How To Grill The Perfect Chicken Breast
A juicy, tender, grilled chicken breast easily makes a delicious meal. When the summer grilling season arrives, people everywhere want to fire up their grills and prepare the perfect chicken dinner.
After learning how to grill a chicken leg from A Sweet Pea Chef we thought it would be helpful to demonstrate cooking a chicken breast.
Unlike a chicken leg, chicken breast can sometimes be a challenge to cook, particularly as over-cooked meat can rapidly transform from a delicious breast into a dry and tasteless lump. So, we want to show you how you can prepare the perfect grilled chicken from beginning to end.
A little bit of planning and following some easy steps below, can put you well on your way to a delicious meal that will delight all your senses.
Let’s get started!
Getting ready to grill
To prepare the perfect chicken, you need to get your equipment and meat prepared and organized before you even think about lighting the fire. Let’s review what you will need to make this the best-grilled chicken you’ve ever cooked.
Preparing your equipment
Decide first if you want to use a charcoal or gas grill. A charcoal grill helps to truly add a delightful grilled flavor to the chicken, which makes it the easy preference for grilling chicken. Here at Summer Breeze, we sell Bull Grills, and the charcoal grill heads make it easy to combine the flavor of a charcoal grill with the temperature control of a gas grill, equipping you to cook perfect grilled chicken every time.
Of course, plenty of people prefer to go with the gas grill (like one of our powerful Bull Grills) and don’t get us wrong: these grills can produce delicious grilled chicken as well.
In addition to selecting your grill, you will need to make sure you have the following equipment on hand:
A quality meat thermometer. This will allow you to monitor the temperature of your chicken as it grills, ensuring you cook to exactly the perfect temperature and not a minute too long.
A meat tenderizer. Before you grill your chicken, you will want to flatten the chicken so that it is evenly thick throughout the breast. This will help the chicken cook evenly on the grill and prevent any portion from getting dried out.
Preparing your chicken
Now that you have your equipment ready, it’s time to start preparing your chicken for the grill.
Step 1. Begin by covering the chicken with plastic wrap. You will need to tenderize the meat, and you do not want to have to worry about splattering juices flying around the kitchen. Once the meat has been wrapped, use your meat tenderizer to flatten the chicken a bit until it is of even thickness. It is important to strike at the same angle and speed to keep the chicken uniform, if it isn’t even the cooking speeds could be affected, and parts of your chicken could burn.
Step 2. Prepare your marinade. There are a variety of marinades you can use to add some additional flavoring to your chicken before you stick it on the grill. If you are just looking for a simple recipe to get you started, consider some salt and pepper, a quarter cup olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Combine these ingredients in a sealable bag or dish and add the chicken. Stick the entire mixture into the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Chicken generally does not need to marinate as long as other meats, so this duration will be plenty of time. However, if you are trying to save some time in the evening, feel free to marinate in the morning and let the chicken sit in the fridge all day.
Step 3. While the chicken is in the refrigerator marinating, it’s time to move on to the grill preparation. Make sure that your grill grate has been properly cleaned between uses. If you have bits of food stuck to the grate, this will cause your grilled chicken to stick and can hinder your ability to produce the perfect chicken that you imagine.
Step 4. Once the grill grates are clean, put some oil in a rag and carefully oil the grates where the chicken will cook. This will also help prevent the meat from sticking and make it easier to cook the chicken to the desired level of perfection.
Step 5. Fire up the grill and get ready to cook the perfect meat! If you are using a charcoal grill, now is the time to light the fire and start getting the grill to the right temperature. If you are using a gas grill, turn on the grill a few minutes before the chicken is done marinating to give the burners the time they need to reach their desired temperature. Aim for your grill to reach a medium temperature. You should be able to easily hold your hand six inches above the grill for a few seconds comfortably. If you cannot do that, then the grill is too hot. If at 6 inches from the grill the heat seems minimal, then your grill temperature is too low.
Grilling to perfection
Now it is time to add your delicious chicken to the grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and lay them carefully across the grill grates. Once they’ve been added to the grill, close the lid to keep the heat inside the grill and let the chicken cook for about 6-7 minutes. If your chicken breast is thicker than an inch after tenderizing, then consider going up to 7-8 minutes.
After the time, use your tongs to flip the chicken on the other side and cover the grill again to repeat the process.
Once you have finished cooking your chicken on both sides, use your meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the chicken. For boneless chicken breasts, you want the chicken to reach an interior temperature of 165 degrees. If there is a bone in the meat, then increase your target temperature by 5 degrees to make sure it is cooked to perfection.
Monitoring the temperature of your grilled chicken breast remains an important part of the process. Taking the meat off the grill too early can easily result in undercooked chicken, which can cause health problems.
On the other hand, even just a few minutes too long on the grill can dry up the juices inside and transform your juicy delicious chicken into a dry, difficult-to-chew chunk of meat. The thermometer helps you find exactly the right time to pull the meat off the grill.
The temperature control found on Bull Grills makes it even easier to ensure a consistent temperature and the optimal cooking speed, so you can be confident that your chicken is just right.
Enjoying your grilled chicken
Once your meat has reached the target temperature, the time has arrived to pull your delicious food off the grill. Carefully use the tongs to remove the meat from the grills and place it in a container or on a plate where it can rest for a few minutes. You want to let the chicken absorb the juices so that they stay in the meat instead of running all over the serving dish when you cut into it. This will make your chicken preserve its superior taste the entire time you eat it.
There are a variety of ways you can serve your freshly prepared chicken from salads to sandwiches, or by itself with some delightful vegetables. However you choose to enjoy your deliciously prepared grilled chicken, this process will help ensure that your meat tastes delicious every time.
Now that you know exactly what to do to create the perfect grilled chicken, it is time to turn up that grill and get started on your next meal.