Grill a whole chicken with us by brining, spatchcocking, dry rubbing, and grilling it to juicy perfection!
Delicious Spatchcock Chicken (Grill)
Ever think about grilling a whole chicken? You’ve come to the right place becuase we’re teaching you all of our tips and tricks for getting perfectly juicy chicken on the grill!
Our secret? Spatchcocking your chicken! By removing the spine and flattening out your chicken, it can cook faster and more evenly on the grill.
We have an amazing roasted spatchcock chicken recipe and we’re using similar techniques to that.
Why you’ll love it!
Serves a crowd
Doesn’t mess up your kitchen
How to Grill a Whole Chicken
First, prepare the chicken brine. We have an entire chicken brine post HERE to learn how to do it properly.
Then, place in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
In this post, you’ll learn all about brining chicken and why you should do it.
Why should I brine my chicken?
Brining will not only hold moisture in your chicken to make it extra juicy, but it will also infuse your chicken with amazing flavor and salt.
Do I have to brine my whole chicken in order to grill it?
While you don’t have to brine your whole chicken in order to grill it, it does add amazing flavor!
Prep & Spatchcock
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry.
Now, spatchcock the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board and use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to remove the spine. Cut along the left and right sides of the spine and discard.
Flip the chicken over and use your hands to forcefully flatten the chicken out, so that it’s laying flat on the cutting board.
Lift the chicken skin, and rub the meat with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Then, combine all of the spices for the dry rub and generously season the entire outside of the bird. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
PS: you can always use our homemade chicken seasoning or chicken dry rub for this!
Grill Whole Chicken
Preheat your grill to 450ºF and spray it with cooking spray.
Grill the chicken over direct heat skin-side down for 3-4 minutes to sear it.
Then, flip it over and move it to indirect heat. Close the grill and cook for 45-60 minutes, checking on the bird every 10-15 minutes. Grill until the internal temperature is 160ºF/165ºF.
Make sure to grill over indirect heat as the drippings from the bird risk a grease fire (speaking from experience).
Chicken internal temp
According to the USDA, the safe cooking temperature for poultry is 165ºF.
Let rests: Remember that after cooking chicken let it rest for 5 minutes so that the internal temperature can continue to rise around 5ºF.
Let your chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. This will make the meat super tender and juicy and allow the chicken to come to temperature, raising 5 more degrees.
It takes around 45-60 minutes in order to grill a whole chicken.
There is no need t
Grill a whole chicken over indirect heat at 450ºF for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF – 165ºF.
What to do with Leftovers
Add to Soups/Salads: shred the chicken and add it to a grilled chicken salad or chicken noodle soup!
Make Chicken Broth: use the leftover bones to make our homemade chicken broth recipe!
Homemade Chicken Broth
Make this homemade chicken broth and use it in your favorite soup recipe! This broth is the most flavorful chicken broth on the internet. You can use it in soups, chilis, sauces, and more!
Make Burritos: make our easy shredded chicken burritos and then freeze them!
Make Nachos: shredded chicken in baked chicken nachos is so easy and perfect!
Store leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Juicy Grilled Whole Chicken
- 9 cups water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 small white onion chopped
- ½ orange thinly sliced
- ½ lemon thinly sliced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4- lb. whole chicken
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- First, brine the chicken. Fill a gallon bucket/bowl/post with 9 cups of water.
- Remove 1 cup of water from the pot and add it to a saucepan with the kosher salt. Heat the two ingredients over medium heat and whisk until the salt has dissolved. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the salted water back into the pot and whisk together.
- Next, add the garlic, onion, orange slices, lemon slices, and thyme to the pot and stir. Finally, add the whole chicken to the pot. Make sure the chicken is completely submerged in the water.
- Place the pot in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and discard the brine. Place the chicken on a cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Mix the dry rub together for the chicken until combined.
- To prepare for grilling, we are spatchcocking the chicken. Set the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board and use very sharp kitchen shears to cut down one side of the spine through the ribs and then repeat on the other side of the spine. Discard the spine.
- Flip the chicken over onto the chicken breasts and use your hands to press onto the middle of the bird, flattening the chicken.
- Place the chicken onto a large plate and carefully separate the chicken meat from the chicken skin with your hand. Then, rub ½ teaspoon salt onto the chicken meat under the skin.
- Next season the chicken with the dry rub so that the whole side facing up is covered with dry rub. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and then set the chicken aside to rest for 15-20 minutes. You want the chicken skin to come to room temperature or else it will stick to the grill.
- Preheat the grill to 450º. Be sure the grill surface is clean and carefully spray it with cooking spray.
- Place the chicken skin-side down over direct heat for 3-4 minutes in order to brown the skin.
- Flip the chicken over and move it into indirect heat.
- Grill the chicken over indirect heat for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Tips & Notes
- In step 12, keep an eye on the chicken to make sure it doesn’t over char the chicken skin.
- Make sure to grill your chicken over INDIRECT heat. If you grill your chicken over direct heat, the drippings risk a grease fire (speaking from experience).
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.
I love this Grilled Whole Chicken recipe , amazing one . Thanks for sharing this one with us.
Truly seems delicious , seems like mouth watering situation. Super excited to try this one, thanks for sharing this Grilled Whole Chicken recipe.
Will make again but with changes. Skin was crispy and delicious but the meat was under- favored. Next time, I will spatchcock and slice grooves into the meat prior to brining.
Love this delicious Grilled Whole Chicken, it seems like roasted Indian style chicken . Thanks for sharing this amazing one.
This is the only whole chicken recipe I am using from here on out! My husband and I always eat the legs of a chicken first because they are they the most moist, but we both opted for breast last night, so that is saying something about how juicy this chicken comes out! So fantastic! Thanks team FFF 💕
OMG we’re blushing! And look at your beautiful grilled bird, Danica!