Grilled half chicken

Sometimes you are looking for that perfect grilled chicken recipe. We have it for you. You love to serve this wonderfully seasoned grilled half chicken. With this preparation and dry rub, the skin is nicely dry, and the meat wonderfully tender and juicy.

Of course, you can buy a half chicken direct from the poulterer, but you can do that yourself too. All you need is poultry or game shears and a sturdy chef’s knife. Cut the backbone of the chicken with the shears. We also cut the wingtips from the wings. There is hardly any meat on it, and it will only burn.

If you then turn the chicken, cut the chicken in half precisely through the centre of the breast with a sharp knife. It works best with a sharp knife. If the blade is not very sharp, you can help a little with a targeted blow on the knife with your other hand. Be careful that the knife does not shoot away. Most kitchen knife accidents happen when the blade is not sharp.

Then you mix the dry rub and work two tablespoons of it under the skin. From the top, you can easily remove the skin by making a small cut between the skin and the meat. 1 tablespoon of the rub goes on the skin. Place the chicken in a roasting tin with a wire rack and put it in the fridge overnight.

The salt in the dry rub ensures through osmosis that the chicken retains its moisture better during preparation. The same salt extracts the moisture from the skin so that it becomes crispy more easily.

This is the setup of our Kamado Joe Classic 3 when we prepare a whole chicken. We want a reasonably high temperature but an indirect preparation. That is why we only install half a plate setter. Make sure the legs are on the inside, closer to the heat. This way, they get slightly more heat than the breast meat. The lean meat of the chicken fillet should not exceed 70°C (158F); otherwise, the meat will become too dry. We prefer to cook the legs up to 85°C (185F) because of the more fat and tendons in the meat. At this temperature, the connective tissue has also become soft. You can eat the meat off the bone very easily.

You only know these core temperatures if you use a digital core thermometer. You insert the probe into the breast meat without hitting the bone. When the breast meat has reached 65°C (149F), we remove the plate setter.

When the plate setter is out, you can start grilling. Take a pair of tongs and turn the half chicken until the skin is nicely grilled and the meat is at the desired core temperature. Then let the chicken rest for a while.

Serve half a chicken with a plate of fries and mayonnaise. It won’t get any better.


  • A whole chicken
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp dried mustard
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic granulate
  • 1 tbsp dried ginger
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano


  1. Butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone, then cut the chicken in half by the breast.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle 2 tbsp of the dry rub under the skin of the chicken and a little over the skin.
  3. Leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 200°C (392F).
  5. Place the chicken on the grill with the legs facing the heat and insert a thermometer into the breast. Cook the chicken in the breast to a core temperature of 65°C (149F).
  6. Then grill the chicken on both sides over direct heat until you have crispy skin and the temperature is 70°C (158F) in the breast and 85°C (185F) in the legs.

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