Chicken is replacing beef as America's go-to meat: The average American consumes about 82 pounds of chicken per year compared to 54 pounds of beef, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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While chicken contains less saturated fat and cholesterol than beef, it can be just as expensive if you limit your purchases to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. A whole chicken roasted on the grill is both economical and healthy; it's also simple, with almost no hands-on effort required during the cooking time.
Before roasting a whole chicken on your Weber grill, check the manufacturer's instructions.
Things You'll Need
Wire grill brush
Fresh herbs, optional
Cutting board or platter
- Preheat a gas grill to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or a charcoal grill until it's too hot for you to hold your hand 3 inches above the grate for longer than 2 seconds, according to Real Simple.
- Use a wire grill brush to clean the grate as thoroughly as possible.
- Adjust the temperature settings on a gas grill for indirect medium heat, checking with the manufacturer's instructions for specific directions. For a charcoal grill, you can create indirect heat by piling the charcoals on one side of the grill, so you have a hot side and a cooler side.
- Back in the kitchen, remove and discard the bag of gizzards contained in the chicken's cavity.
- Brush the entire outside surface of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
- Season the inside cavity of the chicken, adding fresh herbs such as sage or tarragon, if desired.
- Tie the chicken's legs securely together with butcher's twine. Cut off any excess twine.
- Brush the grill's grate with a light film of oil.
- Place the chicken, breast-side-up, in the center of a gas grill or to the cooler side of a charcoal grill.
- Close the lid and allow it to cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh to check that it's reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board or platter and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
To reduce the cooking time, use a knife or kitchen scissors to remove the backbone and press the chicken flat, skin-side-down, so that it is butterflied open before seasoning it and placing it on the grill. A whole chicken butterflied in this manner should take between 50 and 60 minutes to grill, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
Always use a clean plate and clean utensils for cooked chicken. Don't attempt to reuse the plates or utensils you used with the raw chicken unless you've thoroughly cleaned them first.
Avoid using a barbecue fork to handle grilled chicken. Piercing the meat allows the accumulated juices to drain out of the chicken.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates"
- Weber: "Grill Skills: Mastering Poultry"
- Real Simple: "How to Check the Temperature of Your Grill"
- Serious Eats: "The Food Lab - How to Grill a Whole Chicken"
- Tablespoon: "How to Grill a Whole Chicken"
- Better Homes and Gardens: "How to Grill a Whole Chicken"