On a Charcoal Grill, Make Rotisserie Chicken

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This is a foolproof method for making succulent rotisserie chicken.

The chicken bastes in all of the juices as it gently spins. The aroma of a rotisserie chicken is impossible to top, but if you don’t have one, you can prepare this dish on a standard grill and it will taste nearly as nice.

You can’t serve roast chicken without homemade gravy, so I’ll also show you how to make it.

Cooking a whole rotisserie chicken over charcoal

How to Make Rotisserie Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

It seems that the latest fashion is to spatchcock chicken every time you cook it.

There is a time and place for it (particularly if you are rushing late), but cooking a full chicken over charcoal doesn’t take much longer.

That’s where my favorite Weber Kettle accessory comes in.

It will take around 45 minutes to cook 2.2 pounds of chicken over medium heat charcoal.The benefit of rotisserie cooking is that if you wish to roast two chickens at the same time, the cooking time is not affected. The 45 minutes per 2.2 pounds is for each bird, not for the whole flock.

Another advantage is that the bird is bathing itself in all of the liquids as it rotates. The aroma of a rotisserie fowl is difficult to match.

Season, smoke, and spin; it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

If you want to see how everything is done, we have a comprehensive video of this dish.

What you need to cook a rotisserie chicken

How to Make Rotisserie Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

Rotisserie attachments are available as optional add-ons for most decent grills.

A specialized rotisserie is another option, although it will be overkill for most people.

Items youll need:

  • A BBQ (Im using a 22 Weber)
  • A rotisserie (Im using a 22 Weber rotisserie)
  • Lump charcoal
  • Wire rack and tray
  • I’m using a Thermapen ONE instant-read thermometer.
  • A carving knife
  • A chopping board
  • Butchers twine

Purchase the highest quality chicken you can afford.

Tying the bird up, why and how?

Lets start with the why.

Because a chicken is not a fat piece of meat, it will not cook evenly. This is another reason why many people will only prepare a spatchcocked chicken.

This entails removing the spine and opening up the chicken to allow it to lie flatter when cooking.

We may bring the smaller portions of the bird, such as the wings and legs, closer to the main body by tying it up.

This results in one giant piece of flesh that cooks much more evenly, and the wings and legs do not burn since they are not hanging outwards on their own.

Now onto the how.

I prefer to wrap my butcher’s twine around the breast flesh, which is the biggest amount of meat on the bird, and tie it off by wrapping the twine around the top and down to the bottom.

The wings may then be secured by keeping them near to the breast meat and connecting the legs together and bringing them closer to the breast flesh.

With all of the chicken fastened and tight, it will now cook much more evenly, and it takes the guesswork out of which area will be done first.

Be sure to use a thick twine.

I’m aware that many supermarkets carry what they term cooking twine, but it’s nothing like what your butcher uses.

I’d go ask your local butcher where to get some; you could be surprised and they’ll offer you some; I know this since my local butcher did just that.

Setting up your grill for rotisserie cooking

Even when cooked with charcoal, chicken prefers a medium heat.

When I’m cooking a rotisserie chicken and someone asks about my setup, I tell them I’m cooking over charcoal. When, in reality, I am not cooking directly over charcoal.

Chicken has a lot of fat beneath its skin, and when it renders down throughout any cooking process, it will only fall one direction, down.

So, by putting the charcoal immediately beneath the chicken, we’d be continually battling fat flare-ups, and although a little fat smoke is acceptable for taste, full-on fat fires that produce soot are not a desirable flavor profile.

Unless you like chewing on charcoal. If that’s the case, take a deep breath and go burn your chicken.

By using a medium heat and keeping the fuel source out to the side, the chicken receives more than enough heat to cook it and more than enough smokiness to give it a flavor boost.

Then, by putting a pan just underneath the chicken, we can capture all of the fat to assist with cleanup or, in our case, to create some of the most delectable gravy you’ve ever tasted.

By cooking at medium heat, we not only get a juicier chicken, but we can also utilize the basic estimate of every 2 minutes.It will take 45 minutes to cook 2 pounds.

Although I will always emphasize the need of using an instant-read thermometer to confirm the ultimate temperature of any fowl before ingestion. For chicken, you should strive for an internal temperature of 165F.

In chicken, there is no such thing as medium done, therefore constantly check the temps.

When the chicken is cooked to temperature and you need to keep it warm for a while, covering it with foil and a couple of towels works well.

