Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts [Split, Skin On] with Rosemary and Lemon

Bone in chicken breasts are incredibly easy to grill as long as you take your time.  In addition to being easy, they can also be turned into some seriously amazing eats that blow the stereotype of “bland chicken breasts” out of the water.

Stick with me and let me show you how to grill some of the best chicken you will ever eat!

Grilled Bone In Skin On Chicken Breasts

Prepare the Chicken Breasts for the Grill

We are going to make the breasts tender and juicy with a brine.  We are going to pack them with flavor by stuffing rosemary and lemon under the skin!

Brine the Breasts

The first step in making the breasts incredible is to brine them.  Every now and then I get lazy and inject the chicken but it is never as good as when I soak it in a salt/sugar brine overnight.

Basic Brine Recipe

  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup kosher/sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

After the breasts have brined in the refrigerator for at least four hours, and preferably overnight, rinse them off with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Season the Breasts

One of the reasons that I love preparing skin on chicken breasts is how pretty the ingredients are! Look at that fresh rosemary and lemon slices…how could that not end up amazing?

Bone In Chicken Breast with Rosemary and Lemon

You need to lift up the skin and use your finger to open up a pocket between the skin and the meat.

Once the pocket is created add the following:

  • 1 thin slice of lemon
  • 1 three inch sprig of rosemary
  • 1 pat of real butter

Here is what it should look like.

Lemon under the chicken skin

Season the outside of the skin with salt and pepper or you can get a little fancier and use our award winning chicken rub.

Fire Up the Grill

I grilled these breasts on a Weber Q1200 gas grill but you can use any grill that has the ability to cook with direct Medium/Low heat.

Chicken Breasts on Weber Q1200

It is important to use Medium/Low heat.  Do not be tempted to crank the grill up to High.

The presence of the bones in the split breasts creates a very unevenly shaped piece of meat.   If we tried grilling the chicken at high heat like we do for grilled boneless breasts then the outside would be burned before the inside had time to finish cooking.

Place the chicken on the grill BONE SIDE DOWN and close the lid.

Every 4-5 minutes open the grill and move the breasts to different spots on the grill.  I do this to check to make sure nothing is burning and even out the cooking in case the grill is heating unevenly.

After 15 minutes of cooking, flip the breasts over so that they are now SKIN SIDE DOWN. The bone side of the chicken should have some char at this point but should not be burnt.

Char on Chicken Breasts

Grill the chicken, skin side down, for another 15 minutes moving it around every 4-5 minutes. Be vigilant for flare ups as the skin starts to render fat.

After 15 minutes flip the chicken to SKIN SIDE UP and finish grilling until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.

Finished Grilled Chicken Breast

The grilled lemon and aromatic rosemary combine to make this juicy chicken extraordinarily delicious!

If you are looking for other ideas to try then here is our recipe for Smoked Bone In Chicken Breasts.

Grilled Bone In Skin On Chicken Breasts

Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts with Rosemary and Lemon

Bone in chicken breasts are brined, stuffed with lemon and rosemary, then grilled over low heat to a perfect 165F. The flavor combination is amazing.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 275 kcal


  • 4 large bone in skin on, split chicken breasts
  • 4 pats butter
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • 4 sprigs rosemary 3 inches
  • Salt and pepper or our Chicken Rub
  • Brine


  • Brine the chicken breasts for at least four hours but preferably overnight.
  • Rinse the breasts in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Use your fingers to create a pocket underneath the chicken skin.
  • Insert the butter, rosemary and lemon into the pocket.
  • Season the skin with salt and pepper or our chicken rub.
  • Grill over Medium/Low heat, turning often, to an internal temperature of 165F.


Bone in, skin on chicken breasts usually cost much less than boneless, skinless breasts but are much more delicious. The bone and skin help protect the meat from drying out while grilling and the cooked skin is amazing all by itself!
Keyword Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts