Grillin’ yard bird, aka chicken, is not my favorite thing on the pit. But, seein’s how some of the clan enjoy ’em, I had to work up the easiest, best tastin’ way I could.
Now, what I like to do ’bout an hour before puttin’ the bird on the pit, is put ’em on a pan and drop a bit of olive oil on the pieces, rubbing all over into a light coat. Rinse your hands off or the oil gonna get all your spice jugs slippery!
Now here you could simply salt and pepper the chicken and call that good, but it wouldn’t be justice for your efforts. What I suggest, since I could never disclose my personal secret rub, is make sure you have a jug of Salt Lick Barbecue Rub, found at your local H.E.B. store. That there is good stuff, just be cautious of how much you rub on your meats. If you want it hot, use alot… if you want it mild, better be real stingy with the Salt Lick Rub. Now take a CLEAN/NEVER USED cloth diaper, or a dish towel (one that doesn’t shed) and drape lightly over your poultry. Slip that in the refrigerator for a while.
Now you can get the fire goin’ outside. Here is where you have to decide if you are using a direct heat, or indirect heat grillin’ device. I use “Ole Faithful” and he is a dandy little pit with a fire box on the side (indirect heat). If you are using direct heat, just build a fire in a separate bbq unit, or on the ground if safe to do so and no burn bans are in effect. Then add coals (using a shovel because them coals will burn ya) to your main cooking grill a bit at a time to maintain temperature.
In units with indirect heat, just get a good fire goin’ in the fire box. you’ll use the doors, vents, and lids to maintain temperature. Now the ideal temperature and grill time I have found is low and slow. This comes from the old days of growing up building the fire at 4am to eat a brisket at 5pm, but it works for birds and pork exceptionally well too. I bring the temp up to a 195 – 210 range, then go grab the bird from the fridge. Now, depending on how many pieces of chicken you have prepared, you could elect to bundle 2 or 3 pieces together or wrap each individual piece in some quality Reynolds Wrap. You want to do this in a manner so that the shiny side is toward the meat, and loose enough not to, pardon the expression, choke the chicken. It needs room inside to breathe and expand when the juices start plumping it all up full of flavor.
Place the wrapped pieces on the grill and close the lid. As long as you are maintaining the temp around 200F, no need to open the pit and lose your steady heat for about 45 minutes. At that time, open up the pit, and flip the bird bits over. close the lid, watching to make sure your temp comes back but doesn’t get to high. Give that about 25 minutes. Now is the time to get that foil out of the way to finish off the flavor. I generally give it about 15 -20 minutes without foil, but please use your meat thermometer to be safe if you are not certain it is done throughout. USDA minimum for chicken is 165F which means I give it to about 170-175!
Careful!! they are juicy and hot!! Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy 🙂