How to Grill a Whole Chicken
Grilling a Whole Chicken
The less intense heat of indirect grilling is the best way to grill a whole chicken. The high heat of direct grilling is too intense—the exterior will overcook and burn before the interior gets done.
1. Cut Chicken in Half
Cut the chicken in half lengthwise across the backbone, cutting to, but not through, the other side. This allows heat to more easily penetrate the interior of the bird.
2. Season Under Skin
Rub the seasonings under the skin of the bird, and press the skin so they’ll stay in place. It’s best to keep the skin on the bird while it grills—it helps hold in moisture. Remove and discard it after grilling.
3. Cook Over Direct Heat
Place the chicken, breast side down, over direct heat, and cook for 7 minutes on each side to quickly brown the exterior.
4. Move to Indirect Heat
Move the chicken to indirect heat, and cover the grill. The covered grill acts like an oven allowing heat to circulate around the bird and cook it to perfection.
5. Use Thermometer to Test Doneness
Use a thermometer to test doneness. Take a few readings in different parts of the bird to ensure the whole chicken has reached a safe temperature of 165°.