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Grilled whole chicken cooked over charcoal is a classic dish that is loved by many. This cooking method creates a crispy, smoky exterior while keeping the meat juicy and tender on the inside. The key to a perfectly grilled whole chicken is to achieve an even cooking temperature and to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly without burning the skin.
Grilling a whole chicken over charcoal requires a bit of patience and attention to detail, but the end result is well worth the effort. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just enjoying a family meal, a grilled whole chicken on charcoal is a delicious and satisfying option.
Why should you use a charcoal grill for grilled whole chicken?
Using a charcoal grill for grilled whole chicken provides a unique flavor profile that cannot be replicated with other cooking methods. The high heat of the charcoal creates a crispy exterior while sealing in the moisture of the chicken, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
The smoky flavor of the charcoal infuses into the chicken, adding depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Additionally, a charcoal grill allows for greater control over the cooking temperature, which is important for ensuring even cooking and preventing overcooking or burning. Overall, using a charcoal grill for grilled whole chicken results in a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to impress your guests.
How to make grilled whole chicken charcoal
Here’s how to make grilled whole chicken on a charcoal grill:
- 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite poultry seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the chicken: Remove any giblets or excess fat from the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil, then season with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Make sure to rub the seasoning evenly all over the chicken.
- Prepare the charcoal grill: Light the charcoal in a chimney starter and let it burn until the coals are ashed over. Spread the hot coals in a single layer on one side of the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill to high heat.
- Place the chicken on the grill: Place the chicken on the side of the grill opposite the hot coals. This will allow the chicken to cook slowly and evenly. Cover the grill and cook for 60-75 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
- Monitor the temperature: It’s important to monitor the temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F for safe consumption.
- Flip the chicken: After 30-40 minutes of cooking, flip the chicken over using tongs or a spatula. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly on all sides.
- Baste the chicken: As the chicken cooks, baste it with your favorite sauce or a mixture of melted butter and herbs. This will add flavor and keep the chicken moist.
- Let the chicken rest: Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and make it more tender.
- Serve and enjoy: Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.
By following these steps, you can create a delicious and flavorful grilled whole chicken on a charcoal grill.
How long to make grilled whole chicken charcoal?
Grilling a whole chicken over charcoal can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken and the temperature of your grill. Here’s a general guideline for grilling a whole chicken over charcoal:
- Prepare your grill by lighting the charcoal and allowing it to heat up for 20-30 minutes until the coals are glowing red and covered with ash.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or marinades.
- Place the chicken on the grill, breast-side up, and cover the grill with the lid. Make sure the vents on the lid are open to allow for airflow.
- Cook the chicken for about 30 minutes, then flip it over and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
- If the chicken is not yet done, continue grilling, flipping it occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.
Keep in mind that grilling times can vary depending on the size of the chicken and the temperature of your grill, so it’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature.
Tips for making grilled whole chicken charcoal
Grilling a whole chicken over charcoal can be a delicious and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your grilled whole chicken:
- Prepare your chicken: Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity, and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with your favorite dry rub or marinade.
- Prepare your charcoal grill: Start by lighting the charcoal briquettes in a chimney starter until they are hot and covered with ash. Spread the coals evenly over the bottom of the grill, leaving a cooler spot on one side for indirect grilling.
- Cook the chicken: Place the chicken over the cooler part of the grill, breast side up, and cover the grill with the lid. Grill the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning it occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent burning.
- Check the internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The chicken is done when the temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Let it rest: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure that the chicken is moist and tender.
- Serve and enjoy: Carve the chicken and serve it with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.
Remember to always follow proper food safety guidelines when handling and cooking chicken, and enjoy your delicious grilled whole chicken!
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