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How Long to Grill Chicken Breasts


Delicious grilled chicken breasts are perfect for lunch or dinner. Whether you want to make sandwiches, burgers, or pasta, they elevate the taste and lessen cooking time. But undercooked or overcooked chicken can really kill the mood. Thus, knowing how long to grill chicken breasts is an essential kitchen skill for yummy food.

It takes around 8 to 10 minutes to grill chicken breasts, but the time may vary depending on the thickness and grill temperature.

This article explains how to grill chicken breasts and for how long at different temperatures. So, let’s tell you all about grilling some finger-licking good chicken!

How to Grill Chicken Breasts?

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes


Skin-on chicken breast pieces: You can take the chicken breasts whole or cut them to the size of your choice. They take less time, maintaining the juices while giving you yummy grilled chicken. You can also opt for bone-in chicken breasts.

Marinade: A combination of fat (yogurt/buttermilk/oil), acid (vinegar/citrus), and seasonings makes the perfect recipe for delicious chicken breasts. The choices of seasonings are versatile, from salt and pepper to Cajun spice, Italian herbs, BBQ seasoning, and others.

Now, before we jump to how long to grill chicken breasts on the grill, here are a few preparation steps:

Preparing the Chicken Breasts

  • Wash the chicken breasts properly and pat dry them.
  • Now pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. Thinning them allows them to cook thoroughly. In case you do not have a meat mallet, use a rolling pin.
  • Next, use a fork to poke holes in the chicken breasts so the marinade seeps in.

Brining Chicken Breasts

Brining the chicken helps eliminate the raw taste and improves the juiciness of the breast filets. Here’s how you can brine your chicken breasts for the best results:

  • Add half a cup of salt to four cups of water in a ziplock bag or bowl
  • Leave your chicken breasts in the brine for half an hour
  • Take the chicken out and marinate in the ingredients of your choice

You can skip this step and marinate your chicken breast pieces directly as well.

Marinating Chicken Breasts

The next step to juicy, perfectly grilled chicken breasts is marination. Always make sure the marinade is well-seasoned and has a liquid component.

It is best to marinate the chicken breasts overnight, but marinating them for 2 to 4 hours also works fine. Put the breasts and the marinade into a bowl or ziplock bag. Let your chicken marinate and preheat your grill once they are marinated.

Preheating the Grill

Besides considering how long to grill chicken breasts on the grill, preheating the grill is critical. It helps ensure your chicken breasts do not stick to the grill.

  • Turn on your grill and bring the temperature to 400°F
  • Now, clean the grill with a brush to remove any residues
  • Leave the grill at 400°F for 15 minutes before grilling the breast pieces

Grilling the Chicken Breasts to Perfection

Now that you have prepared your chicken breasts and the grill, it’s time to grill them finally!

After preheating your grill, turn the heat to 450°F to grill the chicken breasts. Here, you might wonder, but how long to grill chicken breasts?

Grill the chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side at 450°F. Leave them for 5 more minutes on the grill after cooking both sides. Covering the grill allows even cooking in less time if your grill has a lid.

Alternatively, cook the chicken breasts on direct heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side and then move to indirect heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

The key to juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts is checking the internal temperature. Use a meat probe to ensure the temperature is no more than 165°F.

To get even juicier chicken, take it off the grill when the meat probe shows 160°F. If the temperature is less than 160°F, it is best to flip the chicken again, cook for 3-4 on the other side, and recheck the temperature.

Let your gorgeously seared juicy chicken breasts rest for a few minutes to seal the juice. Serve with your favorite sauces and sides or cut into smaller pieces for sandwiches and pasta.

How Long to Grill Chicken Breasts with Bone?

You can also grill a chicken breast with bone on the grill; it takes a little more time than boneless pieces. Chicken breasts with bone need around 3 to 5 minutes more on the grill than boneless breasts. Check their inner temperature and remove them when they reach 160-165°F.

How Long to Grill Chicken Breasts on Each Side?

The grill time for chicken breasts can vary depending on the preparation and grilling temperatures. At the same time, the size of the chicken breast also impacts the grilling time. Here’s how much time grilling chicken breasts of different sizes takes:

  • 6 to 8 ounces: 4 minutes on each side
  • 8 to 10 ounces: 4 to 6 minutes on each side
  • 10 ounces or more: 7 to 10 minutes on each side

How to Grill Chicken Breasts in a Charcoal Grill?

When using a charcoal grill, the first step is to fill the coals into a chimney or mound. As they light fully, transfer them to one half of the grill and leave the other half empty. The coals must be at 350 to 450°F. Add the grate to the grill and heat it well before placing the chicken breasts on it.

How to Tell When Chicken Breast is Done without a Thermometer

While a meat probe is the best choice to check the doneness of chicken breasts, what if you don’t have one?

