Chicken contains quite a bit of fat and has a tendency to burn if you leave the skin on the chicken. Removing the skin can help you avoid flame flare-ups when grilling chicken halves on a Weber charcoal or gas grill. Always place the chicken over indirect heat; this helps keep the chicken from drying out. Wait until the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time before applying glazes or barbecue sauce, as coating the chicken halves with sauce as you start to grill can cause the chicken to burn.
Prepare a brine to keep the chicken moist as you grill it. Brine keeps the chicken moist by drawing the blood and water from the chicken and replacing it with the brine. Mix 1 tbsp. sea salt and 1 tbsp. sugar for every 1 cup of water needed to fully immerse the chicken in the brine. Place the brine ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk until the sugar and sea salt completely dissolves.
Place the skinless chicken halves in a 2-gallon food storage bag. Pour the brine over the chicken and place the bag in the refrigerator for two to four hours, turning the bag over occasionally to ensure that the chicken remains immersed.
Turn the temperature to high on your Weber gas grill. Leave the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes to preheat the grill. For a charcoal grill, pour enough charcoal to cover the bottom, then stack the charcoal in a pile. Light the pile of charcoal and let the coals burn until they have an orange glow.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken with your choice of seasonings.
Turn the gas grill down to medium heat. Turn the center burners off, leaving the burners on each side of the grill burning.
For charcoal grills, divide the coals in half, pushing half of the coals to each side of the grill. Place an aluminum pan half-filled with water between the coals. Check the temperature of the charcoal by holding your hand about 3 inches above the grilling grate. Your Weber charcoal grill has reached medium heat, or about 325 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, when you can hold your hand above the grate for 5 to 6 seconds before needing to remove it.
Spray the grill grates with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken halves bone side down onto the grilling grate. Let the chicken cook in the closed grill for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Turning is not necessary, unless you want to brown the top of the chicken.
Check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. The chicken is done when the temperature reads between 170 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
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- “Steven Raichlen’s BBQ USA”; Steven Raichlen; 2003
Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.