Poultry Temperature and Cooking Guide

Here are some guidelines for cuts, thicknesses, weights, and grilling times. Most of these are standard practice, but as a Pit Boss you to always want to use your best judgement.  Cooking times can sometimes be affected by things like – outdoor temperature, wind, or even your desired doneness. Most of the times listed in the extensive guides below are for achieving medium doneness, unless otherwise noted.

A safe internal temperature for poultry is 165°F.

Type Thickness or Weight Approximate Cooking Time
Chicken Breast, Bone-in 10–12 oz 3 – 5 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F); 20 – 30 min indirect medium heat
Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless 6–8 oz 8 – 12 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F), turning once
Chicken Drumstick, Bone-In 3–4 oz 6 – 10 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F); 30 min indirect medium heat
Chicken Thigh Meat, Ground ¾" thick 12 – 14 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F), turning once
Chicken Thigh, Bone-in 5–6 oz sear 6 – 10 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F); grill 30 min indirect medium heat
Chicken Thigh, Boneless, Skinless 4 oz 8 – 10 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F), turning once
Chicken, Whole 4–5lb 1¼ – 1½ hours indirect medium heat (350°F – 450°F)
Chicken, Whole Leg 10–12 oz sear 8 – 10 min direct medium heat (350°F – 450°F); grill 40 – 50 min indirect medium heat
Cornish Game Hen 1½–2lb 50 – 60 min indirect high heat (450°F – 550°F)
Turkey Breast, Boneless 2½lb 1 – 1¼ hours indirect medium heat (350°F – 450°F)
Turkey, Whole, Unstuffed 10–12lb 2½ – 3½ hours indirect low heat (250°F – 350°F)


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