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How to Grill Chicken Breast


Pound it flat, Brine it and Grill it hot and fast

Grilling a simple, skinless chicken breast may seem like an easy thing to do, but it is no simple feat; to get the chicken to be flavorful and juicy yet crispy on the outside is not as effortless as the professionals make it seem!

To prevent the chicken from drying out on the inside, you need to pound it evenly, brine it, and grill it over direct, high heat.

Pounding

A store-bought chicken breast will still have the tenderloin attached; it is in your best interests to remove this before grilling, as it will cook much faster than the rest of the chicken and so lose taste, due to its thin nature. To make the thickness of the meat even, make sure to pound it so that all areas are about a ½ inch thickness. This will also allow for the brine to have its best effect.

Brining

The next step for a successful, juicy grilled chicken breast is to brine; this is a simple method. For enough brine

to cover 4 chicken breasts, dissolve ½ tablespoon of normal table salt (or ¼ cup kosher salt) and ¼ cup of sugar into 8 cups of water.  Sugar is added to the brine when grilling the meat to give it a caramelized, brown grilled-appearance.  Since the sugar and salt won’t dissolve immediately, bring them both to a boil in one cup of water and later add to the rest of the water; however, make sure that all the water has reached room temperature before inserting the chicken breasts. 30 minutes of brining will suffice; this is a good time so that the meat can reap the benefits of the brine, but it is also not too long that it becomes too salty.

Grilling

While the chicken is brining, bring the grill to the full intensity heat needed to grill; this allows for the chicken to be immediately placed over heat after brining. Turn the breast over only one time; the cooking time overall should be around 4 minutes. Some tips are to leave the lid of the grill off, exposing the meat to open air while grilling, and also to time the grill very carefully. This will give you a breast that is both juicy and tender, while not being too dry.

This grilled chicken breast can be eaten on its own, or incorporated into any other delicious chicken recipe!


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Last Modified: 11/28/11.