In his recipe, Kenji Lopez-Alt says "Note: This recipe calls for a large chicken. Do not try it with a smaller chicken, as it will dry out too much while cooking." However, he doesn't explain why. I think this is basically reverse sear so I'm not sure how it would become too dry. I tried to post a question on the site, but for some reason it didn't get posted. When I cooked a smaller (3.5 lbs) chicken, it came out juicy and great.


  • Whole chicken
  • BBQ sauce
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Skewer


Spatchcock and dry brine chicken.

Mix coriander seed, pepper and garlic in a bowl and cover chicken a few hours before cooking.

Skewer chicken through thighs and beast with one skewer to help keep it together.

On the grill

Put coals on one side of grill and put chicken skin side up on cooler side, legs facing hotter side. Cook with lid closed until thickest part of breast is 120ºF or so.

Brush top of chicken with BBQ sauce.

Cook with top closed again for about 5 min until sauce starts to dry. Coat with more BBQ sauce and cover and cook until internal temperature is 135ºF - about another 5 min.

Flip the bird and put skin-side down on hot side of grill. Cover underside (now facing up) of bird with BBQ sauce and cook covered until breast registers 150ºF.

Rest for 10 min before carving.