This whole grilled chicken is first brined, then rubbed with a paste of lemon, rosemary, and garlic, and finally grilled. It’s an easy dinner for backyard barbecues. And it’s gonna ruin roast chicken for you forever.
We sorta feel like we ought to issue the disclaimer that this whole grilled chicken may ruin regular roast chicken for you. The recipe is inspired by classic whole roast chicken with herb butter lovingly shoved beneath the skin. But c’mon, who are we kidding, EVERYTHING is better on the grill. Try this and tell us if you disagree. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Originally published June 7, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Whole Grilled Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 2 H
- Serves 6
Special Equipment: 1 cup apple or pecan wood chips (optional)
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
If using a gas grill, about 20 minutes before grilling the chicken, heat your grill to 250°F to 300°F (121°C to 149°C), or medium-low.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This whole grilled chicken was fantastic! Brining the chicken kept it really moist, and the flavor of the lemon and rosemary was really lovely. I brined the bird for 16 hours, drained it, patted it dry, and let it sit in the fridge for 4 more hours before continuing with the recipe. I used a gas grill, and instead of sprinkling the apple chips around the grill, I soaked them in water for 30 minutes, wrapped them in a foil pouch, and poked several holes in the pouch. I put it on the grill next to the chicken for the whole cooking time. The flavor from the smoke was subtle, but it did impart a lovely coloring to the meat of the chicken. Fantastic recipe!
I had been perfectly content grilling cuts of meat, including beef, chicken, and pork, until now. But I am utterly impressed with the juiciness of this whole grilled chicken. I can't wait to try my classic tandoori chicken recipe with this cooking method. I smashed the garlic, rosemary, and lemon to a mashed guacamole consistency. (Did I mention I adore lemon and rosemary?) The Indian in me can't resist brining or marinating anything for less than 24 hours. So 24 hours it was. Since our gas grill doesn't have a temperature gauge, we kept it to "smoke" indicator. Took us closer to 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook it to 165°F. Either way, it was worth the wait. Ultra moist and flavorful—truly a weekend winner. The flavoring is classic. Looking forward to grilling chicken using this method with my own spice mixture soon.