Some would say creating a juicy delicious steak is the pinnacle of grilling, but chicken has been the bane of many a griller. When trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, we men may glance over chicken because of its tendency to dry up like grapes in the California sun. There’s nothing worse than a dry chicken breast that’s tough and chewy, but the dry heat of a grill makes it difficult to balance a fully cooked chicken with a juicy chicken. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help keep the chicken moist and evenly cooked.
Cook It Indirectly
Heat from a flame, be it gas or charcoal, directly under the chicken will cook the bottom quickly and dry it out even faster. Instead, place the chicken off to the side and let the overall ambient heat of the grill cook it. It’s also a good idea to get the grill fire as hot as you can. The chicken will cook evenly because it’s not being directly impacted by the flame and it will cook quickly because of the overall heat. If you want to keep the moisture level high, then place the chicken on tin foil and place an ice cube or two on the foil. The ice cube will melt keeping the chicken moist.
The Secret of Keeping the Chicken Moist
Meats like chicken will lose their moisture fast when placed on a grill. By putting the chicken breasts in a brine overnight, you’re infusing it not only with moisture, but with salt as well; and the salt will help the meat retain water while cooking. If the outside of the meat looks like it is beginning to dry out near the end of the cooking cycle, then add a little light glaze. If you don’t want it to impact the natural taste of the meat, put a light glaze of butter or vegetable oil across the top.
Beat the Heck Out of It
Chicken breasts are often uneven with one side thicker than the other. This not only increases your cooking time, but also makes it more difficult to cook evenly. By pounding the chicken into thin, even sheets, you’re decreasing the cooking time significantly. A lesser cooking time means more moisture will stay in the meat instead of evaporating.
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