Grilling Perfect Juicy Chicken Breasts – A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of dry, rubbery chicken breasts that lack flavor? Say goodbye to disappointing grilled chicken and hello to juicy, mouthwatering perfection! Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how to grill chicken breasts that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Why Grill Chicken Breasts?

Grilling is a fantastic way to prepare chicken breasts because it adds a delicious smoky flavor and creates a beautiful char on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. It’s a healthy cooking method that doesn’t require any added fats or oils, and it’s perfect for meal prep or weeknight dinners.

Preparing the Chicken

The key to grilling juicy chicken breasts is to start with high-quality ingredients and properly prepare them before hitting the grill.

Choosing the Right Chicken Breasts

  • Opt for organic, free-range chicken breasts whenever possible. They tend to be more flavorful and tender than their conventionally raised counterparts.
  • Select chicken breasts that are approximately the same size to ensure even cooking.

Marinating or Brining

Marinating or brining the chicken breasts is an essential step that adds flavor and helps keep the meat moist during the cooking process.


  • Create a flavorful marinade using a combination of oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), and your favorite herbs and spices.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, and pour the marinade over them, making sure they are fully coated.
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.


  • Brine the chicken breasts in a solution of water, salt, and optionally other flavorings like sugar, herbs, or spices.
  • Soak the chicken in the brine for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours for extra juiciness.
  • Rinse the chicken and pat it dry before grilling.

Pounding or Butterflying

To ensure even cooking, you can pound or butterfly the chicken breasts to create a more uniform thickness.

  • Place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  • Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pan, gently pound the thicker portions of the breast until it’s an even thickness throughout.
  • Alternatively, you can butterfly the chicken breast by slicing it horizontally, creating two thinner pieces.

Grilling the Chicken Breasts

Now that your chicken breasts are prepared, it’s time to fire up the grill and get cooking!

Preheating the Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 400°F (205°C). This high heat will help create those beautiful grill marks and lock in the juices.

Oiling the Grill Grates

To prevent the chicken from sticking, lightly oil the grill grates using a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil or a non-stick cooking spray.

Grilling Technique

  1. Arrange the chicken breasts: Place the chicken breasts on the preheated grill grates, leaving a few inches of space between each piece.

  2. Close the lid: Cover the grill and cook the chicken breasts for 6-8 minutes, or until they have developed nice grill marks on the bottom.

  3. Flip and cook: Using tongs, carefully flip the chicken breasts and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

  4. Baste (optional): If desired, you can baste the chicken breasts with a flavorful sauce or marinade during the last few minutes of cooking.

  5. Rest and serve: Remove the chicken breasts from the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring maximum juiciness.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled chicken breasts are incredibly versatile and can be served in countless ways:

  • Sliced and served over a fresh salad
  • Diced and mixed into a pasta or grain dish
  • Shredded and used as a filling for tacos, burritos, or sandwiches
  • Served whole with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables or a baked potato

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a meat thermometer: Don’t rely solely on cooking times or visual cues. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure your chicken breasts reach the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Let the chicken rest: After removing the chicken from the grill, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Baste with care: If you choose to baste your chicken breasts with a sauce or marinade, do so during the last few minutes of cooking to prevent burning or charring.
  • Experiment with flavors: Try different marinades, rubs, or sauces to keep your grilled chicken breasts exciting and flavorful.

With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to grill juicy, flavorful chicken breasts that will have your family and friends asking for seconds. So fire up that grill, grab your tongs, and get ready to impress with your newfound grilling skills!

How to Grill Chicken Breasts on a Gas Grill | Tips & Techniques


How long does it take to grill chicken breast?

How Long to Grill Boneless Chicken Breast. “A 7-9 ounce boneless breast should cook for around 12-16 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill,” says McLendon. “For gas or electric grills, the sweet spot is usually between high and medium-high [heat] or between 475-525 degrees.

How do you know when chicken breast is done on the grill?

After about 9 minutes on the grill, insert the digital meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to check the internal temperature. Grill until the chicken breasts reach an internal temp of 165°F.

How to cook chicken breast on the grill without drying it out?

One good way to fully cook chicken breasts on a charcoal grill without drying them out is to brine them first. It does wonders. Also, don’t let the charcoal heat get too high. Move the coals around to even out the heat.

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