BBQ Whole Chicken

So I put together this recipe from a bunch of other recipes and it seems like it will work with a little more practice. First, here are the mop sauce and BBQ sauce ingredients - they make INCREDIBLY good tasting sauces:

Mop Sauce
  • Equal parts oil, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and Worcestershire sauce - eyeball about 1/8 cup each (I used pineapple juice instead of apple - yum.)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Whisky or tequila - use your best judgment on the amount
  • Hot sauce like Tabasco if you're not cooking in Minnesota for someone who lives there
  • Salt and Pepper
BBQ Sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic (Cooking during the COVID pandemic I used granulated garlic, about a Tsp, which is close to two or three cloves - could have gone more)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup hot sauce like Tabasco - see note above RE. MN
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs Soy/Tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbs mustard - do dry mustard, it creates a taste like the old tomato-based mustard infused BBQ sauce dad used on ribs

Season the chicken with Kosher salt and pepper inside and out

  1. Once you get the mop and BBQ sauces whipped together and the bird seasoned, start the grill - I'm going to talk about a 22" Webber kettle using briquettes. If you're using propane you're on your own.
  2. Put a pan underneath the rack where the bird will be to catch drippings. You'll be doing indirect heating so put the pan on the other side of the kettle from where the coals are going to be.
  3. Use about 30 to 40 briquettes. When they're ready spread them along one edge of the kettle. I use two fire bricks to keep them where they belong.
  4. Put the lid on the grill, open the bottom and top vents about half-way each and let it heat to temperature - probably around 275ºF to 300ºF - takes maybe 10 minutes or less.
  5. When at temperature, put the chicken on the grill. I used apple wood for smoking, loved it - the flavor went through the entire bird; you can opt-in or out of the smoking but I recommend it. Once the bird's on the grill and you have the smoking wood on top of the coals if you're using it, put the lid on the grill - don't worry about mop sauce for this first step.
  6. Every 20 minutes, open the lid and rotate the bird 90º then mop with the mop sauce.
  7. Check the breast temperature after an hour. You'll probably still have some time to go to get to 165º Let it go another 20 minutes or so.
  8. When the temp gets above 150º move it closer to the coals - I put the bird on top of the coals and the skin seared through and turned black after only about 2 or 3 minutes. Hated that. Instead, leave the lid off for a few minutes until the coals start burning hotter. Move the bird closer to the coals, but not directly over them, Cover the kettle again, and let the heat do its work for 10 or 15 minutes to try to crisp the skin. After 10 or 15 minutes, baste the breast with BBQ sauce and flip the bird so the bottom gets some heat and can dry a little. Baste the bottom with BBQ sauce after you flip it.
  9. After trying to crisp the skin and basting with the BBQ sauce, take the temp - it should be close to 160º or so. Take the bird off and tent it with foil for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the sides. You might not get the crisp skin you want with this method - I'm looking into baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch as possible answers to getting crisp skin on the BBQ bird. Stay tuned.