Skip to Content

Do you suppose to cook your chicken in aluminum foil while on the grill?

Quick Answer

Yes, cooking chicken in aluminum foil on the grill can be a great way to cook moist, tender chicken without drying it out. The foil helps seal in moisture and steam to keep the chicken juicy. Make sure the foil is wrapped tightly and check for tears so the steam stays inside. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked through to 165°F. Let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before unwrapping to allow juices to redistribute.

Benefits of Cooking Chicken in Foil on the Grill

Retains Moisture

One of the main benefits of cooking chicken in foil packets on the grill is that it helps retain moisture. Chicken breast especially can easily dry out on the grill from high heat. But the foil wraps act like a little oven, trapping steam around the chicken so it cooks gently and stays tender and juicy.

Infuses Flavor

You can add herbs, spices, lemon, garlic or other flavorings inside the foil packets to really infuse the chicken with extra flavor as it cooks. The sealed environment concentrates the seasonings so they penetrate deep into the meat. This can result in very flavorful, aromatic chicken off the grill.

Easy to Cook

Cooking chicken in foil on the grill provides a very easy, mess-free way to grill. There’s no need to worry about pieces falling through the grill grate or sticking. Just place the foil packets directly on the grill, close the lid, and let the chicken gently steam and roast inside.

Individual Servings

Making individual foil packets allows you to cook every piece perfectly since thicker parts of chicken cook slower. It also provides built-in portion control and removes the step of dividing up the chicken later for serving.

How to Cook Chicken in Foil on the Grill

Prep the Chicken

Start by cutting chicken breasts or thighs into individual portions. Trim off any excess fat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, herbs, spices, garlic, lemon etc. Brushing with a little oil helps the seasonings stick.

Make Foil Packets

Tear off sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil about 12-14 inches long. Place a chicken piece in the center. Add any additional flavorings – sliced lemons, garlic, herbs. Bring foil edges together and seal tightly by crimping and folding the edges. Make sure packets are fully sealed with no tears.

Grill the Packets

Place foil packets directly on hot grill grates. Close the lid and grill 15-25 minutes until chicken is fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Rotate packets halfway through for even cooking.

Check for Doneness

Use an instant read meat thermometer to check temperature. Insert it through the foil into the thickest part of chicken without touching bone. Chicken is safe to eat at 165°F.

Let Rest and Serve

Before unwrapping foil, let chicken rest 5-10 minutes. This allows juices to redistribute so they don’t run out when you cut into it. Carefully open packets, garnish chicken with any extra herbs or lemon slices, and serve.

Tips for Cooking Chicken in Foil on the Grill

Use Heavy Duty Foil

Be sure to use heavy duty aluminum foil that is less likely to tear on the grill. Regular foil can easily rip and cause the chicken to dry out.

Prevent Poking Holes

Avoid using forks or sharp objects when sealing foil that could poke holes in the packets and let moisture escape.

Place Packets Carefully

Set foil packets gently on grill grates, don’t toss. Sudden drops could cause tiny tears.

Rotate Periodically

Rotate packets halfway through cooking for even exposure to heat so chicken cooks evenly.

Check Internal Temperature

Always use a meat thermometer to verify chicken reaches a safe 165°F, even if the foil packet puffs up, which signals doneness.


What size foil should I use?

Opt for heavy-duty or extra-heavy duty aluminum foil that is less prone to tearing. Standard foil thickness is 12 microns while heavy-duty is 18-20 microns. Use sheets about 12-14 inches long.

Should the foil packet be sealed tight?

Yes, seal the foil packet by tightly folding and crimping the edges so steam stays trapped inside with the chicken as it cooks. The steam helps keep the meat very moist.

How long does it take to cook chicken in foil on a grill?

Cooking time can range from 15-30 minutes depending on thickness of chicken and heat of grill. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts take 15-20 mins while bone-in thighs take 25-30 mins. Always check internal temperature.

Can you put raw chicken straight on the grill in foil?

Yes, the chicken can be placed directly on the hot grill inside a sealed foil packet without precooking. The packet creates an oven-like environment to gently cook the raw chicken through.

Should chicken in foil be flipped halfway through cooking?

Yes, rotating the foil packets 180 degrees halfway through helps ensure even exposure to heat so the chicken cooks evenly on both sides.


Cooking chicken in foil packets on the grill is an easy, effective technique to get tender, juicy results every time. The sealed foil pouch steams the chicken gently while also allowing flavorful smoky grill flavor to permeate. Follow a few simple tips like using heavy duty foil, sealing it tightly, and monitoring temperature. In no time, you’ll be a pro at grilling irresistibly moist and delicious chicken in foil.