Now that it’s summer and the grill is ready to be used, one of my favorite things to make is rotisserie chicken. It’s easier than it looks and tastes delicious…even better than store-bought rotisserie chickens in my opinion.
The problem is getting the chicken to be cooked all the way through without burning the skin.
We had many unintentionally “blackened” chickens at my house until I learned the secret to grilling perfect rotisserie chicken. Keep reading to find out what it is!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Brining time: 3 – 4 hours
Grilling time: 1½ hours
Total time: 4½ – 5½ hours
What You Need
4 pound whole chicken
¾ cup salt
¾ cup sugar
5 or 6 springs of fresh thyme, or 1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
Pots and Utensils
Large pot with a lid
Grill with a rotisserie*
Pair of pliers
How To Put It Together
1. Add salt and sugar to the large pot.
2. Juice the lemons into the pot and throw in the lemons.
3. Add 1 gallon of water to the pot.
4. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar
5. Add the chicken with the breast side down (that’s the side with the wings on it).
6. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Prep The Grill
1. Remove the grilling racks from the area where the chicken will be cooking. This may not be absolutely necessary depending on your grill. But on mine, the chicken sometimes hits the grates which stops it from rotating, and then you end up with really crispy chicken on one side :)
2. Figure out where the chicken should go on the rotisserie spit. You want to be able to cook it over a burner that is turned off with another burner turned off. This is the secret to making perfect rotisserie chicken.
3. Position the first fork at the location where the end of the chicken will go.
1. To get the grill warmed up, turn at least 2 of the burners to high and close the lid.
2. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse with cold water to remove any extra salt from the outside.
3. Pat the chicken dry.
4. Sprinkle the pepper outside and inside the chicken. Note: Do not add salt…the salt from the brine will have already done this for you.
5. Put the thyme and garlic in the cavity of the chicken.
6. Lay the chicken down with the breast side up (wings down).
7. Tuck the wings behind the back of the chicken.
6. Run the rotisserie spit through the back of the chicken (the end with the wings) so that it fits tightly within the fork tines.
7. Add the second fork to the front of the chicken. Push it in as much as you can. Make sure that the ends of the drumsticks are caught inside the fork tines. Tighten the screws on the forks as tight as you can (I usually use a pair of needle nose pliers). Note: You can also tie the drumsticks around the spit, but since I never seem to have string available, this is the method that I use.
8. Stick the free end of the rotisserie spit into the rotisserie motor on the grill.
9. Turn off the burner that the chicken is over. This is very important to prevent it from burning! The other side should still be on high.
10. Click the button on the side of the motor to start the rotisserie turning motion.
11. Close the lid on the grill.
12. After about 20 minutes, check to make sure that the skin is not burning. If it is turn the lit burner down to medium heat.
13. Cook for 1½ – 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165° F.
14. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Carve and serve your perfect rotisserie chicken!