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How Long to Grill Chicken Breast? — Everything You Need to Know

by Outdoor Cooking Pros August 08, 2021

How Long to Grill Chicken Breast? — Everything You Need to Know

Chicken is that type of meat that is dry when overcooked but can make you very sick if undercooked, which is why it’s important to get it right. Knowing just how long to grill a chicken breast can take practice as it’s almost an art. Our team of chefs is here to help you perfect your chicken breast grilling skills.

How Long Should Chicken Breasts Be Cooked?

Average Time 

The key to amazing results is to grill your chicken breast for 9 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Place the breast onto your grill and flip it over halfway through to get that perfect sear on the outside and retain the juiciness on the inside.

Ideal Temperature

Set your grill at 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or 220 to 232 degrees Celsius. This is the ideal range for chicken breasts. The range accounts for the thickness and the char you want on the outside. If you want a faster cooking time or have thicker chicken breasts, then our expert cooks recommend a higher temperature. 

Prep for Safety 

When prepping before grilling chicken breasts, never rinse them as you can spread the bacteria. Keep raw and cooked chicken separate and always rinse the cutting board or anything else raw food has touched before reusing them for cooked pieces.

raw chicken breast with spices

Other Factors

Prepare an internal thermometer and a basting brush as well in order to make sure the breast is still juicy but not undercooked. You can also prevent drying out the surface by basting the breasts during grilling. The internal temperature of your chicken breasts should be around 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 73 degrees Celsius. 

Juice

How exactly do you ensure the inside is juicy and delicious? Our experts are here to help. To keep the chicken soft and juicy, you can consider brining[1] them first. We suggest dissolving a little bit of salt (around a quarter of a cup) in 4 cups of water. Soak your breasts in the solution for about 20 to 30 minutes so that they don’t become salty but retain enough moisture.

Weight

The weight or thickness of the meat will also affect how long you should grill chicken breasts. Our team of chefs says a 6-ounce breast requires 10 minutes on average with 5 minutes for each side. You would typically tack on 5 more minutes for an additional 2 ounces, so an 8-ounce chicken breast will require 15 minutes.

grilled chicken and tomatoes

Tips & Reminders

Our chef team has a few extra tips to ensure delicious, savory and juicy chicken. 

  • For a more flavorful result, baste your chicken and save the juices and marinade for after grilling is done. If you can, use bone-in pieces as chicken skin always adds to the flavor and moisture.
  • Preheat your grill so your chicken gets that sear you want, which also decreases the chances of overcooking. If a flare-up happens, remove the chicken breasts. 

grill and spatula

  • It's recommended that you preheat the grill for ten to fifteen minutes and then brush off the remnants from the previous grilling task, if any. Oil the grates before adding the chicken. Greasing will prevent the chicken from sticking to the grates.
  • During grilling, flip the chicken halfway through to make sure it is done properly. 
  • After flipping the breast, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. Your chicken is done when the temperature reads 165°F. It might be unsafe if it's lesser than the temperature. If it's above, the meat will appear too dry.

 

FAQ

How long does boneless chicken breast take on the grill?

Boneless chicken breasts will take around 10 to 15 minutes in total. This is if you are looking at 6 to 8-ounce breasts, which is the average. Split the time in half to figure out how long is needed for either side and add an additional 5 minutes for every 2 ounces.

How do you grill chicken breast on a gas grill?

You grill chicken breast on a gas grill by preheating the grill and greasing the surface lightly before adding the chicken. Spend 5 to 6 minutes grilling one side with the lid closed and flipping it onto the other side when the time is up. 

How long do you cook chicken breast on the grill and at what temperature?

You cook chicken breast for 10 to 15 minutes at425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or 220 to 232 degrees Celsius. This is the optimal setting to reach the perfect juiciness without over or undercooking your chicken breasts. The time will depend on the thickness. 

How do you cook thick chicken breast on the grill?

You can cook thick chicken breast on the grill by slicing it in half for an easier time. Of course, you can also do it by adding a minute or two to the cooking time for average chicken breasts. Just remember to flip it once halfway in between cooking. 

Conclusion

How long to grill a chicken breast will depend on the thickness and the weight. On average, a 6 to 8-ounce breast will require 10 to 15 minutes respectively while flipping it over once in between. Our team of chefs says to add an extra 5 minutes for every 2 ounces.

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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