Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts Recipe

Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts with indirect heat for a hour, gives you the most juicy and tender chicken that you have ever eaten.  Indirect cooking on a covered grill proves to be the ticket to success.  My husband said this was the best chicken he had ever had.  When you cut into it, you can see all the juice that remains.  Be sure and give this recipe a try.

This Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts recipe appeared in many newspapers across the country.

Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts

More great Poultry Recipes and learn how to Brine Poultry for a moister and tastier dish.

Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts Recipe:
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts Recipe
Servings: 4 servings
  1. Preheat your Barbecue grill.

  2. If using charcoal, the grill is ready when the coals have a gray-white ash coating.  Using a poker, divided the coals into two piles, pushing each to one side of the grill.  Place a pan between the coals beneath the grate to catch fat drippings and help prevent flare-ups.

  3. If using a gas grill, leave the middle burner off and heat the side burners to medium (350 degrees F).  If possible, place a pan between the flames beneath the grate to catch fat drippings and help prevent flare-ups.  There was not enough room to on my gas grill to do this, but I did not have any problems with this.

  4. While the grill heats, prepare the chicken breasts.  In a medium-size bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, and brown sugar.  Rub olive oil over the chicken breasts and then pat on the salt/pepper/brown sugar rub.

  5. Arrange the chicken breasts, skin side up, over the center of the grill so the chicken pieces are not over the flames or hot coats.  Cover the grill (leaving any vents open), cook for 30 minutes, and walk away.  Do not open the lid of the grill for 30 minutes - Walk away!

  6. After 30 minutes, open the grill, turn the chicken pieces over, recover the grill, and cook for another 30 minutes without opening the grill.

  7. After the last 30 minutes, open the grill and insert your meat thermometer at the thickest part of the chicken pieces without touching the bone.  Remove the chicken from the grill when the meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife).  Let the chicken breasts rest for 10 minutes before serving.

  8. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Notes

* This is the correct amount of salt for the recipe.  As you are slow grilling the chicken, most of the salt dissolves and does not remain when the chicken is done. You could reduce the amount of salt to 3 tablespoons, if desired.

** As I do not like chicken skin, I experimented with cooking these chicken breast by leaving the skin on one and removing the skin from the other.  Neither my husband or I could tell the difference in how tender and juicy they were when cooked.  So, your choice on this!

Thermapen Internal Temperature Cooking ChartI get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.  I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Source:  I slightly adapted this recipe by Howie Rumberg, Associated Press Writer, published May 14th, 2008.

Comments and Reviews

15 Responses to “Slow Grilled Chicken Breasts Recipe”

  1. Mary Allen

    I tried this recipe. The chicken came out nice and tender bu too much salt! I have the recipe (salt and pepper) and it was still too salty. Will try it again with even less and pepper but the cooking technique is wonderful.

  2. Karen T.

    I made this chicken recipe tonight. I like salt but this was way too much! I only used 3 Tablespoons of salt and about 1 Tablespoon of pepper. Next time, I will use less salt. The chicken was very moist.

  3. Lynda

    Too salty!! I didn’t have sea salt, so I used Kosher and that probably made a bit of a difference but regardless… cut that salt!!

  4. Mark

    I fail to understand when using the indirect method of cooking on a gas grill how you achieve the flavour from the barbecue as the meat is not over the flame, hence no drippings from the meat can hit the grill bars resulting in the smoke y flavour?
    So, surely there is no difference from cooking in a conventional oven?

    Any comments on this to agree/disagree with me?

    • Linda Stradley

      Cover the grill with the lid or also called closing the grill lid (leaving any vents open), cook for 30 minutes, and walk away. Do not open the lid of the grill for 30 minutes – Walk away!

  5. Janet

    What is the timing for thighs?

  6. Danny Carrillo

    I agree about the smoky flavor, which is why I’ll cook over indirect for 40 to 45 but I’ll transfer to direct heat to finish it. Plus, i like those grill marks…. it’s basically just reverse searing

  7. Ken Wray

    I’m not sure what everyone else cooked on or with. But I made these in a RecTec Pellet Grill and they turned out perfect. Nice and moist and with a nice smoke flavor. I cooked at exactly 350 for the required total of 60 minutes and on the Pellet Grill it added a nice smooth wood smoked flavor. It was amazing as the meat thermometer came up to exactly 165 as the timer went off for the second 30 minute time.
    Thank you so much for the great recipe.

  8. April Miller

    This is a wonderful recipe, and the sure fire way to ensure the chicken does not dry out… I’m so pleased I found this!
    I, like one of the above comments, reverse seared the skin when done cooking- I love a nice crispy crust 🙂
    Great technique- thank you for sharing!

    • Nancy

      April, thank you for visiting What’s Cooking America, we are happy that you found our website useful.

  9. Cornelia Guest


    • Nancy

      Did you try cooking the recipe? As it says the a lot of the salt burns off during the grilling, but of course you can adjust the amount of salt to your liking if you would like. That is the nice thing about recipes, many times it is a guide and you can substitute and adjust according to your palate.

  10. larry sawasky

    My charcoal is off-set and I usually cook with chunks of oak to add flavor. My grilling chamber (off-set and higher than the fire) cooks best at 225 to 275. I have had really good results with pork, as big as a shoulder, and beef briskets, but very little, if any, cooking chicken using this method. I love sitting next to my grill, checking the fire, the temp and the meat for up to 5 or 6 hours for larger cuts. What would you recommend?

  11. Jesse

    My dad and I ACCIDENTALLY slowed grilled tonight, because we were short on coals.. our internal temp didn’t quite reach the regular 165 (our grill was only reading 300-200 max for the 45-60 minutes it was cooking) but our two breasts (of similar size, about 7 oz each) and our (Frozen) gralic bread didn’t burn after aprox 30 minutes in foil. with the breasts on the top rack/the side rack not above coals, turned out VERY juicy!

  12. Jeanie

    Delicious!! I naturally use less salt for any recipe except baking….I’ve made this 6 times and every time it came out perfect and memorable! Thank you!!


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