How to grill half chicken: A quick and easy recipe

Searching for a delicious and easy to make meal but don’t have any ideas? Read our article to find out the tastiest recipe on how to grill half chicken. Along with BBQ sauce, this affordable BBQ grilled chicken halves recipe is perfect for dinnertime and will be the highlight of the evening.

Why should you choose to grill the chicken halves?

  1. Chicken is an affordable type of meat, so it won’t cost you much to feed a big company.
  2. It cooks fast, so no need to wait a long time. Unlike the whole chicken, half chickens will be ready in just a few minutes. That applies to large chickens as well.
  3. When you cook chicken on the grill, it is easy to make sure the entire piece is cooked nicely, and you can see when it is time to take the half chickens off the grill.
  4. Perfect idea for a tasty meal with zero olive oil or butter added. The crispy skin crust and tender meat inside without adding extra fat unlike fried chicken.
  5. Cooking the grilled chicken halves will satisfy any fussy person as the meat will stay moist and tender. This grilled half chicken recipe will be the highlight of any party or family gaining.

Bear in mind, the breast pieces will be cooked sooner than thigh pieces.

The ingredients for the recipe

Below is the list of ingredients you will need for this delicious meal prep.

  1. The whole chicken or a couple of half chicken. It all depends on the size of your grill and the amount of people you are going to be cooking for. If your grill can fit more than just two chicken halves, get more.
  2. The dry rub, which usually includes all the most common seasoning suitable for chicken meat: Kosher salt, smoked paprika and black pepper.
  3. Our favorite barbecue sauce. This ingredient isn’t mandatory to have, you can use any sauce of your choice, but in all honesty the grilled chicken coated in a BBQ sauce, is the perfect mix.

What will you need for this recipe?

Let’s look at the kitchen utensils you will need for making this meal.

  1. A small pan, that you will use for making a homemade BBQ sauce.
  2. A brush for grill, to make sure your grill is clean straight after the meal prep.
  3. Poultry shears will help you to make precise cuts of the chicken, even through a breast bone.
  4. A cutting board, where you are going to be cutting chicken in half.
  5. A knife. Make sure it’s sharpened before you start cooking.

Detailed instructions on how to grill half a chicken

You will achieve great results in making one of the most delicious meals following these simple steps:

Step 1

Using the poultry shears you have to make a cut through a breast bone.

Step 2

Turn the chicken up side down and cut from the other side. You will find it easier to do the cuts from the inside of the chicken.

Step 3

The cartilage that is holding the bones together will have to be cut out and removed.

Step 4

Once you cut the chicken in half, place it on top of the board and make the halves flat, by pushing on them with your hand. Dry the half chicken, using the paper towels.

Step 5

Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cover both halves of the chicken. Then add some of your favorite BBQ sauce,kosher salt, smoked paprika and other seasoning, gently rubbing them in.

Step 6

The charcoal grill has to be set up in a way of the indirect heat and the internal temperature of the grill has to be set up to 350 degrees.

Step 7

Place the chicken halves on your grill, the skin side down. Most grilled chicken recipes forget to mention to use medium heat, otherwise you risk getting a burnt meal. The chicken has to be cooked skin side up for about 20 minutes. Flip the chicken and wait about the same amount of time for the other side.

Step 8

Once the internal temperature of the grilled half chicken getting closer to 165 degrees you can add some more BBQ sauce at this stage, using a brush.

Step 9

When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and your grilled half chicken is ready, leave it out for about 10 minutes before serving.

Some preparation tips

Below are some valuable tips and tricks you have to know to help you to make the most delicious grilled chicken.

  1. Some leftover raw pieces of the whole chicken can be used for making a stock.
  2. If you aren’t going to use the raw pieces of the whole chicken right away, they can be put in the freezer, so you can use them later. Remember, the chicken meat can be frozen once only. If you had taken it out and didn’t use, you can freeze it again only after cooking the chicken.
  3. To make the taste of the grilled chicken halves richer, it is best to marinade them before cooking. Usually, leave the rubbed with seasoning half chicken pieces in the fridge for a day.
  4. Watch the temperature of your grill. The medium heat will ensure you don’t burn the chicken halves.
  5. If you cook a few grilled half chickens, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. The freezer will keep them for up to 3 months.

