Cooking a whole grilled chicken is so much easier than you think— promise.
In fact, this recipe is not much harder than sheet pan chicken or skillet chicken— two bastions of weeknight ease. A whole, well-seasoned chicken crisps up on the grill until gloriously charred grill marks appear, then it’s flipped and coated in layer after layer of a spicy, tangy, ever-so-sweet hot-honey lemon butter marinade. The result is lacquered, crisp skin, juicy white and dark meat, and plenty of marinade leftover for spooning, drizzling, or dunking.
Steps for grilling a whole chicken
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here is a basic overview of the process:
- Spatchcock the chicken, then cut it in half through the breastbone
- Season the chicken generously with salt, as far in advance as possible (up to 24 hours)
- Grill the chicken over medium heat, starting skin side down and flipping it over once
- Baste with the hot-honey lemon butter marinade every 5 minutes
- Cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F-165°F