The secret to successfully grilling tender, moist chicken breasts is a little counterintuitive. As an amateur griller, I reached out to a pro: my dad's friend J., founder of Billy Twang barbecue pits and grilling goods, including one of my favorite seasonings in the world . . . Old No. 3 Rub (a blend of fleur de sel, tellicherry black peppercorns, and granulated garlic). According to him, this is the "unfailing" method of grilling chicken breasts, and it's all about indirect heat.
According to J., "The chicken prep is important." He explains: "Be sure to purchase healthy-sized chicken breasts, trim vigorously, and remove any fat and veins. Season gently with Old No. 3 Rub and quality olive oil."
Build the Fire
Preheat your charcoal grill to 300°F to 350°F.
Perch the Bird
Here's where the secret comes in. "[A]void direct heat and flames, so place the chicken in a smoking position," says J. This may be the upper rack of your grill or to the side of the fire, depending on where the smoke flows in your grill.
Grill It Right
Cook it for about 30 minutes, "flip[ping] the chicken breast a few times just to feel useful" until the internal temperature reads about 160°F. Transfer it to a plate, top it with aluminum foil, and allow the chicken to rest for five minutes before diving in.