2 Tips to Grill Perfect Chicken Breast Every Time

Dressing up the Grilled Chicken I cooked with @connor.cooks ! Thank you Connor sharing your grilling tips.
Connor’s big grilling tip- patience.

When it comes to grilling chicken breast, there are two key things to keep in mind.

They are:

1. Good Marinade
2. Low and Slow

Let’s talk about the marinade…

Today, Connor used root beer and salt to marinate his chicken. I went for a mixture of orange juice, soy sauce, and garlic.

The basic formula for a good marinade is:

GOOD MARINADE = acid + salt + flavor enhancers

Acid can be soda, vinegar, wine, beer, or citrus. The acid does the best job of breaking down fibers in the chicken and tenderizing it.

For salt, you can use regular table salt or soy sauce.  I like to use soy sauce in particular because I think it penetrates the chicken faster than salt. It adds an umami dimension, too.

Flavor enhancers. This can be garlic, onion, or spices. Not only do these boost the flavor, but they also tenderize the chicken as well.

If you want exact measurements for popular marinades, visit Top 10 All-Purpose Marinade Recipes 

How to: simply, mix all these ingredients together directly into a baking dish or where you will marinate your chicken and it’s ready to use.

Some people also use oil and some use sugar, but I get good results with just these 3 components.

Use these marinades for 30 minutes to a couple hours. Keep chicken refrigerated. I use a large glass baking dish so they don’t overlap and absorb the most flavor from the marinade.

Now, that we got the marinade down, let’s look at the cooking technique.

What’s the best way to grill chicken?

Low and slow. Use patience. Start at a high heat to get the grill marks on the chicken. This should take 1-2 minutes.

Then, immediately move chicken to a lower heat. Close the lid on the barbecue. And let is sit for 15-20 minutes. Do not move the chicken breast around too much or the juices will run out and it will get dry.

Closing the grill will make it an oven. Instead of the chicken breast turning to rubber (biggest cooking tragedy), the low and slow heat will cook the chicken gently. Use patience.

When do I know when my chicken is ready?

Ah, great question. The best way to test it is to poke it with a finger and see if it bounces back. It should feel springy. This part takes practice.

You also know its done if you poke it and the juices run clear. If the juices run pink or red, it still needs more time to cook.

If you have a thermometer, place it in the thickest part and it should read 165 F or 73.8 C.

Do NOT forget this step…

Most people want to take the chicken right off the grill and pop it into their mouth. Resist the urge.

Remove the chicken breast from the heat when its done and place it on a plate, covered with foil to rest…at least 5 minutes.

This allows the juices to run back into the center and will result with a juicier chicken breast.

If you cut it too soon, it will be more dry.

In Summary

To make perfect grilled chicken breast, have a good marinade and cook it low and slow. And don’t feel bad if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Chicken breast is one of the hardest things for chefs to master.

Worst case scenario, make an amazing salsa to go along with it, like the one pictured below.

Extra Credit

If you want a foolproof way to juicy chicken breast, do what the chefs do- Brine it. Read “How to Brine Chicken”

add veggies to the grill for a quick roasted salsa

roasting with Connor.cooks

A post shared by Chef Joanna’s Kitchen (@chefjoannas) on

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”; amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “chefjoannas20-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_title = “My Amazon Picks”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “3479f335ac73c4241622e07581848341”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B07DFG7BT3,B00FN3M480,B071RSP6RP,B00B58A0QU”;

Leave a Reply