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Aug 20, 2007 01:08 PM

How do I grill BONELESS chicken?

I have tried slowly at low temps and quickly at high temps. Always gets too dry.

Do I marinate? Dip in BBQ sauce during cooking? Cook to a certian temperature and then let it rest?


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  1. I'd make kabobs, marinate, and cook briefly.

    1. marinade or not is up to you, both are fine. Key to grilled boneless chicken is pound to a consistent thickness, jfood guesses 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Then ONLY a couple of minutes per side on the grill. Most people overcook these to death (jfood probably 2-3 minutes per side..

      1. Brining is a simple and foolproof way to ensure that it doesn't dry out too much.

        Do not cook "low and slow." That's a technique for tough meat that allows the fat and connective tissue to dissolve, tenderizing the meat. It's the exact opposite of what you want to do with boneless chicken.

        Brine and cook on med hot coals ONLY UNTIL DONE. Get a meat thermometer if you are unsure of when it is done. Also, remember carry-over cooking time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster

          Excellent. Thanks.

          What temperature do you recommend?

          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

            the breast will probably too thin for an accurate reading. also it's not like a steak in which you should not cut into it. if you are unsure, cut a little peak hole.

            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

              The health dept guys would say breasts to 160, thigh to 175. I say til they have firmed up to the touch only... that would mean about 150 on the breast, 160 on the thigh. But I am crazy... no, really... the heat will rise once it comes off the grill. If you pound the breast thin, it will literally only take a minute or so per side... I will do regular boneless breasts without pounding, and will pull once it is firmed up. Maybe 4-5 minutes per side? Brining or marinade is a good idea.

          2. pound thin (like jfood say;3/8-1/2'' thick. amrinate in tandoori spices and yoghurt refrig'd, for at least a hour and grill over hot, hot coals for no more than 2 min's per side. serve with grilled onions and a squeeze of lemon.done this way the chicken should be nice and moist.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chazzerking

              Great idea. A couple of nights ago, I bbqed some boneless breasts by slicing them 1/2 inch or 1/3 inch thick, marinating them in a mixture of soya, garlic, a sprinkling of sichuan peppercorns, some hot mustard, sesame oil and some chili paste. Marinated them for about an hour, then threaded them on skewers and bbqed over high heat (since there's little or no fat, they don't catch fire or blacken on the grill). The little bit of fat from the oil makes them sizzle. I cooked about 2 mins per side.

              I usually make a peanut satay-style dip but was too lazy on Sat. night.

            2. My absolutely best method which results in a juicy BSCB is to season with salt and pepper then onto a hot cast iron skillet in EVO to brown on the first side, flip and toss into a hot oven for 5 min or so to finish. The outside is golden brown and the inside is just done. The meat should have a very light blush when cut but will be 150-160. I slice the breast across the grain and they are tender and juicy with a good crust for flavor.

              6 Replies
              1. re: scubadoo97

                I take a similar approach on the grill: sear over direct heat (maybe 2-3 min. per side, till you get the nice grill lines), then finish on indirect heat. On a 3 burner gas grill that means fire up all 3 burners, sear the meat on the two outside burners, move chicken to the middle and then turn off the middle burner, leaving the outside burners on. If you've used teriyaki, BBQ sauce or another sugary marinade, this also keeps it from getting burnt. Depending on size, thickness, etc. anywhere from 15 - 25 min on indirect heat should work, but it's not a bad idea to cut a piece open to check if you're not sure.

                Marinating in buttermilk or yogurt helps a lot, especially for breasts. Thighs tend to stay juicier.

                1. re: 2m8ohed

                  I agree with the buttermilk marinate, this makes my chicken MUCH more tender. A brine would also work wonders. Marinating/ brining is key!

                    1. re: macca

                      What kind? Just regular Plain Yogurt?

                        1. re: 2m8ohed

                          Yup- I use the fat free Fage from Trader Joe's. Add a bit of lemon juice and some garlic, and you are good to go!