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Chicken breasts can dry out pretty quick on the grill, but I am going to show you how to grill chicken breasts that turn out moist and delicious. The key to keeping your chicken breasts from drying out on the grill is to brine them. A basic brine solution is just salt and water. The salt in the brine solution helps the chicken retain its moisture.

Brining is great not only for chicken, but for meats, and other poultry such as turkey. I’ve discussed how to brine a turkey in a previous article, How to Grill Chicken Breastswhich is the same basic premise we will be using on our chicken breasts. Like I said above the basic brine solution is salt and water, however you can add all sorts of herbs and spices to change up the flavors. I’ve added in things like brown sugar, peppercorns, chile peppers, lemon slices, and an array of other things to my brines.

We are going to brine two large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You will want to cut these in half lengthwise so you have four breast halves. We are going to make a simple brine solution. In a large bowl mix together ¼ cup of salt, 1 cup of hot water, and 3 cups of cold water. Whisk together until the salt is dissolved. For the salt you will want to use either Kosher or sea salt.

Feel free to add sugar and spices to this basic brine, such as brown sugar, pepper corns, bay leaves, and onion. Experimenting is half the fun. Alright, now that the salt is dissolved into the solution place the chicken breasts into a baking dish or resealable storage bag and pour the brine on top of them. Place it in the refrigerator for two hours, turning the breast occasionally. You only want to brine them for 2 hours, otherwise they could turn out rubbery.

When the chicken breasts are done brining, we will want to set up our grill. We will be grilling them directly over high heat. You can use either a gas or charcoal grill for this.  Place the chicken on the grill right over the heat source.  Grill for approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side, flipping only once. Once they are done, remove from the grill and serve.

A lot of people have problems with dry chicken breasts, so using a brine is a great solution for how to grill chicken breasts that turn out moist and not dry. Remember to change things up with your brine solution; feel free to add in different sugars and spices to give your chicken a unique flavor. And remember do not over brine them.

image courtesy of snowpea&bokchoi/flickr

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