Dried out chicken


New Member
Every time my wife grills boneless chicken, she dries it right out. It taste horrible (almost like shoe leather). She cooks it really slow and on low heat. Any tips on what she could do different? Do you brush something on your chicken to make it moist?


New Member
There are times when we inject lemon juice into each chicken breast (prior to putting them on the grill). It keeps the meat nice and tender and it also gives it a great flavor. You could try something like that.


New Member
Just take it off the grill sooner, mate. Chicken gets dried out like that because it is overcooked. Many people overshoot chicken cook times because they are so worried about under cooking. Properly cooked chicken is a thing of beauty.


Chicken is one of those that is really easy to do when it comes to grilling. I have done this a few times and then a friend told me about the lemon trick and it works fine. Sometimes we don't like lemon though and use garlic butter instead.


Nec timeo, nec sperno
Staff member
Get a good digital thermomemter and start testing at half the time she would normally cook it. This one works pretty well and you can test different meats and doneness.


Are you cooking fresh chicken breasts or those frozen chicken breasts they sell in the freezer section? (the ones that say they were soaked in a salt solution). I've often notice those frozen chicken breasts don't cook up well at all, they often come out dry and tough. Switch to fresh chicken breasts at the very least.

You could brine your chicken breasts for about 30-45 minutes beforehand. That will help draw more moisture into them. A basic brine is just a mixture of water with sugar and sea salt, and perhaps a few black peppercorns that have been crushed a little. There are many recipes online for the exact amounts to use. If you overdo it though the meat will take on a different texture which you may not like. Also, be sure to pat them completely dry before cooking, otherwise you won't get good grill marks. It helps to brush them with a little oil too before grilling.

A restaurant I used to work at would ladle a marinade over the chicken and toss it around to coat it before putting it on the grill. The marinade was just a bunch of butter, lemon juice, white wine, some black pepper and sea salt, and a little bit of water. Don't dip the chicken directly into the marinade otherwise you will contaminate all of it. After coating it and putting it on the grill, shake some of your favorite seasoning blend over the chicken - I go with something neutral like a garlic pepper seasoning blend.


New Member
Chicken is such a lean meat that it's really hard not to dry it out if you cook it to complete doneness, especially if you're cooking boneless/skinless breasts. I usually brush mine with oil every time I flip and they come out very moist and juicy.


It also helps to check the size of the chicken breasts you are buying. Anything larger than a 6oz - 8oz chicken breast will be tough to cook through without drying out the exterior of the meat.

The chicken breasts sold at most major super markets these days are far too big. If you are buying these, I would at least butterfly them so they are no more than 1/2" - 3/4" tops in thickness. You can also pound them with the flat side of a mallet to even them out, but I don't like to do this too much since it changes the texture of the chicken (not to mention splatters chicken juices everywhere).

If you check your local butchers, or if your farmers market/open market has meat vendors, they will often sell the 6-8oz variety since they are popular with restaurant owners too. I buy large bags of 60z breasts from mine for like $20 a bag.
It sounds like your wife is definitly over cooking the chicken. I also will brine the chicken breasts in a salt water solution with other seasonings such as poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, ect to give the breasts some added flavour.


New Member
Your wife is just overcooking the chicken. Don't feel bad, most people way overcook the majority of the meat that they eat. Once you eat meat that has been properly cooked you will never overcook it again!

Matt pike

New Member
She's just overcooking them, I usually just season mine with some kind of spice, like black pepper, italian seasoning, etc. And I cook it relatively quickly. I have an infrared grill though, It's really good for cooking lean meats without drying them out.


Butterflying the chicken (or just cutting in half horizontally) is a fun way to cook a full breast. There are also marinades that can be injected into breast that will help cook it. It may also help to pierce (with or without marinade) breast with a fork or steak knife in several places so the breast will cook faster.