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Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breast

You are going to love this grilled bone-in chicken breast recipe. The lemon pepper gives just the right amount of spice to bring out the flavor of the chicken.

You can also use bone-in thighs and or bone-in legs. You can always just use split breast chicken if you keep the weight of the chicken to 2 lbs.

We are going to go over how to grill chicken that has bone in. For some reason, it seems that a lot of people are afraid of grilling bone-in chicken and I want to help you with the task.

Meat with the bone in, I feel has the best flavor.

grilled bone in chicken breast on a plate

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Ingredient list

  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken
  • 2 tbsp of Avocado oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 3 tsp of lemon peel

How to grill split chicken breast

Grilling chicken breast with the bone in is no different than grilling the chicken without bones, except sometimes the amount of time it will take to cook varies.

So you might want to consider when you’re grilling to have an area where you can put the chicken without direct heat under it after you have crisped up the chicken. We will cover this when we grill the chicken.

If you really like this type of chicken you will really enjoy my grilled chicken leg quarters.

Grilled bone-in chicken breast – 5 simple steps

Follow the steps below to get great-tasting bone-in chicken. You can always use other cuts of chicken if you don’t have just chicken breasts.

Preheat the grill

Go ahead and preheat that grill to 450° If the grill is not clean give it a good scrape. Having a hot grill is key to getting crispy skin.

You can also cook it hotter and then move it over to a side of the grill that does not have direct heat. This two-zone heating is a great idea.

Prepare the bone-in chicken breast

Raw bone-in chicken

Trim any excess fat from the chicken and then add it to a mixing bowl. Add the avocado oil or olive oil to the chicken and spread it all around to evenly coat the chicken.

If the chicken was really wet when you were preparing it go ahead and pat it dry with a paper towel.

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Add the lemon pepper seasoning

raw chicken with lemon pepper seasoning

This seasoning is very basic but very good. Now you could zest a lemon yourself but I prefer to buy this spice, California lemon peel.

All you need to do is add the lemon zest, freshly cracked pepper, and salt together and mix them really well.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat evenly. You want the seasoning to be on all sides of the chicken. Don’t be afraid to be liberal with the seasoning because you will lose some during the grilling process.

Grill the bone-in chicken breast

bone-in chicken on the grill almost done

Toss that chicken on the grill! You want to put the breast meat side down first and leave it there until it gets some great grill marks. You don’t want it to burn so you are going to need to keep a good eye on it.

If you are using dark meat keep rotating the drums and thighs until you are ready to pull the meat off the grill.

Having an indirect heat side of the grill is a good idea so you can retreat the chicken if it is starting to burn.


You need to watch this chicken if you have a grill that is prone to flare-ups. You are going to have some fat coming from the skin that can cause some flare-ups.

Another place to avoid flare-ups is when you are grilling burgers. I have the ultimate guide on how to grill burgers and you need to check it out!

Check the temperature

If you are cooking chicken thighs and drums then you need to watch them for doneness. They are going to be done before the breast so you will need to pull them early.

I like to use an instant-read thermometer. If you want the chicken to get to 165° you could pull it a few degrees under seeing that it will keep cooking a little bit when you have it rest. The bone inside is going to retain some heat.

This step is important to learn how to tell when grilled chicken in done.

Let it rest then eat!

You want to give the meat some time to let it soak the juices back into the meat. We are not talking long, 5-10 minutes should be fine with chicken.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and dive into this delicious chicken, it is going to give you a better appreciation for chicken on the bone.

Grilled bone in chicken sitting on a plate


It takes approximately 45 minutes to grill bone-in chicken breast. A lot of this will depend on how hot you are running the grill and if you are finishing the cooking on indirect heating. You want to check the meat and get a reading of 165°F with an instant-read thermometer.

You want an internal temperature of 165°F for grilled bone-in chicken breast. I do recommend that you pull the chicken off the grill before it gets that high so that when it is resting it comes up to the correct temperature for food safety.

Yes, absolutely you want to flip bone-in chicken on the grill. You’re going to put the side that you want to present first down on the grill to get those char marks that everyone desires. Then you go ahead and flip it over.

grilled bone in chicken breast on a plate

Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breast (Split Chicken Breast)

This Grilled bone-in chicken breast recipe with lemon pepper is the reason I love eating chicken on the bone. You get great flavor and the crispiness of the chicken.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3
Calories 648 kcal


  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken breast optional – wings, thighs, drumbs
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp lemon peel


  • Preheat the grill to 450 degrees.
  • Prepare the chicken- Trim any excess skin off the chicken and add the chicken to a bowl.
  • Add the oil to the chicken and make sure it coats all sides. Add the lemon pepper seasoning and mix it all over the chicken.
  • Add the chicken to the preheated grill. Rotate the chicken after you get some great sear marks on one side and it looks like it can go any longer before it will burn.
  • Monitor the chicken with a meat thermometer. You are looking for a temp just under 165 degrees before you pull it from the grill
    If your doing breast with thighs and legs, be prepared to pull the chicken off early because the breast will not be done yet.
  • Pull the chicken and let it rest. You are shooting for 5-10 minutes.
  • Enjoy! Get in there and enjoy some of this great chicken.


  1. I really feel that chicken on the bone really brings out the flavor of the meat. Keep an eye on the bone-in chicken on the grill so you do not burn it.
  2. If you are going to use a barbecue sauce you will want to wait until the end. With this high heat, you will end um burning the sauce.


Calories: 648kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 42gFat: 52gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 252mgSodium: 973mgPotassium: 527mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 200IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg
Keyword bone in chicken breast, grilled chicken, lemon pepper chicken
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  1. 5 stars
    I’m with you! I think chicken with the bone has a lot more flavor.
    Thanks for all the tips! Someone gaves a grill a few months ago, but I’ve never grilled anything before, that’s my husband’s job ? (because I’m afraid to burn everything).
    I’ll give it a try in a few days.

    1. Lizet it is really easy if you just think of it has a heat source and have a safe area on the grill with no heat to pull food to if you need to. Can’t wait to see what you grill up!

    1. Yes for sure. You just want to make sure that you’re not getting constant flare-ups and that they are not burning up your chicken.

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