Roasted chicken is a favorite dish. And while not everyone has a rotisserie set up in their home, this simple grilled rotisserie-style whole chicken will become a classic recipe that is easy to make in under 90 minutes at home.
There are a few tricks to producing a moist chicken. The most important one is to have a good thermometer. 165°F for white meat equals moist delicious chicken. But if you cook the meat to that temperature you will most likely have dry meat since the carry-over cooking (when the cooking process continues after you remove the meat from the heat source) will raise the internal temperature about 8-10 degrees for a whole chicken.
Don’t rely on the temperature gauge on the grill to accurately tell you how hot the grill is at the grates. Just like in the oven, grills have hot spots and often the gauge is inaccurate (meaning the grill grates are hotter than what the dial indicates. The remedy is an instant-read thermometer in the meat itself. This is called cooking to temperature, not to time.
That is not to say that the cooking time is not important. But take it as a guide to when to start checking the temperature of the meat and how to judge when to put the chicken on the grill.
When cooking a whole chicken, a neat trick that makes carving so easy is to remove the wishbone. This step will aid cutting the chicken breast off the breastbone a simple process. As an added bonus the pieces look neat and tidy on the serving platter.
How to Remove The Wishbone
On the neck end of the chicken, pull back the skin and with the tip of a knife, gently expose on side of the wishbone. Using your finger clear the meat from the bones.
Using the tip of the knife, expose the other side of the wishbone.
With your fingers, work your way up to the top of the wishbone and give the top a sharp pull to separate it from the breastbone cartilage.
Tip it forward and gently pull to remove the wishbone from the chicken.
Now when you make the knife cuts to carve the breast meat from the chicken, you can easily slice along the ribs and neatly remove each breast.
Tips for Grilled Rotisserie-Style Whole Chicken Success
- Truss chicken. This makes a compact bird that helps keep the breast meat protected during the cooking process.
- Apply a dry rub for added flavor. Generously sprinkle the whole chicken with dry rub (figure about 1-1/2 tablespoons per pound. Make sure to get into the nooks and crannies as well as the underside. Let the dry rub sit for 15-20 minutes. This step also will allow the chicken to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the grill to 375°F. Clean the grill grates with a grill brush or waded up a piece of aluminum foil.
- Use an internal thermometer to ensure you cook the chicken to 158°F internal temperature in the breast. Place the thermometer probe so it is not touching any bones.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Using the best dry rub for chicken, this simple grilled rotisserie-style whole chicken tastes better than takeout.
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4–6 tablespoons chicken dry rub
- Preheat grill to 375°F.
- Remove chicken from the wrapper and remove chicken parts. Using a paper towel, pat the chicken all over to remove any moisture. Remember to dry inside the rib cavity as well.
- Follow the step above to remove the wishbone.
- Drizzle the oil over the chicken and rub the oil all over the chicken,
- Sprinkle the dry rubber the chicken making sure to coat the bottom and get in all the nooks and crannies.
- Truss the chicken with cooking twine and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 60-70 minutes. Begin checking the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant-read thermometer at 55-60 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the grill when the internal temperature reads 158°F.
- Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- After the chicken has rested, cut and remove the twine. Using a sharp knife, carve the chicken into pieces and serve.