How to Cook Half Chicken on a Grill

How to Cook Half Chicken on a Grill

It’s commonly understood that grilled chicken boasts a delicious flavor, achieving both a crispy exterior and a juicy interior simultaneously. However, achieving this outcome is not always guaranteed. Grilling chicken, particularly when it’s a half chicken, to perfection can prove challenging. Thus, mastering the technique of grilling half a chicken for optimal results is essential.

Most of the time it may result in the product that is still raw from the center and burnt from the outside. This will happen as the fat in the bird’s skin melts and causes a flare-up. Along with it, chicken with bones may take longer to cook as compared to burgers or steaks. So you have to be very conscious while grilling chicken on the grill.

In this blog, we are going to share the details about how you can cook half chicken on the grill with some unusual tips.

How can you Cook Half Chicken on the Grill

Here is the recipe for grilling half chicken along with all the things you may require and important instructions.

Things you may need 

  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cutting board
  • Heavy wooden rolling pan
  • Boning knife
  • Chicken halves (bone-in and skin-on)
  • Paving bricks (one for every chicken half)
  • A gallon-sized resealable or zipped plastic food bags
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup of cider or citrus juice
  • 2 cups of buttermilk or yogurt

Preparation of the Chicken for Grilling 

Step: 1

First of all, you have to put chicken halves on the cutting board. Cut off the excess fats from these pieces and throw them away. But remember that you do not have to remove the skin from them.

Step: 2 

The joints of large wings are broken easily by pulling and tapping each flattened chicken half. You can also tuck the ends of the wings under the breast for easy breakage. Now you have to press hard in the downward direction to straighten the end of the wing under the breast. This method may help you to flatten a whole chicken to be cooked on the grill easily.

Step: 3 

Now you have to put all the spices with the marinating liquid and cover the chicken. If you have to marinate more than four chicken halves then double the marinade proportion. Put it into the fridge for at least two to three hours.

The marinade based on dairy usually moistens and tenderizes the chicken. If you are using a bowl then cover all of the chicken parts with marinade. However, sealing the chicken and liquid in a plastic bag is the best and quick way for the use of marinade effectively.

Step: 4 

Now remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on a plate for half an hour. Before cooking or grilling the chicken, it is important to bring it closer to normal or room temperature.

Grilling the Chicken

Step: 1 

In the very first step, you have to brush the topside of the grill with a thin layer of oil. The oil you are going to use may have a high smoke point like sunflower, safflower, or canola oil. It is best for maintaining the surface of the grill as non-sticky as possible.

Step: 2 

Now set the gas burners of the grill to medium-high and indirect heat. You can do this by turning off one or two of the various burners. In case you are cooking on a charcoal grill, it is important to build a fire that you may push to the edges of the grill bed to give more indirect cooking heat. While you aim to cook the chicken at a temperature of 350 to 400 degrees F.

Step: 3 

Wrap each of the paving bricks fully in the aluminum foil. Put these bricks on the edge of the grill rack for warming. This special chicken cooked under the weight of bricks is a Tuscan dish called “Pollo al Mattone”.

Step: 4 

Place the chicken pieces on the grill in such a way that they are skin-side down. By doing this, they will not touch each other and also not sit directly on the fire. Now put the bricks on the chicken pieces by pressing them closer to the grill.

Step: 5 

Now allow the pieces to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the cooked surface of the chicken is solid enough that you can flip the chicken pieces easily without tearing their skin. If you are using a gas grill you have to cover the chicken during cooking. The charcoal grill should also be covered but you have to check it after every 5 minutes because the fire may not be burning as evenly as gas does.

Step 6 :

Now turn over the chicken pieces and replace the bricks. Carry on cooking for about 8 to 10 minutes more or unless your instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast or thigh reaches about 165 degrees F.

Some Useful Tips to Grill the Half Chicken 

Here are some of the amazing tips to cook the half chicken on the grill.

  • Prevent the marinade recipes from high oil and sugar. As oil may cause flare-ups which results in burning chicken skin. Chicken may also be burned by high levels of sugar caramelization.
  • You must have a high and low heat region or side on your grill. You may need both of them to roll the chicken from one another side to get the perfect chicken.


You must have learned how to cook half chicken on a grill. The recipe given in this article is really helpful and easy to follow. You can also use it for cooking a whole chicken on the grill by doubling all the ingredients. So, go ahead and try this recipe today!


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