Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts are by far the item that:
- I get the most questions about.
- People dry out the most.
- Is the most tasteless grilled item when cooked poorly.
Have you ever wondered where the old joke, “tastes like chicken” comes from? I can tell you! It comes from the fact that chicken, by itself, with no skin or bone or special seasoning, tastes like…nothing. So when someone is looking for a way to describe something that’s, well, bland or tasteless, it’s an easy comparison.
cooks overcooks them, all the time. So let’s go. Let’s make these completely tasteless, dry pieces of extremely popular meat delicious. You’re going to be absolutely shocked how easy it is.
Prepare the Chicken Breasts for the Grill
Drumroll please……BRINE! Yep, I talk about this a lot, but maybe never has it been so critically important. This is a chunk of meat with no skin, all open surface, just waiting for you to give it moisture. So please, give it what it wants.
Brine for as long as possible – I would suggest several hours, up to overnight. In a pinch, Italian Dressing will help.
Put whatever seasoning on you prefer. It can be as simple as salt & pepper. It can be my Chicken Rub. It can be something that complements the meal your having – cumin and chili powder for a Mexican dish, as an example.
Set Up Your Grill for Direct Cooking
Now set up your grill for direct cooking and get it good and hot. You should be targeting a lid temperature of about 400-450F but don’t worry if the temperature is off some in either direction.
- If you are cooking on a gas grill like the Weber Traveler then set your burner control to “Medium High”.
- If you are cooking on a charcoal grill then you will want to use a full chimney of lit Kingsford spread evenly across the bottom charcoal grate.
Let the grill pre-heat for 10-15 minutes to give the cooking grates plenty of time to get hot.
Grill the Chicken Breasts to an Internal Temperature of 165F
Slap those chicken breasts on the grill and they’ll be done just as you finish your beer. The two I cooked for this recipe were pretty big, and they took a total cook time of maybe 15 minutes. I flipped them about every five minutes.
Obviously cook time depends on the size.
Here’s the part that’s tough for me to explain without showing you: When are they done? Firm, not hard. They have some give, but not soft. Internal temp should be about 165. I’d rather see you pull them off a bit early and have to put them back on.
Experiment. Cook several, taking them off in intervals to test for perfect doneness until you are comfortable and confident. Don’t forget – let them rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Look at these pictures. Do you SEE the juice? I’m telling you, I ate one right after this picture was taken and it was outstanding. Hitting it with those high temperatures closed up those pores and trapped the juices inside. I was careful not to pierce the meat (SO important to have a good pair of tongs), so the juices had nowhere to go.
You’re going to be so excited when you nail these. Grilled chicken is so good with so many things. I’m sure my wife, Patti, will be sharing some of her recipes in the future with some of the uses of a deliciously grilled chicken breast.
Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Basic Chicken Rub OR your preferred seasonings
- Basic Brine Recipe
- Brine chicken breasts for several hours - even overnight.
- Pat dry, place on tray, and sprinkle with Chicken Rub.
- Set up grill for direct cooking.
- Sear Breasts on both sides for approximately 5-8 minutes.
- Chicken should be firm but not hard - internal temp of 165.