A whole chicken is a great entry level cut of meat into the world of barbecue as it is relatively inexpensive. Chicken really soaks up the smoke so you immediately get an appreciation for that smoky flavour. When prepared correctly and cooked to the right internal temperature a whole chicken will be juicy and packed full of flavour.
The most important step in preparing a whole chicken is butterflying (also known as spatch-cocking) the chicken. Using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors cut along either side of the back bone starting from the parson’s nose (tail). Flip the bird over and gently using the palm of your hand press down on the breastbone until the chicken flattens out – you will hear a couple of cracks. This flattening of the bird allows for a more even cook and crispier skin as the heat only has half the distance to travel through the flesh as opposed to leaving it whole. Leaving the chicken uncovered in the fridge overnight also helps to dry out the skin making it easier to crisp up when cooking.
The SmokeyQ Chicken Rub has a wonderful blend of herbs and spices complete with the subtle tang of kaffir lime. It's ideal for poultry and also works a treat on lamb, pork and seafood.
- Whole chicken
- Mayonnaise or olive oil
- SmokeyQ Chicken Rub (available in store)
- As discussed above butterfly the whole chicken.
- Lightly brush the chicken with mayonnaise or olive oil and season with the rub. If possible do this for a minimum of 4 hours before cooking.
- Whether your cooking over charcoal or gas prepare your barbecue for indirect cooking and aim for 375f/190c.*
- If your using charcoal add a chunk of flavour wood (apple and cherry work particularly well) then add the chicken.
- Cook until the internal temperature of the breast meat reached 155f/68c. The internal temperature of the thigh should read 165f/74c**
- Enjoy your SmokeyQ barbecued whole chicken!
*The Weber Kettle is perfect for cooking a whole chicken. Move one charcoal basket full with lit charcoal to one side of the bottom grate and place the chicken on the top grate away from the charcoal (indirect heat). Ensure the vent in the lid is completely open and position the vent above the chicken so the smoke and heat is drawn from the charcoal basket, through the chicken and then up and out through the vent.
**You can find a large range of meat thermometers in our stores including hand held options from Weber and ThermoWorks as well as the remote sensor iGrill range from Weber.
Photos and recipe by Messy Benches. Visit www.messybenches.com