Grilling chicken breasts may seem like a no-brainer until you try it and bit into a chicken breast that has the texture of fine shoe leather. I am going to show you exactly how to grill chicken breasts that aren’t dry because it is such a basic cooking method to know and it is really much easier than most people realize.
Should I Brine the Chicken?
Many people swear by brining chicken to keep it from drying out, but on a weeknight or when you are doing meal-prep, that’s not always practical. Should you decide to brine your chicken, there are two ways to do so:
- Dry Brine (easist way) – Simply rub the chicken with dry seasonings (simple salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning blend) and let sit in the fridge overnight. The salt in the seasoning will season the chicken all the way through by pulling the chicken’s juices out and the reabsorbing them with the salt.
- Wet Brine – Heat one cup of water with 1 1/2 tbsp salt and whatever other seasonings you want to add. Heat until salt dissolves then add ice to bring temperature of water down to 35 degrees. Add the chicken and place in fridge to sit for 8 hours or overnight.
How to Grill Chicken Breasts That Aren’t Dry
Grilled Chicken Breasts are an awesome meal prep solution. But like I mentioned, weeknights and meal prep days, your time is at a premium. Without brining, you can still get juicy chicken breasts; you just need to know a couple of tricks.
Olive or Avocado Oil
Salt and Pepper or Favorite Seasoning Blend
- Heat your grill until it is searing hot. If you have a thermometer on your grill, get it to at least 600 degrees.
- Coat chicken with olive oil and desired seasoning blend. (I just used sea salt and black pepper.)
- Place on grill and cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is turning opaque and white halfway up the sides. (See first image below)
- Flip and let sit undisturbed for another 3 minutes (second image below) then test with a thermometer to see if the thickest part of the thinnest chicken breast to see if it registers 165 degrees. If it does remove it to a plate and cover with foil then check the others thinnest to thickest. Any that aren’t 165 should stay on the grill (lower heat to lowest setting) for another 2-3 minutes or until they all register 165. Make sure to wash thermometer before checking again since the chicken breasts that were not 165 degrees before could contaminate the fully cooked chicken.
- Let the chicken rest without cutting for at least 5 minutes. Serve with juices that accumulate on the plate. Cooked chicken can stay in your fridge for 4-5 days so this is a great item for your summer meal prep.