There is something special about cooking a whole chicken. The flavors develop so well, the presentation looks fantastic, and it’s actually easier to keep the meat tender and juicy. I love roasting them whole in the oven, but (especially in summer), you may not want to fire up the oven for a couple hours. That’s when this grilled, Chicken Under a “Brick” recipe comes in so handy. You butterfly the chicken, so its flat on the grill, and then weight it down, so the meat cooks evenly, and quickly. Not only do you get all the benefits from whole roasting the chicken, but you pick up the great flavors that a grill provides as well. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success to Perfect Chicken Under a Brick

  1. If you don’t want to butterfly your chicken, ask the butcher at the store to do it, they’ll be happy too
  2. You don’t need bricks per se, but you should use something fairly heavy to weigh down the chicken, a cast iron skillet works great
  3. Make sure the chicken comes up to room temp, and season well before cooking
  4. Use medium heat on the grill, as the thickness of the chicken, and the bones, means the chicken will take time to cook through, and you don’t want to burn the outside
  5. Best way to tell when the chicken is done, is to use a meat thermometer, and make sure the center is 160 degrees in thickest part of the bird

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

  • One Chicken
  • 2 – 3 Bricks, or a large cast iron skillet, or some other weight; if using bricks wrap them in aluminum foil
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

How to Cook Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

  • Butterfly the chicken (or ask your butcher to do it) by running a heavy knife along both sides of the backbone (using kitchen shears may also help), breaking through the ribs, until the backbone is removed
  • The chicken will then open up like a book
  • Allow the chicken to come to room temperature, and season both sides liberally with salt & pepper – other spice rubs would work well too; In this version, I rub the chicken with butter & sage
  • Heat your grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes prior to cooking; if you’re using coals, maintain a hot side with the coals, and cooler side which you’ll use to cook the chicken
  • If you’d like to, you can halve the chicken as I do in this video, or keep it whole
  • Lightly drizzle the chicken with olive oil all over
  • Lay the chicken skin side down, on the medium temp grill (there should be a low sizzle), and then put the cast iron pan, brick (or other weight) on top of the chicken
  • Close the grill lid and allow the chicken to cook for 10 – 12 minutes, without flipping or moving the chicken; you do need to watch for major flame ups, but over medium heat with the lid closed you should be ok
  • After 12 minutes, take the weight off the chicken, and gently turn the chicken over; it should not stick, and the skin should be browned, and most of the fat rendered out; if not, continue to cook on the first side for another 4 – 5 minutes
  • Put the weight back on the chicken, and cook the second side for another 12 minutes with the lid closed
  • Take a temperature reading. You want the internal temp to reach 160 degrees. At this stage of cooking you should get a 10 degree increase about every 5 minutes in the closed grill
  • Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the grill, and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes
  • Then you’re good to slice it up and serve
Total Time: 
90minutes
Prep Time: 
45minutes
Cook Time: 
45minutes
Cuisine: 
American