Chicken is a lean, versatile and inexpensive staple in many healthy diets that can be prepared in countless ways. But if you don't know how to grill chicken properly, the meat can quickly dry out.
The secret behind grilling chicken breasts lies in the preparation. Follow these tips to learn how to make chicken on a gas grill for the very best results.
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How to Cook Chicken on a Gas Grill
Store your chicken in the fridge at a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit, if not cooler, recommends the USDA. Then, when you're ready to begin prepping, wash your hands thoroughly and clean your work surfaces.
Although most people tend to rinse their poultry, this is actually not recommended, as it can cause any bacteria to spread to other areas, according to the USDA. Rinsing or soaking your meat won't destroy or clean any of the bacteria — only cooking will do that.
To give your chicken breasts some added tenderness, place the meat in a plastic bag. Using a meat pounder or rolling pin, pound the meat gently until the chicken reaches a uniform thickness. This will help the meat cook evenly on the grill.
Before grilling, you can either brine your chicken or soak it in a marinade of your choice in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to as long as two days, according to the USDA. This can also help prevent dryness when grilling chicken breasts.
In the meantime, preheat your gas grill for at least 10 to 15 minutes on high heat. Then, remove the chicken from the fridge and brush the meat with a bit of olive oil, seasoning as you'd like. Place the chicken breasts on the grill, spacing as needed. Cook each side for about six to eight minutes, recommends the USDA.
How do you know when your chicken breasts are done? The meat should feel firm and the flesh should look opaque. You can be extra safe by inserting a meat thermometer sideways into the chicken: It should register 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA, before you dig into your tasty meal.