One of the most difficult things to cook on a charcoal grill is a boneless chicken breast. All too often the result is something that is burnt on the outside and dry on the inside. However, a few simple steps will ensure that cooking your chicken breasts with fire will produce something that is juicy and succulent every time.

Use a dry rub

The first key to cooking favorable chicken breasts is a Dry Rub. You can be creative, depending on how you want your chicken to taste. A really spicy alternative would combine garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika, though you should go light on the chili powder and pepper.

A dry rub that has a little less heat but just as much flavor would consist of garlic powder, onion powder, and some Italian seasonings such as oregano, basil, and parsley, Some like to go exotic with garlic powder, ginger, and two Indian spices called turmeric and garam marsala, but anyone can design their own dry rub according to their taste and imagination.

Direct and indirect heat

Most outdoor grillers like to keep things simple with boneless chicken breasts, searing them on one side for a few minutes, then on the other for about the same time. But, a better way to get a real, juicy chicken breast cooked on the grill is a combination of direct and indirect heat.

When you put your charcoal in the grill, push them all to one side.

Then, light the charcoal and wait until the coals are ashed over and are glowing red. Using tongs and gloves, put the chicken breasts directly over the charcoal. You should sear the breasts over direct heat for about two minutes a side in order to seal in the juices. Then you should immediately move the chicken to the other side of the grill, away from the direct heat, and close the top of the grill.

That way you will not burn the outside of the chicken and dry the inside out.

How do you know when the chicken is done?

Usually, four of five minutes on indirect heat will suffice to thoroughly cook the chicken breasts, critical as raw chicken can contain foodborne diseases. A meat thermometer will help you make sure. A reading of 165 degrees Fahrenheit indicates that the chicken is done.

Take it off the grill with tongs while wearing gloves. Serve with a tasty side dish such as brown rice or macaroni and cheese, a green salad, and a cool drink such as iced tea or lemonade. Alternatively, you can slice the chicken up and serve it as fajitas.