How Long to Grill Chicken Breast So It's Perfect Every Time

Dalstrong knife beside herbs and spices, and slices of chicken breasts on a wooden cutting boardRocker Knife 7" Shogun Series | Dalstrong

QUICK OVERVIEW: How Long to Grill Chicken Breast

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and oil using grill brushes.
  2. Brine your boneless skinless chicken breasts in a mixture of water, kosher salt, and brown sugar. Pat dry after 20 minutes.
  3. Season generously.
  4. Close the grill lid and let them cook. Flip at 6-8 minutes per side. Aim for that perfect 165°F internal temp.
  5. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

For optimum, juicy, and delicious results, you'll need to grill chicken breast for about 6-8 minutes per side over medium-high heat, reaching an internal temp of 165°F to ensure that delicious and food-safe result.

1. You Are Wrong About Chicken Breast

Dalstrong Gladiator Series Curved Fillet Knife on a black counter with chicken breasts on the side.Curved Fillet Knife 6" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

Let's be honest: chicken breast isn't exactly the most thrilling item on the menu. Yes, chicken breast gets a bad rap, often banished to the bottom of the recipes index as the "plain Jane" of the protein world. But, as is often the case, it all depends on how you look at it. Chicken breast is a versatile dish, packed with protein, and when prepared properly can be the star of any dish: from a complex smoked chicken recipe to the simplest of chicken salads.

Let's dispel the myth that chicken breasts are only for those looking to bulk up at the gym or follow some intense diet plan. Not the case! A well-prepared chicken breast can hold its own against fancier and more "luxurious" cuts like chicken thighs or even a well-marbled steak. 

It's all in the versatility.

If nothing else, chicken breast is extremely versatile. You can slice it, dice it, shred it, or even pound it flat to make chicken schnitzel. And this bird is like a sponge, eagerly soaking up marinades, spices, and seasonings, making it a great delivery method for all kinds of complex flavors. Ever tried smoked chicken breast with a dash of homemade spice rub? Life-changing.

And let's not overlook its ease and speed of cooking. Chicken breast cooks quickly, making it a time-saver in the kitchen. So before you skip over it the next time you're perusing your recipes index for dinner ideas, give this underdog of the poultry world another chance. It might just become one of your favorite proteins. 

Chicken breast is neither boring nor basic; it's a blank canvas of culinary opportunity waiting for you to add your unique brushstrokes. Whether it's smoked, fried, tossed in chicken salads, or featured in gourmet recipes, it's about time this versatile cut got the respect it deserves.

2. How to Choose Fresh Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts on a cutting board with a Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8" Chef KnifeDalstrong Gladiator Series 8" Chef Knife

Picking the right boneless skinless chicken breasts is crucial. 

Let's start with the visuals.

You want chicken that has a pinkish hue. Anything too pale or too dark is a red flag. The texture should be firm to the touch, not slimy or sticky. Go with your gut! If something seems off visually or to the touch, it's likely not the pick for you.

Let's talk packaging.

The plastic should be tightly sealed with no punctures, leaks, or rogue air bubbles. Even the best grill covers can't hide the smell of spoiling chicken, so it's good practice to give your potential poultry purchase the sniff test. If it smells funky, put it back and walk away. It should have a faint, clean smell – or better yet, hardly any odor at all.

Another important point to take into consideration are the "sell-by" or "use-by' dates. While they're not foolproof indicators, they can serve as a helpful baseline for freshness. But remember, even chicken within its date range can go bad if mishandled, so don't skip the other checks just because the date looks okay.

If you're mindful of the environment, keep an eye out for "organic" or "free-range" labels. Not only is it a more sustainable choice, but many people also vouch for the superior flavor and juiciness of the meat.

Don't forget about proper storage.

None of this is going to be any help if you don't store your chicken properly. Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge and plan to cook it within a day or two. If your plans change, you can always freeze it—just make sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn.

From visual cues and tight packaging to the sniff test that no grill covers can mask, these are your go-to strategies for selecting the freshest, most delicious boneless skinless chicken breasts for your next culinary adventure. Armed with this knowledge, you're now ready to select the finest chicken breast at your local supermarket or butcher. And you'll be ready to use this surprisingly versatile protein for grilling, baking, or creating an awesome gourmet dish.

Read about How Long Chicken Breasts Will Last in the Freezer (and How to Store Them), here.

3. How Long to Grill Chicken Breast

Dalstrong Shadow Black Chef Knife on Colossal Teak Board with chicken breastsShadow Black Series 8" Chef Knife Dalstrong

Here's the question you probably Googled to end up in this blog. How long to grill that chicken breast to mouth-watering perfection? 

Timing is everything. 

First things first – you'll want to set your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Medium heat just won't cut it; we're going for grill marks that are the culinary equivalent of a suntan. It's not just that they look great, but they greatly enhance the flavor and the texture of the meat, with a nice layer of that unmistakable (and delicious) "grilled" flavor.

