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Tasty Moist Grilled Bone-in Chicken Breasts

3-Herbs Lemon Garlic Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breast
Smoked Chicken Dinner!
Beautiful, Moist, Tender Smoked Chicken.

This post is a collaboration with Primo Ceramic Grills. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. I must say, smoking bone-in chicken breasts on my Primo Oval XL always produces a super moist and full flavored chicken breast! Bravo Primo Ceramic Grills, well done!

How to grill chicken breasts.
Grilled Chicken Skin has a purpose!

Smoked Bone-In Chicken Breasts infused by an overnight lemon, garlic, and 3-herbs marinade. Gently smoked with pecan wood chunks in a Primo Ceramic Oval Grill with two zone heating. The chicken cooks through perfectly with an indirect heat start and a direct heat finish. The chicken skin cooks to an amber brown while the tender white chicken breast stays moist glistening with juiciness.

Do you find grilling chicken breasts tricky? You aren’t alone, most people do! Chicken breasts have been tagged boring, flavorful less, and dry. However, when grilling chicken breasts in a Primo Ceramic Grill, you can achieve chicken that is tender, juicy, with a gentle smoky flavor that is rave worthy! I encourage you to give it a try and please tag Primo Ceramic Grills when you do!

Lemon and Herb Marinade for smoked chicken.
Best marinade for grilled chicken.


Generally, bone-in chicken breasts cost 1/3 less than skinless boneless chicken breasts! That’s quite a savings! When bone-in chicken breasts go on sale for 99-cents a pound or less I stock up! When you hit a great sale, buy in bulk, separately wrap the chicken in family portions, date it, and freeze. The USDA recommends freezing chicken breasts no longer than nine months for optimal quality and flavor.


I know, everyone selects skinless boneless chicken breasts because of the convenience, cook time, and the info that chicken skin is not healthy! I am here to say chicken skin has a purpose, especially on the grill, and you don’t have to it it. Chicken skin holds in moisture, provides protection to delicate white meat, and infuses the chicken breast with flavor. And remember, even if the skin of the grilled chicken breast is not crispy enough to eat, chicken skin plays an important part in creating a moist juicy chicken breast!


The chicken’s breast bone provides structure for the meat and skin to adhere. The bone allows the meat and skin to stay tightly in place then flavor and moisture are trapped, making for the juiciest chicken breast ever! Plus, the bone conducts heat to help cook the chicken throughout. The bone increases cook time, allowing longer for the smoke infusion that we all love. For example, boneless chicken breasts take about 20 minutes to grill compared to a bone-in chicken that takes 50 minutes. That’s lots of added smoke time. Yay, for bone-in chicken!

How to marinade chicken overnight.
Marinade chicken breasts overnight.


Marinating chicken overnight imparts flavor and juiciness. When making a marinade, balance of acidity is a key, followed by fat, salt, and sweet. My 3-Herbs Lemon Garlic Marinade is perfectly balanced in acidity which means you can substitute an equal measure of lime juice for the lemon juice. For fat, olive oil can be exchanged with avocado oil, canola oil, or your favorite cooking oil. The sweetness of honey can be substituted with agave syrup, maple syrup, or brown sugar. Oh, one more thing, if you forget to make the marination the night before, no worries! The chicken will gain flavor if it soaks in marination 2 hours in advance.

Herb and Lemon Marinade for smoked chicken.
Herb Marinade for Chicken.


Create your own 3-herbs marinade! Here are some suggestions; just make it 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed herbs.

  • Parsley, Basil, Dill

  • Dill, Fennel, Parsley

  • Cilantro, 1 jalapeno, orange juice and zest

  • Parsley, Thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary

  • Add 1 tablespoon of following powerful herbs: Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon


The chicken breasts I used in this recipe were a whopping 16-ounces a piece; taking about an hour to cook! If you are cooking smaller chicken breasts, say 8-ounces the time on the grill be significantly less. To accurately know when the chicken breasts are done use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature. Remove the chicken at 160°F. The internal temperature of the chicken will increase as it rests to a safe-to-consume temperature around 165°F.

How to grill chicken breasts with Indirect heating.
First indirect heat for moist chicken breasts


*The large oval shape allows two zone cooking. The chicken breasts were cooking over indirect heat while I fire finished pork chops over direct heat. So cool…I mean hot!

*Primo Ceramic Grills are made in America ….this makes me very merry!

*The cooking versatility is unmatched!! After I was done smoking salmon today at 200°F, I increased the heat to 325°F to grill the chicken. I was not done!!! I increased the Primo heat by adjusting the draft valves and adding a little lump charcoal. I baked a bread pudding for an hour! WoW! What a versatile ceramic grill!


You Will Need:

Primo Heat Deflector Racks · Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plates

We Also Suggest:

Primo Lump Charcoal · 1 pecan (3-inch) wood chunks · Primo QuickLights Fire Starters


Serves: 6

Prep Time 10 min

Marinade Time 2 hours - overnight

Grill Time 1 hour

Seasons All

Category Poultry

Primo Ceramic Grill large cooking surface.
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3-Herbs Lemon Garlic Grilled Bone-In Chi
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3-Herbs Lemon Garlic Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breasts


For Marinade:

1/2 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed

1/2 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, loosely packed

1/2 cup basil leaves and tender stems, loosely packed

2 green onions, roughly chopped

5-6 large garlic cloves

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons fine salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup extra light olive oil

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 extra large chicken breasts

Smoke source: Primo Lump Charcoal and 1 pecan wood chunk

Cooking method: Indirect and direct heat zone

Garnishes: Lemon slices, herbs of choice sprigs

Preparation Instructions

  • Combine herbs, green onions, garlic, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice in a mini food processor or blender. Process until light green with specks of darker green. Pour into a marination bowl.

  • Trim any excess fat, connective tissue, rib meat, or membranes, and discard. Kitchen shears are handy for this task!

  • Combine marination and trimmed chicken, cover, and toss to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry.

  • Wrap two Primo Heat Deflector Plates in aluminum foil.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Use a full load of Primo lump charcoal. Place 1 pecan wood chunk at one end of the Primo Ceramic Grill. Light charcoal with four Primo QuickLight starter cubes, two at each end of the grill. Leave the dome open. Wait 5-8 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.

  2. Insert a Primo Heat Deflector Rack on the lowest position, on one side of the grill.

  3. After small embers can be seen, insert the Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plate on side with rack. Insert grill racks on both sides of grill.

  4. Close the dome with the bottom draft door and top vent fully open. Allow the temperature to reach a steady 325°F.

  5. Brush chicken and the grill grates with cooking oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side up, over indirect heat, dome down, for 30-35 minutes or until chicken has reached 140°F. Time is dependent on size of chicken breast.

  6. Transfer the chicken, skin side down, over direct heat, dome down, and cook 20-30 minutes or until chicken has reached 158°F to 160°F. If is okay if the grill reaches 350°F or higher at this point. Rotate chicken every 8-minutes, or as needed to cook and brown every side. If the chicken begins to get to dark, without a proper internal finish temp, simply place it over on the indirect side of grill. Tip: Rotate the location of the chicken on the grill along with which part of the breast is browning.

  7. Remove chicken from grill. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

  8. Carve the breast off the breastbone and rib cage then slice cross-wise. Garnish with lemon slices and herbs. Serve immediately. For Primo Ceramic Grill Inspo & Info

Keep up with A Merry Recipe’s grilling and smoking adventures:

Best Smoked Chicken Ever
Primo Ceramic Grill Tender Smoked Chicken



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