How To Cook Perfect BBQ Roast Chicken

Perfect Basics - Whole BBQ Roast Chicken

Even with a plain old supermarket chicken, this technique will give good results, but if you can, get free range chickens - the flavour and texture justify the extra cost without a doubt.

  • 1 whole chicken - preferably free range
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 3 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 medium lemon, quartered
  • 1 tablesp olive oil
  • 3 tablsp chicken stock or water
  • salt & pepper for seasoning

  1. Make sure the chicken and the butter are at room temperature. If you've just taken the bird out of the fridge, you'll need to extend the cooking times to compensate.

  2. Put the garlic in the gut cavity, and then fold up the rosemary and thyme sprigs and shove them in as well.

  3. Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the cavity and then push in the lemon quarters. Drizzle in the olive oil as well.

  4. Use a small skewer to hold the opening of the stomach cavity closed.

  5. Use your hands to rub the butter into the skin of the chicken, making sure to get it all over. Wash your hands and then sprinkle a little salt over the chicken.

  6. Pre-heat your hooded BBQ to 210°C (410°F) and when it reaches temperature, put the bird on a baking rack in an oven tray, breast down and put it in the BBQ.

  7. After 20 minutes check that the bird is cooking evenly and adjust it's position if required. Add the 3 tablsp of stock or water to the tray. You also need to lower the BBQ temperature to 180°C (356°F).

  8. After another 20 minutes, check that the bird is cooking evenly and adjust if required. If the 3 tablsp of stock or water has evaporated, put in another 3 tablsp. Close the BBQ hood.

  9. After another 15 minutes check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, using a thermometer probe. Put the probe in approximately 3/4 of the way into the breast meat, making sure you don't go too far and hit bone.

  10. Keep checking every few minutes until the temperature is 74°C (165°F) and then turn off the BBQ, but leave the hood closed. Leave the chicken there for 20 minutes to allow the proteins to relax a little (i.e. the meat loosens up).

It's important to note here that salmonella bacteria die at 74°C (165°F)so do not turn off the heat if the chicken's internal temperature is less than this.

You've now cooked the perfect BBQ roast chicken - serve and enjoy.

Perfect Basics - Whole BBQ Roast Chicken - Advanced

Exactly the same process as above, but brine the bird for 6-12 hours before hand.

Once you take the bird out of the brine, pat it dry with paper and make sure it is at room temperature before proceeding with the above recipe.

Find out how how brining works, here.

Get some great brine recipes, here.

Now, this is a significant amount of planning and effort but if you have the time and the inclination, the end result is even better - you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

Other Perfect Basics

Perfect Steak - for steaks from beef, kangaroo, lamb, mutton, venison and goat.

Perfect BBQ Roast Beef - for large cuts of beef, kangaroo, lamb, mutton, venison and goat.

Perfect Chops - for pork chops and fillet (tenderloin).

Perfect BBQ Roast Pork - for large cuts of pork.

Perfect BBQ Roast Duck - for roasting whole duck.

Perfect BBQ Roast Turkey - for roasting whole turkey.

Perfect BBQ Roast Goose - for roasting whole goose.

Perfect BBQ Roast Pheasant - for roasting whole pheasant.

Perfect BBQ Roast Quail - for roasting whole quail.