Having chicken stick to foil is one of the banes of anyone who likes to eat wings. I used to work for a pizza chain and have prepped thousands of pieces of chicken. We were taught how to do it properly so that customers wouldn’t be placing angry calls to us later on that night.
The easiest way to keep chicken from sticking to foil is by applying cooking spray or cooking oil to the non-stick side of the foil. It is of utmost importance to completely cover the chicken and have it only touch the non-stick “duller” side of the foil and not the shinier side.
This simple method will usually fix all your sticking problems. However, if you are baking or like your chicken more “fall off the bone,” there is another way to do it. Let’s cover both the easy and more complicated methods in greater detail.
How to Stop Foil From Sticking to Chicken (Basic)
Keeping chicken from sticking to the foil is easy once you follow these simple steps:
- Wrap completely- Tear off an adequate amount of foil to completely cover the chicken. An opening in the foil can allow moisture or steam in to wash away the oil and cause sticking to occur.
- Spray thoroughly- Coat the foil’s duller side entirely with spray or use at least 1-2 tablespoons of oil. It is crucial to make sure the oil is spread evenly across the foil landscape. Even an inch of bare foil can make for a big sticky mess and tear the entire skin off the piece of chicken when you remove it after cooking.
- Carefully place the chicken- Make sure you set the chicken down directly onto the foil and do not allow it to slide across the surface. It is easy to displace the spray or oil and create bare spots on the foil, which can lead to sticking.
- Wrap chicken completely- There should be no chicken showing or holes in the foil. If moisture is allowed to flow into the foil during cooking, it can wash away spray or oil and cause sticking to occur.
Remember that there is no completely foolproof method, and chicken can sometimes stick to the tin foil even when abundantly oiled.
Pro Tip: Usually, it’s the skin that sticks, so going with skinless chicken is a great way to solve the issue. As a bonus, it’s much healthier as well.
SureFire Method to Prevent Chicken From Sticking to Foil (Advanced)
If you like your chicken firmer and held together, stick to method one. Try this more advanced method if you prefer your chicken to be moister and “fall off the bone.”
Step One: Brine your chicken
A brine only takes a few minutes to make. The purpose is to plump up the chicken a bit and season it. A brine helps the meat to stay moist and can keep it from sticking.
A simple chicken brine has two ingredients: salt and water. A more elaborate brine has additional components. An elaborate brine could include honey, salt, garlic, herbs, and lemon.
When creating a brine, you want to add 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of water used. You need enough water to surround the chicken.
- All your brine ingredients are put in a pot, along with water, and heated until the salt dissolves.
- Once the brine cools to room temperature, place it in your chicken.
- Store the brine-covered chicken in the fridge for the recommended amount of time. You do not want to keep your chicken in the brine for too long because your chicken would get too salty.
The time needed to brine your chicken depends on whether your chicken is boned or boneless. Chicken thighs and drumsticks can soak for about 4 hours before cooking. Boneless pieces need to sit for about two hours in a wet brine.
Pro Tip: Salt is an essential ingredient when it comes to cultivating moist chicken. Moisture is the key ingredient necessary to stop foil from sticking to the meat. If you do not have the time to brine your chicken, make sure you salt it well, as it will help keep the moisture inside the chicken.
After your chicken sits in the brine for the allotted time, take it out of the fridge. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse it off. Pat it dry and place it in the refrigerator to dry further (about an hour).
Step Two: Temper your chicken
If you have time before you need to start cooking, you can temper your meat. To temper your chicken, simply remove it from the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Let the chicken rest and allow it to get closer to room temperature before placing in the oven. Tempered chicken cooks evenly and results in moist chicken. Any added moisture will help keep the chicken from sticking to the foil.
Step Three: Grease or spray the foil
Use the non-stick side of the foil and spray or grease it well. Only use the duller side of the foil!
Step Four: Cover the top with aluminum foil
Once you place your chicken on the greased foil, take another sheet of oiled tin foil and cover the chicken. When the chicken cooks, it will become really moist (fall off the bone), and this will help keep the foil from sticking to your dinner.
Step Five: Turn your chicken
When your chicken is in the oven or on the grill, you want to make sure that you turn it once or twice. Turning the chicken will help prevent the chicken from attaching to the foil.
Before taking the food out of the oven, make sure you check the chicken’s internal temperature. Put the thermometer in the thickest part of the poultry. When it reaches 165 degrees, it is safe to eat.
The more straightforward method of just using the dull side of the foil and spraying it well is really all you need to know to keep your chicken from sticking. If it does happen to stick a bit, just turn a spoon backward and slowly peel the chicken away from the foil. Unless you forgot to spray it, you can usually salvage the meat without completely destroying it.
I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for stoppin’ by!
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.