The foil offers little heat retention and serves just to keep the chicken from making a mess of your towels. If you don’t believe me, try taking hot foil from a cooking tray: yeah, it’s hot to the touch, but pull it away from the heat source and it’ll lose all heat in seconds.

Selecting the best smoking wood to pair with chicken

Most fruit and nut kinds of smoking wood will compliment poultry in general.

I’d avoid heavier smoking woods like Hickory and Mesquite since they tend to overshadow the flavor of chicken. So much so that there is a distinct aftertaste.

Smoke should not be the sole thing you can taste in your flavor profile.

The right seasoning for chicken

So many herbs and spices complement chicken so wonderfully.

Rosemary, lemon, and garlic are my top favorites when combined with salt and pepper. This combination, in my opinion, brings out so much flavor that not much more is required.

In said that, you may begin to add spice to the mix and cook in a more Mediterranean way, or you can turn up the heat and cook in a Jamaican Jerk style.

Then there are the curry tastes of India and Sri Lanka.

Because it is a protein that can be flavored in a variety of ways, my best suggestion is to start experimenting.

Gravy is the best side dish

There is one thing gravy can do for you: it can save you. Yes, it is real; it can actually get you out of a bind.

Assume you spent all day preparing a large turkey or some delicious roast pork or steak. Perhaps your veggies were overdone; the roast potatoes were a touch too crispy. Perhaps you did not follow this chicken recipe and overcooked the bird, causing it to dry out somewhat.

Smother them all in homemade gravy, and everything will be forgotten. As each mouthful is picked up and bathed in this caramel-colored delight.Nobody will be concerned about anything other than getting the recipe from you.

The truth is that it is straightforward: pan juices with water and sliced onions. Then add stock and wine to reduce. To thicken, combine melted butter and flour; taste and season as needed. Serve with a strainer.

It is one of the easiest dishes to prepare, and you can actually modify the taste profile by adding more herbs while cooking.

Just remember to thank me silently in your brain every time you use it.

Serving suggestions

Because rotisserie chicken is so adaptable, steaming or roasted veggies are the ideal accompaniment.

Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with a salad and a bottle of champagne for the ideal champagne brunch for two.

Alternatively, take a soft bread roll, stuff it with chopped chicken, then cover it in gravy, and you’ll be in bliss.


How much charcoal do I need for a rotisserie chicken?

Cooking on a spit rotisserie isn’t something most people do on a weekly basis, so it’s easy to forget how much natural lump charcoal you’ll need for your charcoal spit rotisserie. As a general guideline, 1kg of charcoal is required for every kilogram of meat.

How long do you cook chicken on a charcoal grill?

Grill for 15 to 18 minutes, flipping once halfway during the cooking time. When an instant-read thermometer put into the thickest section of the breast reads 165°F and the fluids flow clear, the chicken is done.

Can you use a rotisserie on a charcoal BBQ?

Light the coals on a charcoal barbecue, then divide them into two heaps on the grill’s sides. (Charcoal baskets on your barbecue are ideal for this.) Place the drip pan between the heaps of charcoal on the charcoal grate. Next, place the rotisserie ring on the grill and secure it.

What is the best way to cook chicken on a charcoal grill?

Place the chicken breasts immediately over the coals on the hot side of the grate. Sear the breasts for 3 to 4 minutes each side, flipping once, until golden brown. If the grill flares up, take the chicken away from the fire for a few minutes.

Do you keep the lid open or closed on a rotisserie chicken on a grill?

Keep the lid shut. Because heat escapes from the top when the lid is open, your food is only cooked on the bottom. Keeping the lid closed maintains the heat within, allowing convective heat to cook your food from all sides. Allow your meat to rest.

How high should a rotisserie be above the coals?

The 5 to 8 second guideline is the best approach to determine the ideal height for spit roasting. It’s a basic notion; you should be able to keep your hand 5 to 8 seconds over the fuel source without it burning.

Is lump or briquettes better for rotisserie?

Some individuals prefer BBQ briquettes over lump charcoal because they give a more consistent and longer burn. They can also keep a consistent temperature for an extended period of time, which is ideal for spit roasting large amounts of meat.

Do you flip chicken on charcoal grill?

At the halfway point, flip the chicken breasts. I usually grill my chicken for approximately 10 minutes, turning halfway through to get nice sear marks on both sides of the chicken. 6. Using a cooking thermometer or an iGrill, check the internal temperature of the chicken.


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