How to Grill Juicy Flavorful Chicken

Become a grill master with these quick and easy grilling tips.

For all the non-grillers and wanna-be grillers, it’s time to get a little more comfortable with the grill. Cooking outside is just another way to get excited about creating delicious meals.

Here’s the thing about grilling: It’s not magic, it’s just another option — and it’s a good one. Traditionally, grilling is viewed as a male thing… but why? There’s no reason why women can’t become grill masters. Chicken breast is a great place to start inching toward that goal.

FIRST: CHOOSE THE FLAVOR

There are two basic grilling foundations: Spice rubs or marinades. Personally, I like spice rubs better than marinades because marinades can sometimes cause the flame to flare, which causes dark black char on your meat—and that’s not good for you. So, dry rub spices up the chicken, gives it great flavor and it’s actually easier to reliably cook.

3 Easy Spice Rubs
Drizzle a little bit of oil on the chicken, add the spice rub to the chicken and let sit for a few minutes to a few hours. Then grill.

Basic Rub Blend:
1 tsp paprika (smoked or regular), garlic powder
½ tsp pepper and salt and brown sugar
2 tbsp oil to coat chicken so spices stick

Greek Rub Blend:
1 tsp: garlic powder, dried oregano, lemon zest
½ tsp: dried onion, black pepper, dried parsley, salt
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil to coat chicken so spices stick

Italian Rub Blend:
1 tsp: garlic powder, onion powder
½ tsp: sweet paprika, salt, and black pepper, dried basil
2 tbsp olive oil to coat chicken so spices stick

NEXT: COOK
Follow these best practices to grill like a pro.

  • Best to grill chicken breasts over direct heat. Temperature should read med/high (~400).
  • Also, it’s best to cook with the grill cover ON, which helps ensure the food will cook evenly.
  • It helps if the chicken is the same thickness all the way through. If not (and normally not with a breast), cut the thicker pieces horizontally in half. All pieces should be same thickness.
  • Put chicken on a clean grate. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to sear the outside (or until the chicken easily lifts off the grate). Then flip and cook for 4 minutes. Flip again and cook for the final 3-4 minutes until internal temp is between 160 and 165 degrees F.

FINALLY: LET IT REST
Letting the cooked chicken rest for 5-10 minutes helps to distribute the juices evenly through the meat and ensures the chicken breast will be juicy.

FYI, indoor grills do work here. Use the same steps and enjoy. For best results, serve your cooled grilled chicken on a salad or serve warm with lots of colorful vegetables.

For more info on feeling your best through smarter food choices, contact our holistic nutritionists. Book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with Healthy Nest Nutrition owner Robin Hutchinson to see if our programs are right for you.

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