Tips for moist boneless, skinless chicken


Moderately hot oven, not on low heat not maximum heat and a slowly cook it increasing cooking time by about half hour, basting throughout cooking period with gravy. (gravy gives the chicken a spit roasted flavour as well as helping to keep chicken moist…yum yum!)

(by the way if you like to season your meat, and this goes for any meat, season after the meat has sealed or the salt will draw all of the moisture out of the meat)

Happy cooking!



Don’t over cook, this will dry the meat out too, to see if the chicken is cooked, when you think it should be about cooked make a knife slice in deepest part of the meat and allow the juices to run, if the juices run as a clear fluid, it is cooked, if the juices run pink or red return to the oven and check in ten minutes, no longer, repeat checks until cooked.

Some people like to cover the chicken in bacon, this can help to keep the meat moist, but can turn the flesh and juices pink… if you use bacon then follow your best judgement whether the chicken is cooked or not.



This is winning advice.

  1. Brine
  2. Rinse
  3. Cook Quickly
  4. Instant read thermometer (correct temperature)
  5. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil.

For boneless chicken breasts (and pork chops) you should brine them in a salt water solution (a little sugar with pork is nice too). Then cook them quickly (sauteed, grilled or broiled) to an internal temperature of 160 degrees (around 145 for pork chops the chops will be a bit pink but safe and juicy). Use a digital instant read thermometer. Do not cook higher than this or you will have dry chicken. And very important, let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving or carving. The juices will redistribute throughout the meat as it rests.

For other good cooking techniques and recipes go to



we love our Scandanavian chicken, which is delicious.

Apricot jam, French salad dressing, and a packet of dry onion soup mix. When in doubt what the family likes, serve with mashed potatos, and gravy, always gravy. Even when i cook this, if there is not gravy, all my little ones complain. You can buy chicken gravy in a can or packet. It never fails on the moistness then. Many markets have these already cooked chickens, a real life saver. Buy a couple, get some gravy, and mashed potato, then some yams in a can or carrots, some nice French bread dipped in olive oil, and all are happy. Me too.l :stuck_out_tongue:



Here’s my $0.02 worth.

Ball up the chicken breasts. Take some cotton string and wrap it around the chicken breasts to tie 'em up so they’re not a thin, flat piece of meat. Or overlap them on a tray. What you are trying to accomplish is reducing the surface area for the moisture to evaporate from. Ever notice that sometimes the thin end of the meat is dry while the thicker end is moist?

Cook with lower heat for a longer period of time. I cook chicken breasts in my smoker quite often. They are almost always very moist (unless I totally forget about 'em). The smoker cooks with very low heat ~ 200 degrees. Water boils at 212 deg. The juice in the chicken is water. Boiling water is just water vaporizing very quickly (that’s the bubbles). Thus the lower heat means the juice won’t boil out of the meat as fast.

Bake them with a pan of water in the oven. The other thing I do when I smoke meat is I put a pan of water in the smoker. (almost all smokers come with a pan intended for this). That water gets hot and bathes the meat in steam as well as smoke. If the environment in the oven is humid, less water will evaporate out of the meat.

Maybe coat them in oil? This may defeat the purpose of a skinless chicken breast if you’re seeking a low-fat meat. But since oil and water won’t mix, the oil can form a barrier holding the water in.

Most of all - don’t overcook. It takes heat and time to dry out meat. The more heat, the less time. The more time the less heat. Lean meat is very sensitive to overcooking. The meat will go from well-done to overdone real quickly. Because higher temps cause water to boil off faster, when you cook at high temp the window of time that meat goes from well-done to dry is very short.

If you’re like my wife, you probably just need to get it through your head that raw meat isn’t inherently poisonous. You are probably exposing your family to greater risk by cooking healthy foods to a frazzle than by accepting the risk that they might occasionally bite into a less-than-done piece of meat. The reason that ruining healthy foods is indeed a health risk is because your family will tend to skimp on that, then 15 minutes after dinner they’re digging in a bag of chips.



I always do chicken breasts in foil packets.

Lay out a piece of foil and put the breast on it. Either put a pat of butter or pour some Olive Oil on it. Spice to taste. I use sage or season salt. Cut some onion and garlic to put on top. As much as you like.

Then fold the side of the foil up over the breast, side to side so there is a vent on the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 35 minutes until done. I use a meat thermometer.

This is always tender and juicy. I call them California Chicken because it’s the first place I ever had them.

Or bake them in Orange juice with curry. Yum.



