How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time!

 

An actual conversation between me and my husband years ago:

Him: Shall we BBQ tonight?
Me: Sure, what shall we make?
Him: How about chicken breasts?
Me: Ew. No. Why?

But that was before I learned how to grill perfectly tender and juicy chicken breasts!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

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Grilled chicken breasts are notoriously dry and flavorless, but when prepared the correct way they can be delicious, flavorful and tender. And I promise it’s not a lot of work.

One (of several) problems with grilling chicken breasts is that to cook that thick center you have to overcook the ends, leaving the meat dry and ‘cardboardy’. Luckily this problem is easily solved. Simply place the chicken breast on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper, fold the parchment over the chicken and seal the edges by folding a couple of times. Then pound it with a meat pounder or rolling pin until the breast is more even. (affiliate link)

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Another problem with boneless skinless chicken breast is they have very little fat, and fat is what gives meat flavor and tenderness. Solving that problem is very easy! Simply place chicken breasts in a brine of water and salt (that’s it!) and let them soak for a half hour. This makes them moist, tender and juicy. There is a scientific explanation, like the salt water changes the molecular make up of proteins…blah, blah, blah, let’s eat! (I use pink Himalayan Salt: Affiliate link)

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

After brining, simply brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper….

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Then throw them on a hot grill. The heat needs to be high to brown and then lowered to finish cooking. Total grilling time is 10-12 minutes. Quick and easy! If you don’t have room for a big gas grill may I make a recommendation? Weber makes the handiest table top grill (affiliate link) that is budget friendly and perfect for for those without a big yard. And you can easily take it to the park or beach!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Once grilled to perfection place on a cutting board and slice on a diagonal. Does this chicken breast look dry to you? 

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

You can serve as is, or top with my basil pesto, tomatoes in olive oil, or with my mango salsa!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Or you can serve it atop this salad and drizzle with my honey lemon vinaigrette.

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

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How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4

Perfectly moist grilled chicken breasts, every time! If you would like to make this in the oven, follow the directions below for prep and then bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of breasts.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/3 cup salt, I use Himalayan sea salt, but you can use Kosher too
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded and brined
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place water and salt in a large bowl and stir.
  2. Place chicken breast between folded parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin until uniformly thick.
  3. Place breasts in salt water for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove breasts, pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat grill on high (about 425 degrees)
  7. Place breasts on grill, close lid and cook till nice golden grill marks are established (3-4 minutes)
  8. Turn over and grill till golden on the second side (3-4 minutes)
  9. Turn heat to med/low (about 350 degrees) close lid and cook for five more minutes until just cooked through. Don't over cook!
  10. Remove from grill, cut on the diagonal and serve.

Courses main course

Cuisine American

 

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37 thoughts on “How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time!

  1. After purchasing boneless chicken breasts I carefully peel the two “tenders” from each breast, saving them for another meal. This also decreases the thickness in the middle so it cooks more evenly.

  2. OMG, this was the best chicken breast I’ve ever had. It was tender and my husband enjoyed it very much. I will surely prepare this chicken again & again. He actually eat two pieces. Thank you very much. Thanks.

  3. I always grill thighs because I never thought breasts like this were possible! And I brine pork tenderloin, I should have thought of it for chicken breasts. Looking forward to trying it out! Thanks!

  4. I’ve never commented on a recipe before but this has changed my kids from bbq chicken haters to bbq chicken lovers, so I’m thrilled 🙂 I used a meat thermometer on the bbq (temp between 150 – 155, then let it finish cooking to 160 off the bbq) to make sure that I didn’t over cook and it was SO good and SO easy – thanks!

  5. I am definitely going to try the brining procedure…just a small doubt- do we need to wash the chicken after removing from the brine??if not,won’t it become salty??thanks and regards

    • Nope. It’s not necessary! But you can if you want to. If brined in a combination of spices (or in sugar) people rinse because the spices/sugar will burn during cooking. But for salt water it isn’t required.

  6. I always struggle with chicken because it dries out. We are trying this for dinner tonight. I’ve added a little extra touch to the brine. I added fresh cilantro and some lime juice. Hoping this comes out good. Update to follow later tonight.

      • My chicken turned out AMAZING!! My family loved it. Not a huge salt person so I thought it was a little salty but super juicy, flavorful and tender!!! I’ll just decrease my salt next time around. Love this brine tip so much I shared on Facebook with everyone!! Thank you.

  7. Just cut 2 large breasts into tender size and soaked 1/2 hr in salt water; it worked. I usually do the same without brine but this didn’t hurt. After sauté in olive oil, I tested a few and they were good so I had a chicken Caesar and it was good.

  8. The chicken breast turned out amazing! Super juicy and really easy. I used course sea salt because that was all I had and it worked great.

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