Grilled Split Chicken Breasts: A Summertime Delight

overhead view white plate with grilled split chicken breasts brushed with bbq sauce

When it comes to barbecued chicken, nothing beats the combination of juicy white meat and crispy skin. Grilled bone-in chicken breasts are the perfect summertime meal that packs in all the flavors you crave. Today, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to achieve mouthwatering results in just 35 minutes.

What You’ll Need

Chicken is not only delicious but also an inexpensive way to feed a crowd. Here’s what you’ll need to make these succulent grilled split chicken breasts:

  • 2 bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons dry BBQ seasoning
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (or more to taste)

Note: If you prefer, you can season the chicken simply with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

closeup of grilled split chicken breast with bbq sauce

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have everything you need, let’s dive into the process of making juicy grilled split chicken breasts:

Step 1: Preheat Your Grill

Preheat your gas grill to 400°F (medium-high heat) by turning all the burners on high and closing the lid. Once preheated, scrape the grates clean, and turn off one of the end burners. This area will provide indirect heat, a crucial element of grilling.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

Wash the chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat and cut off the rib section, as it burns easily. Then, cut the breast in half so that each piece is about the same size. This step ensures even cooking and juicy results. Let the chicken come to room temperature.

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Step 3: Season the Chicken

Lightly brush the chicken on all sides with vegetable or canola oil, then generously sprinkle the dry BBQ seasoning all over and give it a good rub.

Step 4: Grill the Chicken

Lightly oil the grates with vegetable or canola oil. Place the chicken pieces skin side down on the indirect heat section. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue grilling skin side up for 13-15 more minutes on indirect heat.

Next, transfer the chicken to the direct heat (hot area of the grill) skin side down and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 160-165°F.

overhead view white plate with grilled split chicken breasts brushed with bbq sauce

Step 5: Apply the BBQ Sauce

Before removing the chicken from the grill, brush it with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then remove the chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the meat to absorb the juices.


Q: How long does it take to grill bone-in chicken breasts?
A: Grilled bone-in chicken breasts typically take about 35 minutes to cook.

Q: Can I use a different type of oil for brushing?
A: Yes, you can use vegetable or canola oil for brushing the chicken.

Q: What temperature should the chicken reach?
A: The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 160-165°F.


Grilled split chicken breasts are a delightful summertime dish that brings together juicy white meat, crispy skin, and smoky barbecue flavors. Follow our simple steps, and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing meal in no time. Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy the savory goodness of barbecue season.

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