The only thing more satisfying than drinking a beer while grilling is incorporating the beer into the grilled recipes themselves, like this beer-brined grilled chicken breast recipe. Inspired by grilled beer-can chicken but infinitely easier, this recipe starts out with boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are brined in a beer-salt-sugar solution.
Why brine? Without getting too heady, the beer-salt-sugar solution tenderizes the meat, locks in moisture, and seasons the meat throughout. It's a foolproof method for some of the best grilled white meat ever. Even if you don't add any seasoning, the chicken will take on a salty, slightly sweet, and slightly malty flavor. Trust me, it's chicken you'll want to brag about.
The only "downside" of brining is that it takes time — at least two hours. But if you prep the chicken in the a.m. or as soon as you come home from work, it's no big deal.
Here's a pro tip if you want to go the extra mile: pound each chicken breast in a ziplock bag, using a meat pounder or the bottom of a metal pot until the chicken breasts are even and about 3/4-inch thick. This will ensure faster, more even cooking.
If you prefer to grill skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, up the grill time to 10-15 minutes per side, or until the thermometer inserted in the middle of the chicken reads 160°F.
- Fit a resealable gallon-size ziplock bag inside a bowl (to prevent leaking). Combine all ingredients. Make sure chicken breasts are fully submerged in the brining liquid before sealing the bag and refrigerating for 2 hours and up to overnight.
- After 2 hours, head out to the grill. Make sure it's scraped clean before lightly coating the grill with vegetable oil or ghee. This will help prevent sticking. Preheat grill to medium-high (375°F-450°F).
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Use tongs to place chicken breasts onto the grill, spacing them out a few inches apart. Cook 6-8 minutes on each side, or until a thermometer inserted in the middle of the chicken breasts reads 160°F.
- Remove from grill and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Main Dishes, BBQ
- North American
- Serves 4