How to BBQ Chicken to Perfection

First, soak your chicken in a salt water (brine) solution. Do this for at least 1 hour, but if possible soak it overnight. The salt water breaks down the fat deposits under the skin and once you wash it off, leaves the meat firm. It also removes moisture from the meat locked up with the fat and sets your chicken up to receive moisture back in once you begin cooking.

Once you’ve soaked your chicken adequately, make sure you season it well. If you’re lacking time or experience in this, simply buy a powdered chicken rub, or barbecuing spice. Otherwise mix your own spices together to create your own unique and delicious flavours.

Try to stay clear of marinating your chicken in barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce. This is because sauces on an open fire will seal the meat and stop the lovely smokey flavour from the barbecue coals from getting into the chicken. They will also make the outside of the meat hard whilst the inside texture will be slightly rubbery.

(You can apply a baste to the chicken once it is almost completely cooked, this is explained later).

You can apply your chicken rub a few hours before you place the meat on the BBQ. Remember to keep the meat refrigerated – especially in hot weather! Warm chicken is a hot bed for bacteria and you don’t want to make your guests ill!

Once your chicken is prepared and ready to cook, it’s time to heat up your BBQ. It’s best to use a proper BBQ fire for this rather than a grill. Grills tend to get too hot and this ruins the meat as the outside cooks to quickly and the inside may not be cooked enough.

Heat your BBQ up until you have a nice consistent temperature. Do not heat the BBQ to it’s maximum temperature, you want your chicken to cook slowly. This will preserve both the taste and the texture of the chicken and possibly get your guests coming straight back for more!

One way to create an even and controlled temperature is to heat less briquettes on the barbecue and cover the barbecue with the lid, almost creating an oven for the chicken to cook in. Never place the chicken directly over the hot coals. If your BBQ has a second higher shelf, use this and keep the cover on.

If you have a whole chicken instead of chicken pieces, common sense suggests it is best to splay the chicken. To do this, take a large sharp knife and turn the chicken over so it’s breast is sitting on your chopping board. Cut down the length of the chicken fold it open, like a book. This is called butterfly chicken, as the two open halves resemble a butterfly with it’s wings spread.

Place the chicken, breast side up, on the second shelf of your BBQ and close the lid. Cook the chicken as slowly as you can, allowing remaining juice within the meat to heat and help cook the chicken from the inside out.

Try not to turn your chicken more than two times throughout the whole process of initial cooking. Cooking a butterfly chicken thoroughly on a barbecue should take a good 1 hour if not longer. If you wish to be ultra safe you can cook it for up to 3 hours as long as the temperature remains constant and not too hot.

The longer you cook, the more smokey your meat will become – so if you love that flavour, keep it cooking!

When you meat is finally cooked you can now remove the chicken from the BBQ and add more coals. Turn the heat up and let the temperature rise.

While this is happening, baste your chicken in a lovely sauce, a third white wine vinegar to 2 thirds honey and a little teriyaki or soy sauce is a real winner!

Get your chicken back unto the BBQ once it is very hot and turn and baste your chicken. Remove your chicken once you see the first signs of bowling as you don’t want to burn the glaze. Your chicken is ready! Round up your guests and sit back and bask in the glory of their compliments as they devour your succulent chicken. Make sure you save some for yourself – that chicken won’t be around lon

Related Posts