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How Long to BBQ Chicken Breast?

A Quick Guide to Grilling Delicious Chicken Breast

Grilling chicken breast on a barbecue is a popular and delicious way to enjoy a summer meal. However, achieving the perfect cook on a chicken breast can be a bit tricky. Overcooking can result in dry and tough meat, while undercooking can pose health risks. Therefore, it is important to know the appropriate cooking time for your chicken breast to ensure its juiciness and safety.

The Cooking Time: It Depends

The cooking time for BBQ chicken breast can vary depending on various factors, including the thickness of the meat, the heat of the grill, and personal preference. As a general guideline, boneless and skinless chicken breasts typically take around 6-8 minutes per side on a medium-high heat grill. However, this is just an estimate, and additional steps may need to be taken to ensure a thorough cook.

The Importance of Temperature

To achieve perfectly cooked chicken breast, it is essential to measure the internal temperature using a meat thermometer rather than relying solely on time. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends that chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F). This ensures that any harmful bacteria present in the meat are safely eliminated, making it safe to consume.

Tips for Success

To help you achieve the best results when grilling chicken breast, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Marinate: Marinating the chicken breast prior to grilling not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize the meat. Marinades can be as simple as a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, or you can experiment with various flavors to suit your taste.
  2. Pound It Out: If your chicken breast is thicker than 1 inch, consider pounding it to an even thickness. This ensures that it cooks evenly throughout and reduces the risk of overcooking the outside while waiting for the inside to cook.
  3. Preheat the Grill: Preheating your grill is crucial to achieving the perfect cook. It ensures even cooking and helps prevent sticking. Aim for a medium-high heat of around 375-450°F (190-230°C) to sear the chicken breast and lock in the juices.
  4. Keep an Eye on It: Chicken breasts can quickly go from perfectly cooked to overdone. Therefore, it is essential to keep a close eye on the meat during the grilling process. Check the internal temperature regularly and flip the chicken breast only once to avoid drying it out.
  5. Rest Before Serving: After removing the chicken breast from the grill, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more moist and flavorful piece of meat.

Recipes to Try

If you’re looking for some delicious recipes to try for your BBQ chicken breast, here are a few options:

1. Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken: Marinate your chicken breast in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 75°C (165°F). Serve with grilled vegetables for a healthy and flavorful meal.

2. Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers: Cut your chicken breast into chunks and marinate in your favorite barbecue sauce with a kick of chili powder or hot sauce. Skewer the chicken and grill until fully cooked. Serve with a side of coleslaw or corn on the cob.

3. Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Breast: Marinate your chicken breast in a combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, and sesame oil. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 75°C (165°F). Serve with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables for an Asian-inspired meal.


When it comes to grilling chicken breast on a barbecue, the cooking time will depend on various factors. It is crucial to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F) to ensure its safety and juiciness. Remember to preheat the grill, flip the chicken only once, and allow it to rest before serving for the best results. Try out different marinades and recipes to add delicious flavors to your BBQ chicken breast. Enjoy the summer and have a fantastic grilling experience!