Say NO to dry chicken! Learn the best technique for how to grill chicken breast.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves 6 ounces each
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
Prepare the Meat
First things first: Let’s tenderize the meat a bit. Place a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on your work surface, place the chicken on top and cover the chicken with another piece of parchment or plastic. Next, grab a meat mallet or rolling pin and give the thickest part of the chicken a few firm whacks—if you’ve ever butterflied a chicken, these are the same first steps. You don’t need to pulverize the cut, but do flatten it slightly so the breast is an even thickness from end to end.Test Kitchen tip: This step helps cook the chicken evenly, keeping one end from drying out before the other has time to cook.
Marinate the Chicken
Now it’s time to marinate that bird. Place the vinegar, oil, lemon juice and lemon pepper into a medium-size bowl or pan, then add the chicken. Turn and flip the chicken to coat, then cover.Test Kitchen tip: Thinking about skipping this step? Think again. Marinade is a crucial part of keeping your chicken juicy (and adding extra flavor). You can switch up this recipe with these different marinade formulas.Once covered, pop the chicken in the fridge. After 30 minutes or so, drain and discard the marinade.Test Kitchen tip: Compared to beef and pork, chicken doesn’t need to marinate for long-especially if the marinade includes acidic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice or buttermilk. All it takes is 30 minutes to a couple of hours at most for an acidic marinade to work its way into the meat. If you’re running short on time, remember that some time spent marinating is better than none at all.
Turn or get the heat up to medium, then use tongs to place the chicken breasts on the grill.Test Kitchen tip: If using a charcoal grill, you can gauge the temperature by holding your hand five inches above the cooking grate. If you can keep it there comfortably for 4-6 seconds, it’s at medium heat.Cover the grill and let the chicken cook for 5-7 minutes, then use tongs to flip the breasts over. Grill for 5-7 minutes longer, or until a thermometer reads 165°.Test Kitchen tip: If you plan to brush on a sweet glaze such as barbecue sauce, wait until the last few minutes of cooking. This will keep the outside of the chicken from getting too dark from the sugars in the sauce.