Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to: Grill a Whole Chicken with Indirect Heat

I know I've mentioned it before but I love grilling. Growing up, my dad always had at least 1 grill and a couple (or more) smokers and we used them pretty regularly. I haven't bought a smoker (yet) so I have to make due with my grill. A few summers ago, I started cooking whole chickens on the grill using indirect heat and they are so yummy. They have a slightly smoky flavor to them even though they are not smoked. It's also really easy. Think of it as the crockpot of summer.

How to: Grill a Whole Chicken with Indirect Heat
1.) Bring your chicken (4-5lb) to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will help the chicken cook evenly.
2.) Each grill is different so get to know yours! While the chicken is warming up, turn on all the burners on your grill. You want it to get to be about 500F. I have three burners on the grill.
3.) Dry your chicken well with paper towels (dry chicken=crispy, brown skin). Seasoning is really up to you. I've used a mixture of fresh or dried herbs mixed in butter under the skin; lemon zest with herbs and butter under the skin; or just salt and pepper on top of the bird. Try different things and see what your family likes.

4.) Line a 1/4 sheet pan with foil and fit a small rack or broiler grate on top of the pan. Although the foil is optional, it really helps with clean up.
5.) Place your seasoned chicken on the rack and tuck it's wings behind it's body. This helps the wings not get dried out.
6.) Turn off on of the burners on your grill. Put the chicken on this side. After about 45 minutes rotate the pan so the other breast is towards the heat.
7.) After another 30-45 minutes, check your birds temperature. I take the chicken off the grill when a thermometer reads 165F. If you don't have a thermometer wiggle the legs, if they seem really loose your chicken is probably done. Another way to tell without a thermometer is to poke a small hole near where the leg joins the body, if the fluids are clear the chicken is probably done.
8.) Carefully (it will be really hot) take your chicken off the grill and tent with foil for about 10 minutes. This helps the juices soak back into the chicken so it won't be dry.
9.) Slice up your chicken and enjoy!

Do you grill with indirect heat?

No comments:

Post a Comment