Pulled Chicken BBQ Recipe - Barbecued Whole Chicken

Pulled chicken is a great alternative to the long hours needed to make pulled pork. Chicken cooks faster and you'll still have tender, delicious meat that's perfect for a quick sandwich. This uses a whole chicken, but any part of the chicken can be used (chicken breasts, thighs, etc). White meat is healthier due to lower fat content, but dark meat tends to be juicier and more flavorful. Since everyone has a different preference, we cook a whole chicken.

What You Need

  • 1 whole chicken, cleaned

  • (Optional) Seasonings like salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

  • (Optional) chips for smoking - we suggest alder, maple, or oak, approximately 4 to 5 cups. Soak the chips in water for at least an hour before use. Just before using, drain them well and shake off the excess water. Wood chips should be damp, not wet.

Preparing the Chicken

  • Rinse the chicken under cold running water and thoroughly pat dry.

  • If using the seasonings, rub them onto the chicken both inside and out.

  • Then split the chicken down the back, and spread it to lie "flat(-ish)".

Barbecuing the Chicken

The key to great BBQ pulled chicken is to cook it "low and slow".

  • Set up the barbecue for indirect heat. This is important, as grilling on direct heat can burn the outside of the chicken before the inside is cooked through. Indirect heat will allow the chicken to roast in the BBQ as if it were an oven.

  • Preheat the barbecue to medium-low heat, around 225 to 250 degrees F.

  • Grease the cooking grate.

  • Set up a drip pan for your BBQ and add about 1 inch of water (or you can use beer or wine instead, if you like).

  • Add a couple of handfuls of wood chips to the hot coals. You'll probably need to replenish these throughout the cooking time.

  • Put the chicken on the BBQ, breast-side up.

  • Let the chicken cook, with the barbecue covered, until the internal temperature (taken at the thickest part of the thigh by the chicken breast) reaches 180 degrees F. Depending on the size of the chicken, we've found that it typically takes 1 to 2 hours. Keep the cover of the BBQ down unless you're adding more wood chips or checking to see if the chicken is done.

    If the skin of the chicken is a nice color before the chicken is ready, you can cover it loosely with tinfoil so that it stops browning.

If your BBQ has a beer can cooker or a rotisserie attachment, those can also be used to cook the chicken.

Let the chicken sit for 10 or 15 minutes before you start handling it. Shred with meat shredders, your hands or with a couple of forks, but don't shred too finely (otherwise it'll turn to mush when sauce is added). Add the sauce of your choice, pile high on a fresh bun, and enjoy! This pulled chicken BBQ recipe is just one of our .

 

 

About BBQGrillingGuide.com
This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!