I had called it quits on grilling chicken a couple years ago. It always turned out so dry! I tried adjusting the heat, adjusting the time, and adjusting my attitude, but nothing seemed to help! That is, until I learned 3 easy steps that I always include in my grilling routine! I haven’t had a dry chicken breast in over a year! How is the build up going? Are you intrigued yet? Is your mouth watering? Are you saying in your brain, “mmmm chicken”! Alright, alright. Let’s remedy the problem. Here’s how to get your grill on, the right way.
3 Steps to Never Grill Dry Chicken Again!
1. Use a Jaccard Tool
How many of you even know what a jacaard tool is? I sure didn’t. It is, essentially, a small hand-held kitchen tool that tenderizes meat. Depending on the type, they can have anywhere from 15 to 50 tiny blades that pierce the meat with many holes. This does a few things to help the end result. It forms tiny channels through the meat which heat can pass though. This means more even cooking, less shrinking, and can yield faster cooking times. These channels also allow juices and marinades to flow through. Tenderizing before using a marinade can allow flavors to penetrate deeper into the meat. This means more a flavorful result! Here is a link to the jaccard tool I use and LOVE!
2. Brine the chicken
Many of you have probably heard of brining a turkey for Thanksgiving. Many of you probably dismissed the idea because you were afraid of messing it up and ruining Thanksgiving dinner, and having to order take-out on the most important meal of the year. Some of you just said, “what ever it is, isn’t worth the extra hassle of an already long day in the kitchen”. NOT TRUE! A brine has an acidic quality which tenderizes the driest of meats. Turkey, like chicken, is high on the dry scale. A brine also infuses flavor into the meat. It is basically just a marinade. Now are you warming up to the idea?Here is the brine recipe a got from my mom, that I have never strayed from because after a few hours in this stuff, it is seasoned to perfection! It is THE BEST CHICKEN I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!
Brine Marinade For Grilled Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 T. black peppercorns
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T. lemon juice
3 whole bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Stir ingredients together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Continue stirring until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool until room temperature. ( I try to make the night before if I remember) After cooling the marinade, place meat or poultry in a Ziploc bag inside another container for support and leakage. Pour cooled marinade into the bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours
Discard brine before using. Make sure to pat chicken dry. Grill chicken until inside temp reaches 165° F.
3. Let the Meat Rest
I know you’re anxious to dive into this delicious piece of meat, and to experience what the meat tenderizer and the brine have done, but leave it alone for 10 minutes after you take it off the heat. Don’t poke it, don’t prod it , don’t cut into it. If your’re worried about it being cold when you serve it, place it on tin foil, and cover it. This allows the fibers to relax and settle into that mouth watering tenderness.
It’s grilling season! Get out there and try these 3 easy steps! It will change the way you grill chicken forever!
P.S. If you’re looking for a great recipe to try the brine technique, try our Hawaiian “Rumbi” Rice Bowls. They are to die for!
11 thoughts on “3 Steps Never Grill Dry Chicken Again!”
Love you gals! I beat Stephy to your pin!!! Have a good night!
You girls are great! Thanks so much for stopping by! You can race to pin us anytime! 🙂
Great tips! Did you know that if you use canning salt you can omit the boiling because canning salt readily dissolves without heating?
Great Idea! Then you wouldn’t have to wait till it cools. Love it!
The reason is so that it doesn’t rise up and out of the bowl all over everything in the fridge. It will rise quite a bit if you let it.
Love your site, Mur! Excited to try out your tips! I imagine this beats out our trial run with the chicken we made in the Dutch Ovens for Trek;) Bahahaha
Thanks lady! Oh my! That was a learning curve wasn’t it!?! When are you coming home already??? We miss your face!
Just bought the tool, sounds like it will work wonders! What have you found to be the optimum temp and time to grill chicken? I’m one to always cut open to make sure it’s cooked all the way through; half the time I’m throwing it back on the grill and before you know it I’ve just ruined dinner!
It’s hard to put an exact time on grilling chicken. There are so many factors, like how big the chicken breasts are, how even your grill cooks and how hot it actually gets when it’s set to med/high etc. You have to learn your own grill. The guidelines I have always used are found here: http://allrecipes.com/howto/grilling-times-for-chicken-and-poultry/ On my grill, I cook the chicken about 12 to 14 minutes, on the first side or until the edges on the top are white. That way the chicken doesn’t stick to the grill. Flip in once and don’t touch it for at least 8 minutes. You’ll get to know the tricks and temps of your own grill the more you use it. Can’t wait to hear how the jaccard tool works for you!
Another good tip is when you create the brine and decide not to use the plastic bags do not use a metal container the salt will have a chemical reaction to the metal and cause your meat to have a bitter taste.
This is so good! I’ve never been able to prepare a chicken breast that didn’t resemble shoe leather! I’m grateful for these wonderful tips!!