How to Grill Chicken Breasts Recipe

Photo of How to Grill Chicken Breasts

How to Grill Chicken Breasts


Boneless, skinless chicken breasts do not have to be dry, bland, and boring. The secret, quite simply, is to season them with salt ahead of time. Allowing time for salt to absorb into the meat results in chicken that is juicy throughout and provides a perfect canvas for any variety of delicious accompaniments. Eat it rolled in tortillas with salsa, stuffed into pitas with tzatziki, or scattered on a bed of Romaine with fruits and nuts. The possibilities are endless!


  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Sprinkle chicken with kosher salt, 1 teaspoon per pound of chicken. Place chicken in a non-reactive bowl or casserole dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Allow chicken to sit at room temperature half an hour before grilling. Heat one side of grill to high heat. Leave other side for indirect cooking.
  3. Tap excess oil from chicken (to avoid flare ups) and place on hot side of grill, smooth-side down. Allow to cook undisturbed 4 to 6 minutes over direct heat to create grill marks. If you wish to create a hash mark grill pattern, lift chicken with tongs and rotate 45° halfway through.
  4. Flip chicken over and move to indirect heat. Close grill lid. Decrease heat to medium and allow to cook 6 to 8 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 163°F on a probe thermometer.
  5. Transfer chicken to a platter and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow carryover cooking so the chicken will reach the proper safe temperature of 165°F and keep the meat juicy after slicing.
  6. Cook’s Tips:
  7. Grilled chicken can be “marked” on a hot grill, in batches, then transferred to a sheet pan and baked the rest of the way through in a 350°F oven. This is the easiest way to make a lot of grilled chicken at once, perfect for a crowd, or to prepare for different uses over a few days.
  8. If chicken breasts are uneven, ensure more consistent cooking results by using a probe thermometer. They’ll cook at different rates so be ready to temp each one and pull when it is fully cooked.
  9. If chicken breasts are very large, consider slicing them in half horizontally to create two thinner cutlets to speed up the cook time.
  10. Except for turning to create hash marks and flipping to second side, it’s best not to move chicken once it has been placed on grates. When it is ready, it should not stick. If you find the need to tug at it or the meat begins to tear, wait a little longer. Using a flat spatula to release the chicken can also be more effective than using tongs.

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