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5 from 1 vote

How to Grill Chicken Breast

To start, chicken breasts are an incredibly lean cut of meat. What does this mean? They don’t have very much fat content, so even the slightest overcooking results in a dried-out flavor.

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Breast
Servings: 1
Calories: 231kcal

Equipment

  • A large bowl
  • A propane or charcoal​ grill
  • An instant read thermometer or remote meat thermometer
  • Grill tongs

Ingredients

  • 4

    cups

    Water

  • 1/4

    cup

    Kosher salt

  • 2

    pounds

    Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 3

    tbsp Olive oil

  • 1

    tbsp Paprika

  • 1

    tbsp Mexican oregano

Instructions

  • Begin by trimming the chicken, removing the excess fat (if any) and trimming away any connective tissue. 

  • In a large bowl, combine the water and salt, using a whisk to completely dissolve the salt.

  • Add the chicken breasts to the brine and place the bowl in the refrigerator.

  • Allow it to brine for at least 30 minutes but no longer than an hour. 

  • Charcoal grill, gas grill - whatever there is at your disposal.

  •  The chicken may be low in fat content, but flare-ups are still possible if the last item you cooked left a lot of oil and residue.

  • If you didn’t clean the grill grates the last time you used it, clean it now by preheating the grill on high to get the drippings moving.

  • Once the grill is hot, use a brush to burn off any residues and brush it clean using a wide bristled grill brush.

  • When the grill is cleaned, you can prepare a medium fire grill.

  • Unlike grilling steak (where you want a super-hot grill to ensure a good sear), a chicken breast will not cook all the way through over high heat. 

  • The perfect temperature for your grill is between 375 and 450 degree F. 

  • Arrange the grill so one side is a higher, more direct heat and the other side is cooler with indirect heat.

  • This will allow you to achieve some nice browning on the outside using the hot side, and then move the chicken to the cool side to finish cooking.

  • Since you’ve brined the chicken, you won’t need to add any salt.

  • You do want to add some olive oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.

  • Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  • Coat them with the olive oil and sprinkle on the paprika and Mexican oregano.

  • If you wish, insert a remote thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast.

  • Place the chicken breasts on the hot side of the grill, cooking the presentation side (the top, smoother side) first.

  • Allow them to sit, undisturbed, for a few minutes until they have browned and have visible grill marks.

  • You can lift one of the breasts up with the tongs to check, but a good rule of thumb is that the chicken is not ready to flip if it sticks to the grill.

  • Once they’re ready, flip the breasts over and allow them to brown on the second side. 

  • Follow the same steps for the second side of the chicken breast.

  • When they have their grill marks and release easily, place them on the cooler side of the grill with the presentation side up (this way you don’t disturb your pretty grill marks!). 

  • Place the cover on top of the grill and allow the chicken to finish cooking.

  • The FDA’s approved cooking temperature for chicken breasts is 165 degrees F.

  • You can pull the chicken at 160 degrees F and the temperature will rise 5 degrees F as it rests.

  • For the juiciest, most flavorful chicken, you can remove the breasts from the heat at 150 degrees F.

  • Cover the breasts with aluminum foil and set aside for at least 5 minutes before slicing.



  • Chicken on its own tends to taste a little bland, even when you’ve brined it, seasoned it, and cooked it perfectly.

  • Serve the sliced chicken with a side of grilled vegetables and your choice of sauce. Or, keep the breasts whole and turn them into sandwiches.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 231kcal