Guide to grilling chicken breasts

Nothing could be easier than grilling chicken breasts—at least that’s why you’ve heard. But now you’ve got half the breast stuck to the grill, you’ve cut it into seven pieces and it still isn’t cooked through, and your sauce is a burnt piece of charcoal. Not so easy, huh?

Well it should be—all you need to do is follow a few basic steps.

Buy the right breast

When grilling, it’s best to go with a boneless, skin-on chicken breast. You can go for bone-in as well. Bone-in will add more flavour, but take longer to cook. But regardless of what you choose, make sure the skin is on it. This will get crispy (arguably the best part!) and prevent the meat from sticking to the grill.

Marinate the meat

To get the most from your meat, you’ll need to marinate it. Use something mildly acidic like lemon or yogurt, plus the herbs of your choice. You should marinate it for anywhere from 20 minutes to 12 hours. This will help tenderize the meat.

Place the skin side down

Lightly grease the grill with oil then place the breast on the grill with the skin side down at a medium-to-high heat. Chicken breasts take about 15 to 25 minutes to cook, so time out about 10 minutes and flip the breast then. Only flip it once.

Measure it

The best way to know if the breast is done is with a digital meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, get one. They don’t cost much and they take all the unwanted guesswork out of cooking meat. The centre of thickest part of the meat should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. By using a thermometer you won’t have to cut into the breast to see if it’s cooked, which means all of the juices will be kept inside the meat.

Leave the sauce for last

Brush on whatever sauce you’ve chosen toward the end of the cooking time. This prevents the sauces with lots of sugar, like barbecue sauce, from burning. For that reason, it’s important not to put it on too early, or before you flip.

Allow a little R and R

Take the chicken off the grill and let it stand for five minutes before cutting or serving it. Resting lets the juices settle, lets all of the flavours come together, and allows time for the meat to cool. Now relax and tuck in to the best breast you’ve ever served.

Here are two recipes that are easy to master and will definitely impress your guests:

Greek Marinated Chicken

Grilled Chicken Breasts

All recipes courtesy of Napoleon Grills. For all your grilling needs, visit napoleongrills.com.