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How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

One of the best things you can cook on a gas grill is a whole chicken. You can satisfy your wing, breast, and thigh enthusiasts all at once!  Thanks to our step-by-step instructions for both charcoal and gas grills, it’s a lot easier than you think. With just a few minutes of preparation, you can enjoy a wonderful, crowd-pleasing meal any night of the week. Keep reading to learn how to cook a whole chicken on a gas grill and charcoal grill.


The Grill

Indirect cooking is required for this recipe. While the other burners are turned on, the chicken is grilled in an area of the grill with no heat underneath it. The grill surface should be heated to 350°F to 400°F for indirect grilling.


How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

One chicken thigh and leg should be angled to the direct side since their end temperature should be higher than the breast. Because the side of the chicken closest to the direct heat cooks faster, it’s necessary to rotate the chicken halfway through the cooking time. To balance things out, the other thigh and leg will cook faster.

Continue to grill until the breast has reached 165°F and the thigh and legs have reached 185°-190°F. While a grill surface thermometer and an instant-read thermometer would suffice, a remote thermometer will assist you the best in maintaining the grill temperature.

Expert Tips For Grilling

  • After taking the chicken from the packing, thoroughly pat it dry. This makes it easier for the oil and seasoning to cling to the chicken.
  • Salt and pepper are all you need if you’re a minimalist, but you can also use a jar of seasoning mix from the grocery store. It’s a quick and easy technique to boost the flavor even further.
  • Refrain from opening the grill to check on the chicken. Every time you do that, you release heat, lengthening the time it takes to cook.
  • After removing the chicken from the grill, let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

Important Equipment

Meat Thermometer

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

Every grill is different in how it distributes and keeps heat. When the whole chicken is fully-cooked and ready to be served, a meat thermometer should be inserted into the thigh part of the bird. The chicken must reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and the thigh is the final part of the chicken to reach that temperature.

Roasting Rack

roasting rack

You should use a roasting rack. A roasting rack ensures that the entire chicken is roasted evenly.

Drip Pan

drip pans

The drip pan shields the bottom of the whole chicken from the direct heat of the flame, allowing the chicken to be cooked in a more indirect manner.

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill: FAQs

Do I Really Need A Thermometer?

Yes! Most chefs will tell you that this is the most important item in their arsenal. You’ll never have to wonder if a cut of meat is undercooked or overcooked again.

Making a small cut between the breast and the leg is a hidden trick for determining when chicken is done. Your chicken is done when the juices flow clear. If the juices are pink, it needs to be grilled longer!

Should The Chicken Be Room Temperature?

Always remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. While the chicken won’t be totally room temperature during that time, it will help it cook more evenly on the grill by removing the chill.

Why Use An Angled Roaster?

Because air circulates all around a cooked whole chicken in a vertical roaster, it will have crispy skin all throughout. If you don’t have one, a tall beer or soda can will suffice. Some vertical roasters come with a dedicated beer can holder. Simply open the beer can and drain out half of it before adding the chicken, or the can may explode while grilling. In a pinch, a bundt pan can be used, although the bottom section of the chicken may not brown as evenly.

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill: The Beer Can Method

How To Cook A Whole Chicken On A Gas Grill

  • Prepare your grill for indirect grilling by lighting one-half of the burners on a gas grill or leaving the charcoal on one side of the grill.
  • Giblet-free chicken should be washed inside and out and dried with paper towels. Remove the skin of the chicken and rub in your favorite spice or BBQ rub with your fingertips. Replace the skin and coat the entire chicken with a tablespoon of oil.
  • Wash the outside of your beer can or other canned beverage, open it, and remove about half of the contents (the remainder should be consumed!) You can also try putting sprigs of herbs or garlic cloves in the can. Lift the chicken carefully and place the cavity over the upright beer can once it’s ready to go. If you want to test the recipe with wine or other non-canned beverages, a poultry roaster with a built-in can is a good investment.
  • Before shutting the lid, place your beer can chicken on the cool side of the BBQ grill and check for stability with the legs and beer can. After covering the BBQ, leave it alone for at least an hour. After this time has passed, check the chicken and re-ignite the coals if necessary, then check every 15 minutes or so after that. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh to check if it’s done; it should read 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a metal spatula and tongs to carefully remove the chicken from the BBQ and place it on a tray or pan once it’s cooked through. Keep in mind that the container, as well as the contents, will be quite hot! Allow 10 minutes for the chicken to settle before removing the beer can, and then serve and enjoy!

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