Charcoal Grill Recipe For Roasting Whole Poultry

Charcoal grill recipes for roasting whole chickens or turkeys. The best way to arrange charcoal briquets.

With a little forethought and planning, you can grill whole chickens or turkeys successfully, without them ending up raw on the inside and charred on the outside.

Your goal in this arrangement is consistent and uniform indirect heat. Indirect simply means that your food cooks from the heat inside the grill, as opposed to over the hot coals directly underneath your food.

The mesh size of most grills can be too coarse for long term cooking, because your valuable hot briquettes may fall through much too quickly. You can achieve a finer mesh by placing a piece of finer mesh metal directly on top of your existing fire grate. An old heavy-duty pizza screen will do, or check your hardware store for possibilities.



The first step is to take a piece of aluminum foil the length of your grill, and slightly curl the edges up. This is your drip pan. Any cooking juices will fall on the drip pan rather than hot coals, avoiding flare-ups. Lay your drip pan directly on your fire grate, and begin placing the charcoal briquettes along side the foil on two sides. Gradually build up a layer of briquettes approximately 6 deep along both sides, taking care to keep the level under that which the cooking grate will be placed. You will probably use 3-4 pounds of briquettes. The briquettes should be nestled tightly to each other, just touching the foil line.

Squirt charcoal liberally with lighter fluid and ignite both sides. Check after 10 minutes to see that both side have been lit. When both sides are ash gray, but glowing red underneath, place your cooking grate on the grill, and preheat five minutes.

Place your whole chicken or turkey on the center of the cooking grate, over the foil drip pan. Close lid of grill tightly, leaving all vents approximately 1/3 of the way open. Roast for the recommended cooking time, without opening lid if possible.

Sample recipe: Rinse and pat dry one whole roasting chicken. Smear inside liberally with crushed garlic, lemon juice, and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Rub outside of chicken with 2 Tablespoons softened butter and sprinkle outside with seasoned salt.

Roast on grill as directed above about 1 hour and 20 minutes for a 5 pound chicken, adjusting roasting time accordingly for different sizes. Check for doneness but wiggling a drumstick, it if feels loose, the chicken is done. Do NOT pierce with a knife or fork, you will lose valuable juices.

Using strong tongs, lift bird carefully, and allow any juices in the cavity to run out onto the drip pan. Let rest on a platter about 20 minutes before carving or slicing.

© High Speed Ventures 2011