I think you should leave the skin on. Skin is not bad for you, and if you really don’t like it, take it off after you cook it. Anyway, it will help to keep it moist. Remember, whole foods are always better for you than non-whole foods. Chicken with bones and skin on is more natural, so leave it that way. Also, marinate it for at least 24 hours. Then poach it in the oven on a low temperature, say 300 degrees, for several hours until done. Then take the chicken out and put the liquid in a frying pan and boil it until it’s reduced, then use it as a gravy for the chicken.



Remember, whole foods are always better for you than non-whole foods.

I suppose you don’t bother to pluck the feathers then?



Learner: I’ve never observed the internal temperature of cooked meat actually INCREASE after I remove the meat from the heat source. But I could imagine it happening if you are boiling liquid and the meat is in it. Just to clarify to me, a rather simple sort of cook, under what conditions have you done this and with what sort of meat?



I usually have bad luck if I marinate my chicken overnight. The flavor of the marinade can be too overpowering, esp if you use lemon juice.
Not so much so with a curry marinade, though.



This is going to be a really nerdy response. It’s a matter of heat transfer:p If the outside of the meat you are cooking is very hot (hotter than the internal temp), and you place it in an insulated container (such as wrapped in foil), the heat will still try to “travel” from hot to cold until the temperature is uniform. Think of it as the outside of the meat cooling off, and since that extra heat has to go somewhere…



Right on…and the higher the oven temp and larger the cut of meat the more this happens. If you take a roast beef out of a 350 degree oven at 120 internal temp it will rise to around 135-140 (nice pink medium/med. rare) after 20 minutes or so. Also the larger the cut the longer it should rest, that way when you cut it far less of the juice is left on the cutting board.

A note on temperatures: the USDA levels are completely ludicrous. The USDA says 160 for medium, yet you will find that 160 will have not even a hint of pink in the meat. It will be gray throughout.



Just last night I cooked pork tenderloins a’la Rachel Ray (curry, anise, grill seasoning, coriander rubbed all over the outside) – stuck the digital thermometer in the thickest part, roasted on 450 for about 20 min – the alarm went off when the meat reached 150 degrees – I took it out, covered the tenderloins with foil (leaving the thermometer in), left it on the counter and went about plating up the sweet potatoes and broccoli – by the time I turned back around I was watching the numbers rise from 158 degrees to 161 degrees…it stopped there, and a couple of minutes later (after I poured everyone’s milk) it was back down to 160 degrees – I sliced it and served it up with gravy and it was moist and delicious (a little too much curry, but yummy nonetheless) – hope that helps some?



I think the key to have moist chicken breasts is marinating, or keeping basting it as often as you can while not overcooking or using to hot a temperature. When I do chicken breasts I am vigilant about them and watch them more than other stuff. I hate when they get overcooked and dry!



I like to use vinegar too, although I usually use balsamic because it’s less smelly and has a really rich flavor. We like to marinade our chicken in homemade vinaigrette: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little garlic, a little salt and pepper.






Best chicken there is, worst name though…

“Beer Butt Chicken”

Charcoal grill - set up for indirect cooking (coals banked on the sides, open spot in the middle)
1 whole chicken - good sized!
Olive Oil
Poultry Seasoning (I like Chef Prudhomme’s stuff)
1 can favorite (or cheap) beer… 12 oz.

Set up and light grill - two banks of coals on each side that’ll last about 1-1/2 hours.
While doing the next steps…Pop open the beer and take a few swigs, leaving 2/3rds can.
Wash the bird (inside & out).
Rub outside with Olive Oil.
Liberally sprinkle with seasoning(s) of choice.
Take 2/3rds can of beer (can & all!) and stuff it up the cavity so bottom of can is flush with bottom of chicken.
Set/get to balance the chicken on the counter, and using (wood) toothpicks, pin the wings/legs up to the body (they’ll incinerate if they touch the grill grate.)

The coals should be ready by now. Carry Mr. Chicken out to the grill and set in the center of the grate between the banks of coals. The beer can & your “pinning” should let it sit upright. Cover the grille and open the lid vents.

Depending on the size of the bird, it’ll be about 70 - 90 minutes minimum. Use a meat thermometer and test in the thickest part of the breast & thigh. (Don’t hit Bone!) It should read 170/180 minimum.

The skin should be very crispy (delicious) and peel/fall off if you don’t choose to eat it like a potato chip!



why not put it in the frying pan with a bit of water in it and steam it until it is cooked? i can’t have certain oils, so i sometimes put my chicken peices without skin or fat, in the frying pan and steam it until cooked. put a lid on it and keep the temeprature on medium and let it cook. turn it over and let the other side cook.



Mmm, yeah that works really well. Whenever I need chicken for salads or casseroles, that’s how I prepare it. It’s super moist and cooks evenly.


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