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View Full Version : Grilling skinless boneless chicken breasts


ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 10:17 AM
I see comments that guys cannot cook these without turning them into shoe leather

I figured everyone knew how to do this, but apparently not

I have been cooking them for many years so I thought I would try to help out since its very simple

If the breasts are whole or large, cut them into smaller strips but not too small, maybe 2"

You dont have to brine them, I never do

Start your grill, I use a Weber OTS, with maybe 3/4 chimney of briqs or lump, doesnt really matter

After they are going, dump them in and push them to one side

Put the grill grate on and the lid, let the fire settle in

Then put your meat on the opposite side, away from the heat after you season however you want.

Then just let them cook for about 5 mins, then turn them over, keep doing this and keep your eye on them

Its kind of like cooking a steak, you feel the meat to see just when it starts firming up, pushing on it with your tongs or whatever you are using

You will see them start to plump up, they are about done. Apply sauce and give it a min or two, then remove

If you are not sure they are done, slice one open, it wont hurt anything, they need to be cut anyway

you will quickly get the hang of it. Never cook them direct.

a few pics, they got consumed before I could take a pic of one cut open

Wampus
05-15-2013, 10:34 AM
Yeah, personally I don't get why these are the bane of so many a griller.


I don't do them often, but like to grill em up once in a while. While I prefer skin on, bone in breasts over the skinless, boneless variety, I still like to grill up several at a time and then slice them for later use in salads, etc. Sometimes we even actually EAT them for dinner right off the grill! :shock:


I agree.....direct grilling doesn't work well. To me, the secret is watching the internal temp. I pull em off when they hit 145-150. Then they're still nice and juicy. I prefer to not put any sauce on chicken, grilled or smoked. I like to season them liberally and cook em up that way.

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 10:39 AM
Yeah, personally I don't get why these are the bane of so many a griller.


I don't do them often, but like to grill em up once in a while. While I prefer skin on, bone in breasts over the skinless, boneless variety, I still like to grill up several at a time and then slice them for later use in salads, etc. Sometimes we even actually EAT them for dinner right off the grill! :shock:


I agree.....direct grilling doesn't work well. To me, the secret is watching the internal temp. I pull em off when they hit 145-150. Then they're still nice and juicy. I prefer to not put any sauce on chicken, grilled or smoked. I like to season them liberally and cook em up that way.

I never use a thermo on them, I can tell. But like I said I have been doing them forever, my wife refuses to eat the skin for health reasons so I figure why fight it.

I have been doing them once a week forever. I would rather do bone in skin on breast halves, sometimes I do one just for me

The ones in the pics had Plowboys Yardbird rub and doctored up over the counter sauce

deguerre
05-15-2013, 10:43 AM
I do this. Redhot's are STILL always better than mine.

Bamabuzzard
05-15-2013, 10:45 AM
I used to be one of those victims of couldn't grill chicken but I've since learned. LOL!


Yeah, personally I don't get why these are the bane of so many a griller.


I don't do them often, but like to grill em up once in a while. While I prefer skin on, bone in breasts over the skinless, boneless variety, I still like to grill up several at a time and then slice them for later use in salads, etc. Sometimes we even actually EAT them for dinner right off the grill! :shock:


I agree.....direct grilling doesn't work well. To me, the secret is watching the internal temp. I pull em off when they hit 145-150. Then they're still nice and juicy. I prefer to not put any sauce on chicken, grilled or smoked. I like to season them liberally and cook em up that way.

Cherrywood
05-15-2013, 10:45 AM
I think the biggest challenge is finding quality meat. Its hard to find chicken that's not old & tough right out of the package. We've been buying our breast meat through Market Day at the kids' school. They're individually vacuum sealed, smaller, and have a more consistent thickness than what you typically find in the store. They're nearly impossible to mess up.