In case you do not have a meat probe, make a tight fist with one hand. Use a finger of the other hand to press between the top part of the fist and the thumb. This is the same texture you will feel on a properly grilled chicken.

So, press the thickest part of the chicken breast. If it feels the same, your chicken is done. You must also ensure the juices do not completely dry and run clear from the breast piece.

Tips for Grilling Succulent Juicy Chicken Breasts

Though you know how long to grill chicken breasts at what temperatures, who’d mind some extra tips? Here are a few tips to make your grilled chicken even better:

  • Leave the chicken to marinate overnight so it takes up the flavor properly
  • Make sure to preheat the grill to get a better texture and taste of the marinade
  • Do not pound your chicken thinner than ½ inches
  • Taking the chicken breasts off the grill at 160°F avoids overcooking when you rest them after grilling
  • Purchase a meat probe to ensure your meat is thoroughly cooked
  • You must let your grilled chicken breasts rest after cooking to lock in the juices

Grilled Chicken Nutrition Profile

Calculating calories and nutrition, such as protein in chicken breasts, can be challenging for all meals. But not for this one. Here’s the complete nutrition profile for grilled chicken breasts. It may vary slightly depending on the fat you use in the marinade.

  • Serving size: 7 ounces
  • Calories: 226 kcal
  • Protein: 42 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams 
  • Trans fat: 0.03 grams
  • Cholesterol: 127 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg
  • Calcium: 10 mg
  • Potassium: 734 mg

How to Grill Other Chicken Cuts?

We hope that now you know everything about chicken breasts and how long to grill chicken breasts for. Grilling other cuts of chicken, like chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings, is not quite different from chicken breasts. Here’s how you can prepare them on a grill:

Chicken Thighs

Preheat your grill like you do for chicken breasts and oil the grate. Now, place the chicken thighs on the grate and grill each side for 6 to 8 minutes. If you have skin-on chicken thighs, grill the skin side for 5 to 6 minutes before flipping. Cook the other side for 8 minutes and check the temperature. Take the chicken thighs off the grill when the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Chicken Drumsticks

Oil the grates, place the marinated drumsticks on the grill, and cook for eight minutes on each side. Leave them on the grill for five more minutes after cooking to ensure they cook thoroughly.

Chicken Wings


Chicken wings take a little longer than chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Grill them at 350°F, flipping them every 3 minutes. It might take up to 15 minutes for chicken wings to cook thoroughly. Make sure they do not burn or overcook.

How to Store Grilled Chicken?

Now that you know how long to grill chicken breasts, you can also freeze this cooked chicken to use later. Always cool down the chicken to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing it. Also, storing them in separate zip-lock bags is better if you do not want large portions at once. For even smaller portions, cut each filet in half.

Here’s how long you can store the chicken breasts in the refrigerator and freezer:

  • No more than 3 days in the refrigerator
  • 3 – 6 months in the freezer

How to Reuse Stored Grilled Chicken?

If you have stored the grilled chicken breasts in the refrigerator, leave them on the shelf for some time to reach room temperature. Use them at room temperature or warm slightly in a pan or skillet.

On the other hand, frozen chicken breasts take more time to defrost. Transfer the frozen chicken breasts to the refrigerator the night before. Then, take them out and leave them on the shelf so they reach room temperature. Heat them according to your preference. Alternatively, use the defrost setting in the microwave for quick thawing. 

The Bottom Line

Grilled chicken breasts are the perfect pick whether you want to enjoy a full meal or meal prep for the week. They go perfect with sandwiches, pasta, salads, and even pizzas. However, grilling juicy chicken can be tricky. You can only ace grilled chicken without overcooking it when you know exactly how long to grill chicken breasts. It takes around 8 to 10 minutes for chicken breasts to grill properly; flip them after five minutes on each side. Use a meat probe to check the temperature and remove the breasts from the grill when they reach 160°F. Leave them on the shelf to cook further and lock in the juices. Serve the chicken breasts with sauces and sides of your choice. 


How long to grill chicken breasts on a gas grill?

Grilling chicken breasts on a gas grill takes around 12 to 16 minutes for a medium-sized piece. The time may vary depending on the temperature and weight of the chicken breast.

How long to grill chicken breasts at 300?

Grilling chicken breasts on a Traeger at 300°F can take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes. Covering the lid of the grill allows it to cook faster. Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the other side for 30 minutes. Use a meat probe to ensure it has an internal temperature of 160°F.

How long to grill chicken breasts at 350?

Grilling chicken breasts on a grill at 350°F takes around 20 to 25 minutes to cook thoroughly. Cover the grill with the lid if it has one to lock the heat and speed up the process.

How long to grill chicken breasts at 400?

Chicken breasts grill quickly at 400°F. Cook them for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Leave the chicken breasts on the grill for another 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

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