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Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

The best summer meal! Whether you're entertaining friends for a cookout or just making a quick weeknight meal, this Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast always wins rave reviews.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled bbq chicken breast, grilled chicken, grilled chicken breast, oven BBQ chicken breast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 317kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 4 (6-8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed (or substitute with about 1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons BBQ rub seasoning (or substitute with just kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste)
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for serving


  • Cover chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound gently with meat mallet or rolling pin until ½-inch thick.
  • Rub each piece of chicken with olive oil; season on all sides with BBQ rub (or kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste).
  • FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open the bottom vent completely. Light the large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes. When the top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  • FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
  • Oil the cooking grate. Place the chicken on the grill and cook (covered if using gas) until the chicken has nice grill marks, about 3-5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F, about 3-5 more minutes. Baste with barbecue sauce during the final 3 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side.


  • Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs: substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast shown here. Thighs are generally more of an even thickness, so you don't need to pound them flat. Thighs will cook in about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Use homemade bbq rub, pick your favorite store-bought bbq rub, or just season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • For a shortcut, baste the chicken with a high-quality store-bought barbecue sauce (we like Stubb's brand, but any similar variety is great). You can also make your own barbecue sauce if you prefer.
  • Pound the chicken breast to an even thickness. This will help to ensure that the meat cooks evenly and quickly so that you don't end up with half of a breast that's too dry, while the other half is still raw.
  • Get the grill nice and hot. Chicken breast is a very lean meat, so it stays juiciest when cooked quickly over high heat.
  • Wait to baste the chicken with the barbecue sauce until the final 3-4 minutes of grilling. This will prevent the chicken from burning on the grill. Serve additional sauce on the side.
  • The total grilling time will vary depending on a number of different factors, such as the temperature of your grill, the temperature of your chicken when it goes on the grill, and the size and thickness of your chicken. As a result, it's always best to use a meat thermometer to know exactly when your chicken is done. You're looking for an internal temperature of 165° F for chicken breast.
  • Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. The juices will redistribute throughout the meat so that the chicken breast stays nice and juicy.


Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 565mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg