your chicken legs, it's time to prepare them for the griddle. Start by rinsing them in cold water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Then, use a sharp knife to remove any excess fat or cartilage. You can also trim off any loose skin if you're using skin-on legs. It's important to have your chicken legs at room temperature before cooking - so take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking.
Next, you can marinate the chicken legs to add flavor. You can use a store-bought marinade or make your own using ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Simply coat the chicken legs in the marinade and let them sit in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight for maximum flavor.
When it's time to cook the chicken legs, preheat your griddle to medium-high heat. Brush the griddle with oil to prevent sticking, then place the chicken legs on the griddle. Cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let the chicken legs rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.
Seasoning options for grilled chicken legs
There are endless seasoning options for your chicken legs - it really depends on your taste preferences. You can use a dry rub or marinade to infuse your chicken with flavor. Some popular seasoning options include garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme. You can also opt for a pre-made seasoning mix. When seasoning your chicken legs, it's important to apply the seasoning evenly and generously to ensure that the flavor is evenly distributed.
If you're looking for a healthier option, you can try using herbs and spices to season your chicken legs. Some great options include rosemary, oregano, basil, and turmeric. These herbs and spices not only add flavor but also have health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
Another option is to use a brine solution to season your chicken legs. Brining involves soaking the chicken in a mixture of salt, sugar, and water for several hours before grilling. This helps to keep the chicken moist and infuses it with flavor. You can also add herbs and spices to the brine solution for added flavor.
Heating up the griddle for optimal results
Before you start cooking your chicken legs, you'll want to make sure that your blackstone griddle is properly heated. Preheat your griddle on medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes before cooking. You can test if your griddle is heated up by splashing a drop of water on the surface - if it sizzles and evaporates immediately, you're good to go!
It's important to note that the cooking time for chicken legs will vary depending on their size and thickness. As a general rule, you'll want to cook them for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. To ensure even cooking, try to space out the chicken legs on the griddle and avoid overcrowding. Once they're done, let them rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.
How to properly oil the griddle surface
Next, it's time to oil your griddle surface. You can use a paper towel or a cooking brush to spread a thin layer of oil on the griddle. Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or vegetable oil, to avoid burning your chicken legs.
Setting up the grill temperature for perfect cooking
Once your griddle is heated up and oiled, it's time to set the temperature for perfect cooking. For chicken legs, we recommend cooking them on medium heat (around 350-375F) for about 25-30 minutes. This will ensure that the chicken is cooked through without burning the outside. You can adjust the temperature as necessary throughout the cooking process to achieve the desired results.
When cooking steak, it's important to get the temperature just right to achieve the perfect level of doneness. For a medium-rare steak, set the grill temperature to high (around 450-500F) and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. For a well-done steak, lower the temperature to medium (around 375-400F) and cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side.
If you're grilling vegetables, it's best to use a lower temperature to prevent them from burning. Set the grill to medium-low (around 300-325F) and cook for about 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally. This will allow the vegetables to cook through without becoming too charred or mushy.
Grilling chicken legs on a blackstone griddle step-by-step
Now it's time for the main event - grilling your chicken legs on the blackstone griddle. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Place your seasoned chicken legs on the oiled griddle surface.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes on one side.
- Flip the legs over and cook for another 10-12 minutes on the other side.
- Continue cooking the chicken legs, flipping them occasionally, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F (use a meat thermometer to check).
- Remove the chicken legs from the griddle and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
One important thing to keep in mind when grilling chicken legs on a blackstone griddle is to avoid overcrowding the surface. If you place too many chicken legs on the griddle at once, they will release moisture and steam, which can prevent them from getting crispy and brown. It's best to cook the chicken legs in batches, leaving enough space between them to allow for proper cooking and browning.
Tips for ensuring even cooking and avoiding dryness
There are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your chicken legs are cooked evenly and remain moist throughout the cooking process:
- Don't overcrowd the griddle - leave enough space between the chicken legs to allow for even cooking.
- Try to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process to avoid burning or undercooking your chicken legs.
- Baste your chicken legs with oil or marinade periodically throughout the cooking to keep them moist.
- Flip your chicken legs frequently to ensure that all sides are evenly cooked.
Another tip to ensure even cooking and avoid dryness is to marinate your chicken legs before cooking. This not only adds flavor but also helps to keep the meat moist. You can use a variety of marinades, such as lemon and herb, teriyaki, or barbecue.
Additionally, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken legs. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that it is safe to eat. By using a meat thermometer, you can avoid overcooking or undercooking your chicken legs, which can lead to dryness or foodborne illness.
How to check if your chicken legs are cooked thoroughly
To check if your chicken legs are cooked thoroughly, use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature. Your chicken legs should have an internal temperature of 165F to be safe to eat. You can also check if your chicken legs are fully cooked by cutting into the meat near the bone - the juices should run clear and the meat should no longer be pink.
Resting and serving your grilled chicken legs
Once your chicken legs are cooked, it's important to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a more flavorful and tender chicken leg. Serve your chicken legs hot with your choice of sides and sauces.
Delicious sides and sauces that pair well with grilled chicken legs
There are plenty of delicious sides and sauces that pair well with grilled chicken legs. Some popular options include:
- Roasted vegetables
- Grilled corn on the cob
- BBQ sauce
- Garlic butter
- Honey mustard sauce
Cleaning your blackstone griddle after cooking chicken legs
After you've finished cooking your chicken legs, it's important to clean your blackstone griddle to ensure that it stays in good condition. Start by scraping off any excess food or grease using a grill scraper. Then, use a paper towel or cloth soaked in hot water to wipe down the surface. Once you're done, rinse the griddle with hot water and let it dry before storing it away.
Troubleshooting common issues when cooking chicken legs on a griddle
If you run into any issues when cooking your chicken legs on a blackstone griddle, don't worry - there are usually easy solutions. Here are a few common issues and how to solve them:
- Chicken legs are burning on the outside before they're cooked through - lower the griddle temperature and cook for a longer period of time.
- Chicken legs are drying out during cooking - baste them with oil or marinade periodically throughout the cooking process.
- The griddle surface is sticking to the chicken legs - make sure to properly oil the surface before cooking, and use a metal spatula to flip the chicken legs.
Frequently asked questions about cooking chicken legs on a blackstone griddle
Here are some frequently asked questions about cooking chicken legs on a blackstone griddle:
- Can I use frozen chicken legs? It's best to use thawed chicken legs for even cooking.
- Can I use a different type of oil to oil the griddle? You can use any oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or avocado oil.
- How long does it take to cook chicken legs on a blackstone griddle? It usually takes around 25-30 minutes, depending on the temperature and thickness of the chicken legs.
Now you have all the information you need to cook delicious chicken legs on your blackstone griddle. So fire up your griddle and get cooking!