The Best Moment To Add Sauce To Grilled Chicken

Who doesn't love a good summer cookout? Festive outdoor gatherings of friends that are marked by plenty of delicious food and lots of cold beer, cookouts typically feature classic summer dishes we all love. There are tons of grilled items such as burgers to fun sides such as creamy potato salad and heat-appropriate desserts such as lemonade popsicles.

And of course, what would a cookout be without grilled chicken? Whether it's threaded onto skewers, lacquered in peanut sauce, or even plopped butt-end onto a beer can, warm, smokey grilled chicken is a summertime favorite. Many of us like our grilled chicken slathered in tangy barbecue sauce to crate finger-licking BBQ chicken. But if you're like most people, you've probably experienced scorched barbecue sauced chicken more times than you'd like to admit. And if you can't figure out how your beloved BBQ chicken keeps burning on the grill, here's your answer. It's likely that you're basting the chicken with sauce too early on in the cooking process.

Wait until chicken is nearly done before basting with BBQ sauce

We've all been there. The grill is hot and loaded with delicious-smelling chicken which we've lovingly basted with many coatings of tangy BBQ sauce. But before long, the tantalizing aroma of grilling chicken turns a bit acrid, and that sweet BBQ sauce has burned right up on the grill, imparting off flavors to the poultry underneath.

According to Insider, this all-too-common BBQ chicken pitfall occurs as a result of basting the chicken too soon. With all that time and high heat on the grill, the sugar-laden BBQ sauce burns, and can even cause you to serve raw chicken if you judge that it's cooked just by looking at the charred outside. "Sauce can add a great caramelized crust and flavor but adding too much too early can cause sugar to burn quickly and make it more difficult to judge if your meat is cooked through," cooking show host Courney Rada told the outlet.

Instead, Kitchn recommends basting chicken with sauce only once it's nearly done, after it's cooked over indirect heat and you've moved it to a hot zone to caramelize and finish cooking. That way, you'll get a delicious crust of sauce — no burning included.