BBQ Chicken

I’ve been grilling for a while.  Years.  Have I ever taken it seriously?  Yes – well, seriously enough to find that steak recipe I like…  Seriously enough to find that grilled whole chicken recipe I like…  Seriously enough to switch to a charcoal chimney…  All-in-all, maybe more serious than the casual griller, but not much more serious than that.

This memorial day, it’s time to BBQ a whole chicken.  I mean – grill a chicken and use BBQ sauce.  I specify that because there seems to be some dispute over what folks mean when they say BBQ.

My method for grilling a whole chicken comes from the Serious Eats blog.  That article describes the author’s quest to find the best way to grill chicken, and I have found that it produces a wonderfully grilled roaster chicken in about 1.5 hours – a long time to wait, but just don’t plan to make this recipe in a hurry.

The gist is this:

  1. Start the grill with all the coals over on one side.  This will let you create a two-zone fire.
  2. Butterfly the chicken.  Stick metal skewers through it to hold it flat later.  I like roaster-sized chickens for this, because there’s lots left-over.
  3. Cook the chicken over the cool side of the grill, skin facing up, legs facing the hotter side of the grill.
  4. When the chicken breasts hit at least 120℉ and the legs are at least 145℉, flip the chicken over, skin-side down, onto the hot side of the grill.
  5. Cook until the breasts are 145℉ to 150℉, the rest should be 165℉.  This only takes about 10 minutes.
  6. Take it off and rest covered 10 minutes.
  7. Cut ’em up.

Ok – so how will BBQ sauce make this different?  I’m going to base this on another post from Serious Eats.  Some things that’ll be different from what they recommend there: I’m only flipping the chicken once, and I’m doing a whole chicken.  First, I’ll apply 1/2 tsp salt per pound, then let the chicken sit in the fridge uncovered 2 hours.  Then, I’ll butterfly and use a dry rub, and put it on the grill.  Then, after maybe an hour grilling, and well before the breasts hit 120℉ and I have to move to the hot-side, I’ll brush BBQ sauce on the skin side, maybe every 10-20 minutes.  Then after I flip it to the hot side I’ll brush BBQ sauce on the bottom once – it’ll come off shortly after.

Time to go to the store and get a roaster…  I plan to use the Meathead Memphis Dust dry rub – it’s good on ribs and pulled pork, so let’s try it here.

1 thought on “BBQ Chicken

  1. Couldn’t find a roaster at the store, got a fryer instead – 5.75 lbs, so that should work well. I applied about 3 tsp salt, then let it sit almost 2 hours.
    The chicken came out well! Next time, however, I need to grill it on the skin for more like 5 minutes, instead of 10.

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