Aim to grill each chicken breast for about 6-8 minutes per side. "But why not just wing it?" you may ask. Well, unless you want your guests gnawing through something that resembles a rubber puck, you'll want to abide by this rule. Overcooking is the death knell for chicken breast, robbing it of its natural juices and making it tough and dry.

Play it safe with a meat thermometer.

And, of course, this brings us to the all-important meat thermometer—a tool as essential to grilling as grill brushes are to cleanliness. Don't play the guessing game; just insert that thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. You're aiming for an internal temp of 165°F. Anything less, and you're flirting with food safety hazards; anything more, and you might as well serve it as a chew toy for your dog.

Thickness, bone-in or boneless, marinated or not – all of these factors could affect your grilling time. So, while 6-8 minutes per side is a solid guideline, it's not set in stone. Your meat thermometer will be your best friend here, telling you when your chicken has reached that golden 165°F internal temp for both flavor and food safety.

The bottom line is that timing is truly everything when it comes to grilling chicken breast. Get your gas or charcoal grill roaring at medium-high heat, aim for those enviable grill marks, and rely on your trusty meat thermometer to ensure that all-important 165°F internal temp. Armed with these tips, you're well on your way to grilling chicken breast that's not just good, but great.

4. How to Grill Chicken Breast: A Recipe

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sauce on the Side


  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Optional: Homemade taco seasoning, brown sugar


  • Gas or charcoal grill
  • Meat thermometer
  • Grill brushes
  • Cutting boards
  • Wood pellet or grill grate


  1. Preheat your grill: Preheat to medium-high heat. Oil the grate using grill brushes to prevent sticking.
  2. Brine the chicken: Brine your boneless skinless chicken breasts in a mixture of water, kosher salt, and brown sugar. Pat dry with paper towels after 20 minutes.
  3. Season: Mix garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle generously. Add optional ingredients like homemade taco seasoning for extra zing.
  4. Grill: Place the chicken on the grill grate over direct heat. Close the grill lid and cook, flipping at 6-8 minutes per side. Check the internal temperature, aiming for that perfect 165°F internal temp.
  5. Rest: Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to lock in those juices. This is an important step to get the kind of succulent, juicy results you're looking for.
5. Dalstrong Products You Will Need

    1. Lionswood Colossal Teak Cutting Board Dalstrong

    Lionswood Colossal Teak Cutting Board | Dalstrong

    You absolutely need a cutting board when you're getting ready to grill chicken breast. The Lionswood Colossal Teak Cutting Board is an awesome kitchen tool, ideal for chopping, slicing, and serving. Crafted from sustainably sourced, end-grain Tropical Teak wood, this board is not only eco-friendly but also highly durable.

    Its end-grain results in an awesome-looking (and slip-resistant) surface that's gentle on your knives, while steel handles make for easy carrying and elegant presentation.


    • The end-grain wood fabrication is designed to absorb impact, thereby prolonging the sharpness of your Dalstrong knives.
    • Naturally resistant to water, bacteria, and staining, this teak cutting board is well-suited for busy, wet environments like professional kitchens.
    • The board is large enough to double as a butcher's block and can extend your counter space when placed over sinks or stoves.
    • Steel handles on either side allow for easy carrying and can be used for elegant presentation of foods like roasts, cheeses, and charcuterie.


    • The board's weight and dimensions may make it challenging to store in smaller kitchens.
    • The board also requires some maintenance with mineral oil to keep the teak wood in optimal condition.

    2. Meat Fork 7.7" Valhalla Series Celestial Resin & Wood Handle Dalstrong

    Meat Fork 7.7" Valhalla Series | Celestial Resin & Wood Handle | Dalstrong

    The Valhalla Series Meat Fork isn't just another kitchen utensil; it's a must-have for anyone serious about grilling or serving large cuts of meat and veggies. With its long, razor-sharp prongs, you can easily pierce through anything, ensuring a secure hold.

    The fork's neck is etched for added grip, making it effortless to handle. Made from top-notch stainless steel and featuring a striking celestial blue handle, this 7.7-inch fork is as stylish as it is durable. It's the perfect blend of form and function, making it a solid investment for your kitchen arsenal. Trust us, you'll be reaching for this fork every time you fire up the grill.


    • Made from precision-forged, mirror-polished stainless steel for durability and stain resistance.
    • The ridged neck texture between tines and handle ensures a firm grip and enhanced control.
    • The celestial blue resin handle is reinforced with stabilized wood for exceptional tensile strength and shock absorption.
    • Includes a Valhalla-embossed leather sheath for stylish, safe storage. Looks great!


    • Its high-quality construction places it at a higher price point, making it less accessible for those on a tight budget. If you want a more budget-friendly meat and carving fork, try Meat & Carving Fork 7" | The Impaler | Dalstrong.
    • The color of the handle may vary due to the resin mixing process, which could be a consideration for those who prefer uniformity.

