Grill-Roasted Whole Chicken with Barbecue Sauce

Published July 1, 2000.

Why this recipe works:

Our ideal grill-roasted chicken would have a deeply smoky flavor, crisp mahogany skin, and tender, juicy meat. To achieve that ideal, we brined the chicken and coated it with a flavorful spice rub. We then cooked the chicken in the middle of the grill, where it wouldn’t burn but would receive… read more

Our ideal grill-roasted chicken would have a deeply smoky flavor, crisp mahogany skin, and tender, juicy meat. To achieve that ideal, we brined the chicken and coated it with a flavorful spice rub. We then cooked the chicken in the middle of the grill, where it wouldn’t burn but would receive ample heat. Adding soaked wood chunks gave our chicken maximum smoky flavor.

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Serves 4

If you choose not to brine, skip that part of step 1 and season the bird generously with salt inside and out before rubbing with spices. Or, better yet, use a kosher chicken (which is salted during processing). For added accuracy, place a grill thermometer in the lid vents as the chicken cooks. The temperature inside the charcoal grill should be about 375 degrees at the outset and will fall to about 300 by the time the chicken is done. With a gas grill, adjust the lit burner as necessary to maintain a temperature of 325 to 350 degrees inside the grill. If you like, barbecue sauce can be used along with the Fragrant Dry Spice Rub. Wait until the bird is almost done to brush on the barbecue sauce, so that it does not scorch. For a quick and easy homemade barbecue sauce, see the recipe for Simple Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce.

Ingredients

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