Have you ever experienced painfully dry chicken? Perhaps cooked by close friends or family… or even yourself? I feel your pain. I have experienced my fair share of pretty terrible chicken breasts. Sometimes dry or sometimes rubbery, there are a lot of mistakes people make when grilling chicken breasts. I am going to fix any errors you might be making with 4 easy steps. If you prefer to watch videos, then check out my youtube video below with a play by play.
5 Easy Steps for Juicy Flavorful Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Slice the chicken breasts in half, making Chicken Cutlets that are about 3/4″ thick
- Rinse and dry your Chicken Breasts
- Apply a flavorful dry rub with a balanced spice blend. See recipe below for my Secret Chicken & Pork Rub
- Marinade the chicken with olive oil and rice vinegar
- Sear over high heat, around 550 degrees F, for 2-3 minutes depending on chicken thickness, until 160 F Internal Temperature.
Slicing Chicken Breasts in Half
You could call this butterflying the chicken as well. You really just want to carefully slice the breasts in half to create cutlets that are 3/4″ thick. Nothing exact here… just making the thickness more uniform and generally more thin to allow a more predictable and shorter grilling session.
Rinse and Dry your Chicken Breasts
You want to do this anytime you make chicken on the grill or in the oven. It is sanitary, but also increases the penetration of the rub and marinade. If you are making dry rubbed skin on chicken, drying your chicken also give you a crispier skin.
Apply a Flavorful Rub
This BBQ Rub is great on chicken or pork. Give it a try… you WILL LOVE IT! Coat the dry chicken with the rub first and then apply the marinade ingredients.
- 2 Tablespoons Celery Salt
- 6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 12 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Turbinado Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
- 1 Tablespoons Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1/2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
- 1/2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Marinade the Chicken for 30 Minutes
After applying the Rub, coat the chicken with enough Olive Oil to slather both sides of the chicken. You want enough olive oil that the Rub becomes a little saucy. Then just drizzle a little bit of rice vinegar over chicken and mix together. This will create a tangy chicken marinade that will develop a nice flavor crust on the outside of the chicken when it hits the hot grill. Marinade for 30 minutes while the grill heats up to 550 F – 650 F.
Grill the Chicken over High Heat at 550 F +
Directly from the marinade pan, place the chicken on the hot grill. Grill the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side. I often grill the first side for 3 minutes and the second side for 2 minutes if they are nice and thin. If you use the same setup on your grill every time, you will start to know exactly how long your chicken breasts will take.
Let the Chicken Rest for 5 Minutes
Now the hard part… waiting a few minutes to slice up your chicken. I usually let it rest 5 minutes or longer as I finish up a side dish, such as grilled vegetables. I hope you give this recipe a try. I really found it life changing when I figured out how to make awesome chicken breasts. They are cheap, easy, and tasty… making them a great weeknight meal. Let me know if you try them out!