Using sous vide first for grilled chicken means you know the chicken will be perfectly cooked but still get the great flavor from the grill. Yum!
One of my favorite things about sous vide is how you can finish it in so many different ways, but you are always still certain that the meat will be perfectly cooked. This means I can cook my chicken to a safe temperature and then finish it on my grill, even at a BBQ with all my friends over!
Making Sous Vide Grilled Chicken
Once the chicken is fully cooked using sous vide, you can either remove it from the bags and grill it right away or you can chill the bags in ice water and store them until later.
This is what I do when I’m having people over for a BBQ. I can cook the chicken ahead of time and then just reheat them on the grill, knowing they are already safe to eat and perfectly cooked!
Many people also like to chill the chicken and then reheat it on their smoker. That is a great way to add flavor and mimic traditionally smoked chicken breasts. Remember it’s already safe to eat though, so when you reheat it don’t go above 140°F (60°C) or you can dry it out!
What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use?
I call for chicken breasts but this recipe would also work well with thighs, just use a temperature of 148°F (65°C) and add an extra thigh or two if they are on the small side.
You can also use either bone in or boneless chicken, and skin on or skin off. I usually use skinless because the skin can sometimes stick to the grill.
I love to serve this with a side of corn on the cob, some coleslaw, and my favorite BBQ sauce drizzled on top of it.
Why Is The Temperature So Low?
When cooking chicken traditionally it is always cooked to 165°F (74°C) in order to be safe, but with sous vide you can heat it to a lower temperature and then hold it there until it becomes just as safe to eat. These lower temperatures result in much more tender and juicy chicken.
For this recipe I love 140°F (60°C) as it is really juicy, and still gives me some more leeway on the grill for a good sear.Print
4 (1” to 1.5” thick) chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Preheat a water bath to 140°F (60°C).
Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the salt and spices.
Place in a sous vide bag in a single layer and seal it.
Place in the water bath and cook for 2 and 1/2 hours, or until pasteurized.
When ready to eat, remove the chicken from the sous vide bath and dry off well with a paper towel.
Heat a grill to high heat.
Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, flipping a few times, then serve.
This post originally appeared in November 2021 and was revised and republished in August 2022.