Monday, June 28, 2010

How To Grill Chicken Breast and Not Dry It Out Like The Sahara

Years ago, I dreaded grilling boneless, skinless chicken breast, because it always turned out very dry. I was horrified one time when I had my family over for dinner and served them grilled chicken. My poor grandfather, who is the strongest person I have ever known, could barely cut his chicken because it was so tough. My family was very polite about the chicken, “everything is delicious, dear” as they chugged water just to get it down.

So in my quest to not inflict my poor family with dried out chicken ever again, I consulted with one of my cookbooks,Bobby Flay's Grill It!. Bobby’s advice, “ don’t overcook it”. Ooooooh, so that was my problem. It turns out I was grilling my chicken twice as long as I needed to.

I am happy to report that my grilled chicken has improved dramatically and is a family favorite. We are no longer guzzling water at the dinner table.

How To Grill Chicken Breast

1. Pre-heat your grill to high. I have a three burner gas grill. I light the outside 2 burners and keep the middle one closed.

2. Cut off the tenderloins. They are so thin that they will dry out and be almost inedible if they are cooked as long as the rest of the chicken. Cook separately. They will only take about 2 minutes on each side on the grill. Or save them to make chicken nuggets for the kids.

3. Place the chicken breasts in a plastic bag or between plastic wrap and pound the chicken with a rolling pin, heavy pan, or meat mallet until about evenly ½ inch thick.
4. Drizzle olive oil and your favorite spices over your chicken and toss to coat evenly. I have stopped using dressings, marinades, and BBQ sauce for skinless chicken. I think the sugar in those dressings causes the chicken to burn and dry out.

5. When the grill hits at least 450 degrees, place the chicken on the middle of the grill. Close the lid. I don’t let the grill go too much over 450 degrees.

6. Cook 6 minutes and flip. Flipping the chicken more than once is a good way for it to taste like sand. It dries out the chicken.

7. Continue to grill another 4 minutes with the lid closed. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast should read 155 degrees F.

8. Remove from grill and let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before cutting into. This is VERY important. If you cut into the chicken too soon, all of the juices will come gushing out and dry out the chicken. Trust Me!

We like to eat our grilled chicken on top of a garden salad packed with fresh summer vegetables or topped with our favorite mango, red pepper salsa.


Do you have a favorite grilling recipe you'd like to share?

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  1. Thanks for hosting this weeks party. My husband makes these yummy lamb burgers. Don't know if you have ever tried lamb, but we grill it quite often. Hopefully it will add some diversity to your linky party this week.

  2. Great grilling tips! I hate dried out, like the Sahara, chicken.:-) Thanks for linking to TMTT.

  3. I love the title! Thanks for the secret; I haven't been waiting before cutting.

  4. I loved grilled chicken! What I usually do is boil my chicken in a pot of boiling water for a few minuets, then I will put it on the grill. It always turns out tender and juicy!

  5. Thank you for the great info on grilling chicken! I hate dry chicken. Dh has been trying to get it just right, so I'll have to let him check this out. :D

  6. Bobby Flay gives the best cooking advice. I've had the same problem with my grilled chicken. Love your cute title for the post.

  7. Excellent advice! Dried out grilled chicken is the WORST. -

  8. Great tips for grilled chicken. Thanks for a practical (and yummy) post.

  9. I never thought about letting it sit for a few minutes--b/c you're right, the juice does come pouring out. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Thanks for hosting this Grilling Linky! We've been doing Summer Burger Bash for a few weeks so I'm going to start linking to your party. By the way, I love the Food Network, thankfully my cooking has improved since watching it and consulting the cookbooks of the chefs. Your chicken sounds so good!

  11. I am the griller in the family, I thought that was supposed to be what a man likes to do! My family always complains because I often overcook the meat. I explain that it is because I am so busy doing the rest of the meal at the same time. Now, if I set the timer, at least the chicken will be great. Thanks for the tips. Catchy title too - that's why I checked it out.

  12. Your chicken looks really great!

  13. Oh, fantastic info! This is going to be so useful this Summer, and all year really. I am a terrible chicken cooker so I am very thankful you shared this, and it is so simple!

  14. My husband always cooks it too long. I will point this out to him.

  15. I am BBQ-ing Chicken breast tonight and was not sure how long to cook them. I found your site by chance.
    Thanks for posting.
    Linda Seattle WA


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