    3. Chef's Knife 8" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    Chef's Knife 8" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

    The Gladiator Series 8-inch Chef's Knife is your go-to blade for practically everything you'd want to do in the kitchen, from dicing veggies to getting that grilled chicken breast just right. Forged from premium high-carbon German ThyssenKrupp Steel, this knife offers the perfect blend of razor-sharp cutting ability and long-lasting durability.

    Whether you're a pro chef or simply love cooking at home, this knife is a reliable choice you won't regret adding to your culinary toolkit. Its ergonomic G10 Garolite handle is impervious to heat, cold, and moisture, ensuring comfort and control during use. 


    • The blade is precision-forged from high carbon German ThyssenKrupp Steel, ensuring long-lasting sharpness and durability.
    • An ergonomic and ambidextrous G10 Garolite handle provides excellent grip, making the knife comfortable to use for extended periods.
    • The knife features a tall blade height, offering ample knuckle clearance for ease of food preparation, ideal for slicing grilled chicken breast or chopping vegetables.
    • Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).


    • The knife's heft and balance, while advantageous for some tasks, may be cumbersome for those who prefer a lighter knife for quick, delicate slicing.
    • This knife features handsome looks with understated simplicity, but if you're looking for something more visually stunning, check out the next knife in this list.

    4. Chef's Knife 8" Shadow Black Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    Chef's Knife 8" Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

    Now this is a statement piece. The Dalstrong Shadow Black Series 8" chef's knife is designed to make a statement both in aesthetics and performance. Engineered for optimal maneuverability and equipped with a fine tip, this knife excels in detailed tasks like coring tomato stems. The black titanium coating not only adds a touch of sophistication but also enhances corrosion resistance.

    This knife is a game-changer for your kitchen tasks, particularly when it comes to effortlessly slicing and getting that grilled chicken breast just right..


    • Ruthlessly sharp edge honed to 16-18° per side, ensuring clean, precise cuts and excellent edge retention, contrasting with the Gladiator Series which is geared more towards heavy-duty tasks.
    • Unique F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter-inspired handle geometry provides exceptional grip and comfort, a significant design departure from the more traditional handle of the Gladiator Series.
    • Black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating enhances durability, corrosion resistance, and maintains a cleaner blade for longer.
    • The handle's G10 resin handle is nearly impervious to kitchen damage, which adds to the knife's longevity.


    • Not everyone is a fan of the sleek, all-black design.
    • The unique handle design may require a short adjustment period for those accustomed to traditional handle shapes.

    5. Sous Team Apron Heavy-Duty Waxed Canvas

    Sous Team Apron Heavy-Duty Waxed Canvas | Professional Chef's Kitchen Apron | Dalstrong

    If you're gonna go grilling, you gotta look the part. The Sous Team Apron is a heavy-duty, waxed canvas apron designed to withstand the rigors of professional kitchens. With multiple pockets, including a hidden interior stash, and a leather cross-back harness, this apron serves the dual purpose of functionality and comfort.

    The canvas is not only water-shedding and resistant to dirt, but it's also quite chic. It's a sturdy pick whether you're a chef, a butcher, or a barbecue aficionado.


    • The apron is designed with a waxed canvas that's both water-resistant and good at keeping dirt at bay, making it a long-lasting choice in high-traffic kitchen settings.
    • With a variety of pockets, including two up top for quick access and a hidden one inside for valuables, there's plenty of room to store all your must-have tools and personal belongings.
    • The genuine-leather cross-back harness is adjustable and designed to distribute weight evenly, minimizing neck strain.
    • Custom molded brass plate and Dalstrong fixings add a personalized, upscale look to the apron, making it stand out in any culinary setting.


    • The heavy-duty material and premium features place this apron at a higher price point. Check out these Dalstrong aprons to find other prices.
    • While highly functional, the multiple pockets and features may be overwhelming for those who prefer a simpler, minimalist design.

    6. Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I use electric grills for grilling chicken breast?

    Electric grills are definitely an option for grilling chicken breast, but you may need to adjust the grill temperature and cooking time as electric grills can differ in heat distribution.

    Should I marinate chicken breasts before grilling?

    Marinating chicken breasts before grilling is a fantastic idea. A good marinade adds a burst of flavor and tenderizes the meat. Just be sure to pat the breasts dry with paper towels before they meet the grill.

    How long do I grill chicken breasts on a gas grill?

    When grilling chicken breasts on a gas grill, aim for about 6-8 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Keep an eye on the internal temperature, which should reach 165°F for food safety.

    How long should I grill thin chicken breast?

    For thin chicken breasts, reduce the grilling time to around 4-5 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Again, the internal temperature should reach 165°F to ensure the chicken is cooked safely and thoroughly.


    Written by Jorge Farah
    Born on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions.

    How Long to Grill Chicken Breast So It's Perfect Every Time

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