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 10:50 AM
I think the biggest challenge is finding quality meat. Its hard to find chicken that's not old & tough right out of the package. We've been buying our breast meat through Market Day at the kids' school. They're individually vacuum sealed, smaller, and have a more consistent thickness than what you typically find in the store. They're nearly impossible to mess up.

I dont really find that as an issue, I just get whatever is on sale

I have gotten the Market Day chicken before. I think its overpriced for what you get but its a fundraiser. We do spend probably $70 every month for other Marketday Stuff

dajogejr
05-15-2013, 10:50 AM
Thermapen all the way for me, pulling early...
I get 5oz skinless/boneless from work in bulk for CHEAP...season and grill.

Very rarely will I cook with coal solely for chicken, I'll gas my birds.
But If I plan to cook steaks first, burgers, etc., I'll throw 'em on an already hot lump grill.

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 10:53 AM
Thermapen all the way for me, pulling early...
I get 5oz skinless/boneless from work in bulk for CHEAP...season and grill.

Very rarely will I cook with coal solely for chicken, I'll gas my birds.
But If I plan to cook steaks first, burgers, etc., I'll throw 'em on an already hot lump grill.

those coals will probably last 3 cooks. the NEW and IMPROVED Cowboy is what you see there. Did not hardly burn down at all but it was a very short cook.

I dont have any gas appliances in my cooking area.

wolfkeg
05-15-2013, 02:13 PM
I don't have to brine to make them good, but I like to. You can put a lot of flavor into a bird by brining it. I have also never had a dry, brined bird. I only brine breast or whole birds. You just have to plan ahead.

fingerlickin'
05-15-2013, 04:06 PM
The only time I've ever used a thermo on BS chicken breast was when I first got my thermapen. It was dry as all get out.

Never again. I just went back to the tried and true method.
I cook mine direct over medium to medium high heat. 1/4 turn once to make it pretty then flip it once to finish.


Chicken has a grain to it. Take your tongs and grab the breast about 2/3 of the way to the top or thickest part. Pick it up, turn your hand over so that you are trying to break the smooth side and try and break it in half by using the grill grate as leverage. Don't actually break it in half just bend it enough until you can see it would separate if you wanted it to. Just be sure you're trying to break it along the grain of the meat, you'll want to bend it slightly diagonal, not just straight in half.

I don't care what anyone tells you about manhandling your meat and pushing out the juices. This method works, and it works every time. Every and I mean every time I make chicken breasts (which is weekly) my wife tells me she can't believe I how good I can cook chicken and how juicy it is.

Disclaimer, I'm not a burger smasher either. Just trust me once will ya.


On edit: To the OP. I'm not trying to dispute your method. As always there is more than one way to skin a cat. This is just what works for me, so in an effort to help those chicken breast challenged I though I'd throw my method into the discussion. No offense intended.

deguerre
05-15-2013, 04:18 PM
I don't care what anyone tells you about manhandling your meat and pushing out the juices. This method works, and it works every time..

Ooooooooooooo SAUCY!

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 04:21 PM
The only time I've ever used a thermo on BS chicken breast was when I first got my thermapen. It was dry as all get out.

Never again. I just went back to the tried and true method.
I cook mine direct over medium to medium high heat. 1/4 turn once to make it pretty then flip it once to finish.


Chicken has a grain to it. Take your tongs and grab the breast about 2/3 of the way to the top or thickest part. Pick it up, turn your hand over so that you are trying to break the smooth side and try and break it in half by using the grill grate as leverage. Don't actually break it in half just bend it enough until you can see it would separate if you wanted it to. Just be sure you're trying to break it along the grain of the meat, you'll want to bend it slightly diagonal, not just straight in half.

I don't care what anyone tells you about manhandling your meat and pushing out the juices. This method works, and it works every time. Every and I mean every time I make chicken breasts (which is weekly) my wife tells me she can't believe I how good I can cook chicken and how juicy it is.

Disclaimer, I'm not a burger smasher either. Just trust me once will ya.


