How to Roast a Chicken on the Grill

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It’s hot. I mean, I love summer and all — sunny and 80 is perfect if you ask me — but days and days of weather that’s approaching the triple digits? It’s disgusting. And I’ve had enough. The thought of standing in my non-air-conditioned kitchen making a dinner that’s it’s basically too hot to eat anyway makes me want to cry. There’s absolutely no way I’ll be turning the oven on any time soon. And yet for some strange reason I’ve been craving roast chicken. Apparently the heat has made me lose my sanity.

Luckily, I have discovered a technique for making perfectly roast chicken on the grill. Crispy, crackly skin. Some of the juiciest breast meat that I’ve ever eaten. No need to turn on the oven. Does it get any better than that? Give it a try and you’ll immediately see why this has been my go-to recipe this summer.

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How to Roast a Chicken on the Grill
While you can certainly use traditional summertime flavors like barbecue on this chicken, I like to keep it simple with a little bit of butter, lemon zest and Herbs de Provence. That way, I can use the leftovers in a variety of ways throughout the week — salads and sandwiches are great in this stifling heat, but it’s also great in a simple soup. You don’t need any fancy equipment to roast this chicken (no need for a rotisserie or anything like that) but a pair of kitchen shears and an instant-read thermometer are helpful.
  • 1 3-to-4 pound roasting chicken, gizzards removed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 Tbs Herbs de Provence (optional)
  • Light the grill to a medium-high flame. Let heat for 10 minutes. Put the olive oil on a paper towel and rub down the grates of the grill (you can also use a piece of onion instead of the towel).

    Meanwhile, place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut the chicken in half along the right side of the backbone. Make a second cut along the left side of the backbone, allowing you to remove and discard it.

    Flip the chicken over so that the breast is facing up and gently press down on each side — the chicken should open up like a book and lay relatively flat. Rinse the chicken off, then pat dry. Rub the lemon zest into the skin and season with salt and pepper.

    Put the chicken on the grill, skin-side down (See photo #2). Cook for 10 minutes — the skin will turn golden brown and start to crisp up. Turn off one of your burners and turn the other down to medium. Flip the chicken over (Photo #3) and place it over the coolest part of the grill. Brush with a little bit of the butter and sprinkle with the Herbs de Provence. Put the grill lid down.

    Let the chicken roast — checking it every 10 minutes or so to ensure it doesn’t burn — for 30-40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 165F. If needed, flip back over onto the breast side and cook for another 5 minutes over a high flame to get the skin nice and crispy.

    Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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11 thoughts on “How to Roast a Chicken on the Grill”

  1. This reminds me a lot of the barefoot contessa method! I have been wanting to try this for Josh! The result is amazing.

    Your comment about the weights on my blog made me laugh 🙂 The instructors (and some of the participants) do lift a pretty heavy weights for a high rep class. But we all teach a lot so you kind of build up that strength!

  2. Crispy, crackly skin?! Wow, you just sold me on chicken skin, and I don’t even like chicken skin. I would grill chicken just for the charred skin!

  3. Since figuring out the magic of butterflying a chicken this is how I always cook them. Even in the oven as it cuts down on cooking time considerably.

  4. You’re craving roast chicken…I’m craving warm freshly baked bread…neither of us make any sense!

    Your chicken looks perfect though….I think I might start craving it now. Not good since i don’t have a grill!


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