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Grilled Whole Chicken Recipe: Juicy and Flavorful BBQ Delight

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Grilling a whole chicken is easier than you think and guarantees a juicy, flavorful meal every time. With just a few ingredients and some simple steps, you can serve up a perfectly grilled chicken that will impress your family and friends.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from preparing the chicken to achieving that perfect smoky flavor. Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, these tips and tricks will help you get mouthwatering results. So, grab your grill tools and let’s get started on this delicious journey!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)


  • Whole Chicken (3-4 pounds): A fresh, whole chicken is needed. You can use smaller or larger chickens, just adjust cooking time.
  • Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): Helps keep the chicken moist. Substitute with vegetable oil or melted butter.
  • Lemon Juice (1/4 cup): Adds a zesty flavor. You can use lime juice or white vinegar instead.
  • Garlic (4 cloves, minced): Adds depth to the flavor. Garlic powder can work if fresh is not available.
  • Salt (1 teaspoon): Enhances overall taste. Sea salt or kosher salt can also be used.
  • Black Pepper (1 teaspoon): Adds slight heat. Feel free to use white pepper instead.
  • Paprika (2 teaspoons): Gives a smoky flavor. Smoked paprika or cayenne pepper can be used as substitutes.
  • Thyme (1 teaspoon): Adds herby notes. Oregano or rosemary works as well.
  • Rosemary (1 teaspoon): Another layer of herb flavor. Thyme or sage can be used if you don’t have rosemary.

Rub Mixture:

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and rosemary in a bowl.
  2. Mix Well to make sure everything is blended.
  3. Marinate Chicken by rubbing this mix all over, especially under the skin. Let it sit in the fridge for about 2-4 hours.

Feel free to adjust spices to your taste or experiment with different herbs.


  1. Prepare the Chicken:

    • Clean and trim the chicken.
    • Pat it dry with paper towels.
    • Remove any giblets from the cavity.
  2. Marinate:

    • Mix olive oil, lemon juice, spices, herbs, and garlic in a bowl.
    • Apply the marinade under the skin and all over the chicken.
    • Place in the fridge for 2-4 hours to absorb the flavors.
  3. Preheat the Grill:

    • Set grill to medium-high heat (375-425°F).
    • Place a drip pan under where the chicken will cook.
  4. Cooking:

    • Insert fresh herbs, a lemon wedge, and half an onion into the cavity of the chicken.
    • Brush melted butter over the chicken skin.
    • Place the chicken on the grill with indirect heat:
      • For gas grills, turn off half the burners.
      • For charcoal grills, move coals to one side.
  5. Grill:

    • Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill.
    • Adjust vents to maintain a temperature of 350-365°F.
    • Grill for 60-75 minutes.
  6. Check Temperature:

    • Use an instant-read thermometer.
    • The internal temperature should reach 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  7. Rest the Chicken:

    • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
    • Rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Enjoy your perfectly grilled whole chicken!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips for Grilling

  • Use Indirect Heat: Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill. This helps it cook evenly without burning.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain the grill temperature between 350-375°F for the best results.
  • Resting Time: Let your chicken rest for 15-20 minutes after grilling to keep it juicy.

Tricks for Flavor

  • Brining: Soak the chicken in a brine overnight for extra moisture and flavor.
  • Dry Rub: Apply a mix of your favorite spices all over the chicken before grilling.
  • Marinade: Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs for a tasty marinade. Let the chicken sit in it for 2-4 hours.

Storing Leftovers

  • Cooling: Allow the chicken to cool before storing.
  • Refrigeration: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the chicken in freezer-safe bags. It will last for up to 3 months.


  • Slow and Steady: Reheat in an oven at 300°F until warmed through.
  • Microwave Caution: If using a microwave, cover with a damp paper towel to keep it moist.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Traditional Marinade: Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Rub it all over the chicken, especially under the skin. Let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours for the best flavor.

Spicy Chili-Lime: Combine chili powder, paprika, lime zest, honey, and cayenne pepper. This gives your chicken a zesty kick that’s hard to resist. Perfect for those who like a bit of heat.

Teriyaki Glaze: Brush your chicken with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic. This sweet and savory glaze works wonders on the grill and adds an Asian twist.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Salads: Pair your grilled chicken with a fresh green salad or a tangy coleslaw. The crisp veggies complement the juicy chicken perfectly.

  • Grain Bowls: Serve the chicken over quinoa or rice. Add roasted vegetables for a complete meal that’s both hearty and healthy.

  • Tacos: Shred the grilled chicken and tuck it into warm tortillas. Top with salsa, avocado, and a squeeze of lime for a fun, easy-to-eat option.

Mix and match these variations and suggestions to keep things exciting every time you grill a whole chicken. Happy grilling!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.