How to Grill a Whole Chicken. Whole chickens are perfect for the grill, believe it or not. All you have to do is cut out the backbone and flatten the bird out, and the whole chicken is easier to cook and less likely to dry out than are cut-up pieces.
Prepare the Greek Lemon-Herb Marinade as directed in the Related eHow or use your own marinade. Divide it in half and reserve one half of it away from where you'll be preparing the chicken.
Rinse the chicken well under cold water, remove and discard the giblets and any excess fat, and pat the bird dry with paper towels.
Remove the wishbone if you can. The wishbone surrounds the inside opening of the neck cavity. To remove it, scrape the bone on both sides with a sharp knife, reach in and grab it with your fingers and pull it out.
Use a sharp set of poultry shears or a sharp knife to cut out the backbone. Do this carefully.
Use your shears or the knife to trim away any protruding rib bones once the backbone is out.
Flatten the chicken by bending the breasts and thighs back toward one another. If you like, you can make this easier by cutting out the "keel bone" located inside the cavity between the two breasts.
Cover the flattened chicken with half the marinade and refrigerate it for 2 to 4 hours.
Prepare a medium fire on the grill. Place the chicken on the grill with the bones facing down and the meat side facing up. Cook it on this side for about 7 to 10 minutes.
Start flipping the chicken at regular intervals, basting the skin with the reserved marinade as you do.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken - when the thermometer reads 160 degrees F, the chicken is done. Without a thermometer, use a paring knife to cut into the chicken at its deepest point or separate the thigh bone from the hip joint; if the meat is fully cooked and no longer translucent, it's done.
When grilling a whole chicken, the bones help the chicken hold its shape and retain flavor, and they also help the bird cook faster and more evenly. That's why it helps to start chickens on the grill with the bones facing the heat source.
Be sure to follow all safe food-handling procedures when working with raw chicken. Carefully clean everything the raw chicken touched, including your hands, cutting board and all utensils.