How long do I grill chicken halves for?

Despite the type of the grill, the average time of cooking the grilled half chicken is about 20 minutes for the skin side and the same amount of time for the other one.

Monitor the temperature inside the grilled chicken for getting juicy chicken with crispy skin.

Once it reaches 165 degrees, the grilled half chicken is ready to be served.

Should I marinate half chicken?

More and more grilled chicken recipes have the marinating step. Using such ingredients as BBQ sauce, kosher salt, olive oil and smoked paprika, your grilled half chicken will get the extra tenderness and juiciness.

Below is the process of marinating the chicken halves.

  1. Mix all the ingredients such as kosher salt, chopped garlic cloves, chili powder, brown sugar, a bit of vegetable oil and some BBQ sauce, in a bowl.
  2. After you cut chicken in half, rub the mixture into the pieces.
  3. Place the chicken into the airtight container and leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The longer you wait, the richer the taste will be.
  4. Before cooking the grilled half chicken, take the airtight container out of the fridge and let the chicken reach the room temperature.

How do I check whether the chicken is ready?

We recommend checking the temperature inside the grilled half chicken, using a special digital thermometer. Usually it is pretty accurate. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, the chicken is cooked.

It is important to watch the chicken and cook at the medium heat as it gets burnt fast.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can try another method of checking whether chicken meat is ready or not. Cut a piece of chicken closer to the bone, the meat must be white. If you see any blood or pink meat, leave the chicken cooking for longer.

What do I serve it with?

The best way of serving your juicy meat of grilled half chicken is by adding green salad, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes. You can also serve a loaf of bread, a grilled corn and biscuits.

This type of meal is perfect because you can add anything of your choice to it, and it will go well with grilled chicken.

Can I store a grilled half chicken?

You can leave your grilled chicken in the fridge as long as you use a container with a plastic wrap on top. It will be okay for up to three days.

You can also debone your chicken, so it is easier to warm it up the next day.

Another idea is to chop the meat and keep it that way, so it can be used in other meals like chicken salad or chicken soup.

You can also freeze cooked chicken meals for up to three months.

If we are talking about raw meat, after being defrosted, raw chicken meat must be cooked. If you have taken out, cut chicken in half, but didn’t get round to cooking it, you can’t put it back into the freezer. Cook it first, then you can freeze the cooked meal for up to three months.


How do I cook a half chicken on a Weber gas grill?

The Weber gas grill is no different to any other grill. The main point is to avoid cooking chicken over the direct heat, otherwise the sides will get burnt. The usual time to grill skin side is about 20 minutes. Then you flip the chicken and grill the other half for the same amount of time.

Once the temperature inside the chicken gets to 165 degrees, your meal is cooked and ready to be served.

How long does half a chicken breast take to grill?

A chicken breast is a very tender piece of chicken. You should be very careful when cooking it, because it is easy to burn the meat. Each side will take around 5 to 10 minutes to be grilled. Don’t forget to turn the chicken breast while cooking.

How long does it take to half cook chicken?

Eating a half cooked chicken isn’t recommended. You can get food poisoning caused by bacteria that leaves in raw poultry meat. Make sure your chicken meal is fully cooked.

To determine whether chicken is cooked or not, you can either use a thermometer to check the temperature inside the chicken, which must be at least 165 degrees, or slice a piece of chicken to see whether there is blood left. The chicken meat is cooked when its color is white.

Also useful to read: How to Grill Chicken Breast on a Pellet Grill and How to Grill Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs.

At the end

This recipe is a great as it is a real savior if you have unexpected visitors and is also perfect for family dinner. It is fast to be cooked, affordable and absolutely delicious. You can always improvise with the taste by adding extra ingredients, including kosher salt, and making your own dry rub mix.

If you liked our recipe, share it with your friends. If you still have any questions left, post them in the comment section below the article.

If you’re grilling chicken on a flat top grill, it’s helpful to know how to clean a flat top grill.

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