On edit: To the OP. I'm not trying to dispute your method. As always there is more than one way to skin a cat. This is just what works for me, so in an effort to help those chicken breast challenged I though I'd throw my method into the discussion. No offense intended.

to each his own no offense taken

there is always more than one way, since I know my way, thats what I know LOL

I guess my point is that I just can tell if its done by the firmness of the meat, like a steak.

I have been cooking chicken like this since I bought my first Kettle

In 1977

TroyA65
05-15-2013, 04:32 PM
I don't think that they are that hard to cook but I will say bone in skin on tastes SOOOOO much better even if you don't eat the skin. Do a side by side for yourself, if you do both correctly you'll still like bone in better hands down!

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 04:38 PM
I don't think that they are that hard to cook but I will say bone in skin on tastes SOOOOO much better even if you don't eat the skin. Do a side by side for yourself, if you do both correctly you'll still like bone in better hands down!

Im not going to disagree with that, but that was not the point of my thread.

buccaneer
05-15-2013, 04:43 PM
It's useless without a few good shots of the internals.

CharredApron
05-15-2013, 04:44 PM
It's useless without a few good shots of the internals.
I prefer the externals

buccaneer
05-15-2013, 04:47 PM
:tsk:
I walked into that one...:tsk:

:heh:

fingerlickin'
05-15-2013, 04:56 PM
Ooooooooooooo SAUCY!


Hey, quit stirrin up chit. I do a good enough job of that on my own. :grin:

Besides, my wife said it was good, so that's good enough for me. Ya feel me?

ButtBurner
05-15-2013, 05:21 PM
It's useless without a few good shots of the internals.

I give my mother inlaw the chicken necks

does that count?

:wink:

Heisenberger
05-15-2013, 05:28 PM
butterfly the breasts, and if you like, pound them. the thinner breasts will be juicier because the inside will cook much quicker than on a thick breast, where the outside would be leathery by the time the inside is cooked through.

charrederhead
05-15-2013, 05:57 PM
I've always considered chicken pretty easy to cook and don't understand the problem it gives some folks.

I've had good results w/ both direct and indirect, and have never used a therm to check for doneness.

It's (wait for it.....) done when it's done. (woohoo! My first time saying that here!) :bow:

scaramoche
05-15-2013, 06:27 PM
I work grill station at a mid Indiana bar and grill. I cook literally 50+ boneless skinless chicken breast per shift a day. Yep 50+ minimum. We use a Star ultramax charbroiler during lunch ans an Aztec wood fire grill for dinner. We don't brine or marinated. The chicken comes frozen from whoever is cheaper. Are thawed in water and get oiled salt pepper and slapped on grill skin down quarter turn for marks and flipped to finish. Don't have any thermopens but, I think we have a dial therm somewhere. We use touch feel method on most to tell doneness. Cut and peak method is used to train new cooks. And they soon learn not to do that. Ok, having established all that and my point, when asked how we get our chicken breasts so tender moist and juicy and how to do it. The answer is always the same: STOP OVER COOKING THEM!!! If your wondering chicken sandwich and dinner is second best seller after steaks. Doesn't matter what merged you learn and use just stop overcooking

JohnHB
05-15-2013, 06:40 PM
Some great advice in the posts. Cooking to no more than 140f-150f is the most critical. Brining does help retain moisture.
My method is probably a bit controversial. I brine for an hour or so. Wash, dry and pack in vacuum bags. Sous vide at 145f for 2 hours. Then open up, pat dry, oil with olive oil and give quick sear on both sides. End product always moist, cooked consistently well and they have the texture of THIGHS.
John

code3rrt
05-15-2013, 07:38 PM
I've always coked mine direct without any issues, always juicy and tender. Overcooking them is the culprit if they are dry or tough.

KC

ButtBurner
05-16-2013, 06:26 AM
thanks guys

my goal was to help those who are having trouble with this cut of meat on the grill

I think we have accomplished that