Follow This One Simple Trick and Your Grilled Chicken Will Never Be Dry Again

Learn how to whip up an easy brine that will prevent your grilled chicken breasts from turning into a dry, rubbery mess.

The solution is actually a solution. It’s a salt-water brine that is seasoned with brown sugar. A brine will do two things for your chicken. First, the salt in the water will actually tenderize the meat so that when it cooks it will not tighten up as much as it normally would. Second, the salt interacts with the protein in a way that causes them to absorb more water and then retain it while your chicken is cooking.

To make the brine, start with a pot of about 2 quarts of water. Add ¼ cup kosher salt, ½ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup dark brown sugar, 6 large sprigs fresh thyme, 4 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 4 crushed garlic cloves. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until salt and sugar fully dissolve. Let it stand for one hour to cool. Place 8 to 12 (6 to 8 oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts in the brine and chill for 1 to 3 hours.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat. Drain chicken, discarding brine. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with desired amount of fresh ground black pepper. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill and let stand 5 minutes. If you accidentally overcook your chicken, the brine will act as an insurance policy to make sure your chicken stays tender and juicy.

For more delicious ways to cook chicken, check out our list of quick and easy chicken recipes. We’re sure you’ll find a few new favorites in our collection.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Chicken breasts are everyone's favorite cut of meat for the grill. The only problem is, they're so lean they often end up dry and rubbery. I'm gonna show you how to never have a dry chicken breast again. The solution is actually a solution. It is a salt water brine we like to season with brown sugar. A bring will do two things for your chicken. First, the salt in the water will actually tenderize the meat so that when it cooks it won't tighten up as much as it normally would. Second, the salt interacts with the proteins in a way that they absorb more water, and then retain it while your chicken is cooking. Here's how you make the brine, it's really easy. You're gonna start with a pot of about 2 quarts of water, and to that we're gonna add a quarter cup of salt. And then we're gonna stir in some brown sugar, a few cloves of garlic that we've smashed, some cider vinegar, some crushed red pepper flakes. And a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper and finally we're gonna add some fresh herbs, a few sprigs of rosemary and then a few sprigs of fresh thyme. So you just want to stir the brine until the salt and sugar have fully dissolved and then you're gonna take it off the heat. And put it in the refrigerator for about an hour until it's completely cool. Once the brine is completely cool, you can add your chicken to it and marinate it in the brine for one to three hours. After your chicken is marinated in the brine, we just grill it like you normally would. And the little secret is that, don't try to overcook it, but in case you do overcook it, the brine is like an insurance policy to make sure your chicken stays tender and juicy. For more tips, go to southernliving.com. [MUSIC]

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