Tips & Techniques Grilling Grill the Perfect Whole Chicken

Sitting down to a whole roasted chicken is popular nowadays. Indeed, there is hardly a supermarket in the country that doesn’t sell rotisserie-roasted chickens. But cooking a bird at home is simple and less expensive, plus you get a flavor bonus when you cook it on the grill.

Grill-Roasted Chicken with Herb Mop

Click here for our perfect whole grilled chicken recipe, and keep reading for tips on pulling it off at home. 

Buy a Good-Quality Bird, Season & Truss

Buy a chicken, preferably free range or organic, that weighs at least 4 pounds but is not much bigger than 5 pounds. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity, and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Liberally season inside and out with salt and pepper, add other seasoning to the cavity – usually herb sprigs – and tie the legs together with kitchen string. The trussing helps the bird to cook more evenly. If you have time, wrap loosely in damp paper towels and refrigerate overnight. This will dry the chicken out a bit, which contributes to a crisp skin.

Go the Indirect Route

Indirect heat is the only way to go, whether the bird is on the grate or on a spit.

Baste with an Herb “Mop” & Take the Temperature

Baste the chicken every 15 minutes or so to add bodacious flavor and to keep the chicken moist. For crisp skin, stop basting for the last 15 minutes of cooking. After the chicken has been on the grill for an hour, use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of a thigh, away from the bone, every 10 to 15 minutes. You want it to register 170 degrees F. 

Give It a Rest

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes or so before cutting into serving pieces.