How Long to Grill Chicken Breast - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

How Long to Grill Chicken Breast

July 21, 2023
How Long to Grill Chicken Breast

How long does it take to grill a chicken breast? The secret to a juicy chicken breast is its quick cook time. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare, grill and serve a grilled chicken breast. Grill each side of the breast for 5 to 6 minutes on medium-high heat (around 400 degrees). Use a thermometer to check for doneness. When the internal temperature of the breast meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken is ready to serve.

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A Chicken Breast Grills Up Fast

Think you’re too busy to grill a chicken breast? Think again. Grilling chicken is not only delicious, it’s also fast and convenient. With minimal preparation and cooking time, you can have a mouthwatering chicken dinner ready in no time. The high heat of the grill ensures quick and even cooking, reducing the overall cooking time compared to other methods such as baking or frying. Chicken cuts like breasts, thighs, and drumsticks cook relatively quickly on the grill, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknight dinners or impromptu gatherings.

Here's a helpful tip to grill chicken breasts: Pound the chicken to an even thickness before placing pieces on the grill. This prevents the middle from being perfectly cooked while the edges end up dry.

Practice your technique with this simple recipe for Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce.

How to Grill Chicken Breast

Here’s how to grill a chicken breast. First, you can experiment with different marinades, rubs, and sauces to customize your grilled chicken according to your preferences. Marinating is not necessary before grilling chicken, but just 15 minutes in a marinade before cooking will boost flavor and juiciness when you grill chicken breast.

Whether your taste buds prefer sweet, tangy, or spicy flavors, marinating chicken before grilling provides a blank canvas to experiment with various seasonings and sauces. Marinating a chicken breast will help keep the meat juicy and flavorful. You can marinade chicken breast for 15 minutes or up to an hour or even overnight in the refrigerator, then grill the breast for 5 to 6 minutes on each side on medium-high heat.

Make this easy marinade to grill chicken breasts:  Making your own chicken marinade will help you control the sodium content of your meal. Homemade chicken marinade delivers the flavors you love with no preservatives. Here’s a grilled chicken recipe with a quick and easy marinade:

Healthy Grilled Chicken Kebabs

Grilling Enhances the Flavor of Chicken Breasts

Grilling chicken opens a world of flavor possibilities. The high heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars present in the chicken, creating a delightful combination of smoky and savory notes. The grill imparts a charred and slightly crispy texture on the outside while ensuring the meat remains tender and juicy on the inside. Embrace your creativity and let the grill bring your culinary visions to life.

Grill a batch of chicken breasts this weekend to make this flavorful Orange Thai Chicken Salad for fast weeknight dinners or lunch. Find more recipes like this in our Chicken Meal Prep Ideas.

FAQ: How Long to Grill Chicken Breast

How long should I grill chicken breasts on a gas grill?

Grill chicken breasts on a gas grill for about 5-6 minutes per side over medium-high heat (around 400°F). Always ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F for safety.

What temperature should my grill be to cook chicken breasts?

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature range for grilling chicken breasts evenly.

How do I know when my grilled chicken breast is done?

Check that the grilled chicken breast has reached an internal temperature of 165°F using a meat thermometer. This is the safest indicator that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Can I grill chicken breasts with the bone in, and how long does it take?

Yes, you can grill bone-in chicken breasts, which generally take about 20-25 minutes over medium heat. Use a thermometer to ensure an internal temperature of 165°F.

What is the best way to keep chicken breasts moist when grilling?

To keep chicken breasts moist, consider brining them before grilling or marinating for at least 30 minutes. Also, avoid overcooking by monitoring the internal temperature closely.

Is it better to grill chicken fast on high heat or slow on low heat?

For chicken breasts, it’s better to grill them on medium-high heat as it quickly seals in the juices and ensures the meat cooks evenly without drying out.

Should I cover the grill when cooking chicken breasts?

Yes, covering the grill can help maintain a consistent temperature, speed up the cooking process, and help the chicken cook evenly, especially for thicker cuts.

How often should I flip chicken breasts on the grill?

You should flip chicken breasts only once during the grilling process to ensure they develop a nice sear and cook evenly. Generally, each side should cook for about  5-6 minutes. 

Can I use a marinade on grilled chicken breasts, and should I rinse it off before grilling?

Marinating chicken breasts can add flavor and tenderness. You should not rinse off the marinade before grilling; instead, let any excess drip off to avoid flare-ups.

What are some quick seasoning ideas for grilled chicken breasts?

Simple seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. For more zest, try lemon zest, Italian seasoning, or cajun spices depending on your taste preference.

How can I avoid flare-ups when grilling chicken breasts?

To minimize flare-ups, trim any excess fat from the chicken breasts, pat dry any marinade before placing it on the grill, and keep a part of the grill less heated where you can move the chicken if flare-ups occur.

Is Grilled Chicken Healthy?

Yes, grilled chicken is healthy as it is a good source of lean protein and has less fat than other cooking methods like frying. Be sure to cook it properly to avoid harmful compounds and use healthy seasonings to keep it nutritious. Learn more in Is Grilled Chicken Healthy? blog.

For more healthy and delicious grilled chicken recipes, check out our Grilling & BBQ recipe page! Also explore our Healthy Dinner Meal Prep Ideas and Healthy Meal Prep Lunch Ideas for more great meal prep options.

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