5 Tips for Grilling Perfect Chicken
- by Omaha Steaks
Grilled chicken is a BBQ favorite and a quick and easy weeknight meal. Grill perfect, juicy chicken this summer with our five simple tips.
How to grill perfect chicken
1. Marinade or brine chicken for juicy results
No one likes dry, bland chicken. To ensure every bite of chicken is juicy, we recommend a wet brine or a simple marinade.
Wet brining chicken is a very simple process that will increase the moisture in your meat and add flavor, resulting in an incredibly tender and delicious chicken breast.
How to Wet Brine Chicken:
- ¼ c. Kosher salt
- 1 qt. – 4 c. water
- Add Aromatics to taste: Bay leaf, peppercorns, fresh herbs, smashed garlic, lemon peel, etc.
- Immerse chicken completely in the liquid and brine 15 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator
You can also use a simple marinade – Italian dressing, BBQ sauce, beer or a homemade marinade – to ensure your chicken is flavorful and juicy. For best results, cover the chicken completely with the marinade in a dish or sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator and let it sit 15 minutes – 2 hours before grilling.
For a homemade marinade follow these guidelines and you’ll have incredibly flavorful meat. You will need to start with equal amount of oil and an acid. Then, add ingredients to your marinade based on your tastes. If you add a salty ingredient, make sure to balance it with a little sweetness. Finally, add your favorite fresh herbs and flavors to add depth to your marinade. Here are marinade ingredient suggestions you can mix and match based on your preference for salty, sweet or savory chicken.
- Oil (fat)– olive oil, grape seed oil, infused oils
- Acid – Citrus juice, vinegar
- Salty – Soy sauce, Worcestershire, fish sauce, mustard, kosher salt, infused salts
- Sweet – Honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup
- Flavor – Herbs, onion, garlic, chilies, citrus zest
- Add chicken and marinate for 15 minutes – 2 hours in the refrigerator
Bacon-wrapped chicken breasts are another great option for juicy chicken if you’d rather not use a marinade or wet brine. The crispy strips of hickory-smoked bacon melt into the chicken breast as it cooks adding flavor and juiciness.
2. Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking
Chicken is a lean meat and can get stuck easily to your grill grates, stripping the delicious crust off your chicken. To prevent sticking, make sure to liberally oil your grill grates. You can oil your grates using tongs and a rolled-up paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Grill spray works too, but you may get flareups.
3. Know the right cooking temperature for chicken
How long to grill chicken is a common question and one of the most important. Overcooked chicken is tough. Undercooked chicken is unsafe. The key to perfectly cooked chicken is knowing the proper internal temperature. The USDA recommends that you cook chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165F. For the most accurate results, place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken while not touching the bone.
Omaha Steaks perfectly portioned boneless, skinless chicken breasts are easy to grill. They are uniform in size and ready for the grill. Once grill is preheated, cook each side 3-4 minutes. Always double check temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165F.
4. Control your cook
Cooking your chicken too hot and too quickly will lead to undercooked chicken with a charred, tough crust. The best way to deal with this issue is to make sure your piece of chicken isn’t too thick. Simply cut thick chicken breasts lengthwise and then place on your grill.
You can cook your chicken on direct heat, but don’t go too hot on the grill. Your chicken will burn on the outside and be undercooked on the inside. Keep a consistent medium-high heat on your grill for an even cook.
5. Flip once
To ensure an even cook and to prevent the meat from drying out, you will only want to flip the chicken once. When the part of the chicken you are grilling turns white, it’s time to flip. Then measure using a meat thermometer to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.
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Omaha Steaks Chicken
Hand-selected white meat chicken breasts – juicy and delicious lean, low-fat protein.