Ben’s Magic Butterflied BBQ Chicken

A BBQ purist will argue that the term “barbeque” refers to the low and slow style of southern American cooking, which turns even the cheapest cuts of meat into delicious, tender joy.

The Aussie BBQ should really be the Aussie grill, as it is the grill on which the shrimp is thrown.  Personally, I could care less, however more and more I am enjoying getting into the low and slow style of cooking.  Perhaps one day I’ll do a 18 hour pulled pork like Growchow (see Grochow’s BBQ Pulled Pork).  One day!

In the meantime there is the BBQ chicken.  This recipe combines a bit of both – low and slow(ish) with a quick grill at the end.  It also uses splayed chicken, which is probably my favourite way of cooking chicken.


  1. Buy a whole chook, brine overnight in a not quite so salty brine (see Ben’s Brining Tips)
  2. In the morning, splay the chook by cutting out its backbone (save this to fry up for chicken gravy/sauce at a later date)
  3. Put together some of DryStuff: Ben’s Magic Chicken Dry Rub
  4. Rub 2/3 of the rub all over the chook, both sides, and put it in the fridge until later
  5. Make up the Ben’s Magic BBQ Sauce
  6. Ok, so now it’s time for the low and slow part.  Get the chook out, drain the juice off of it and re-apply the magic rub
    • If you are using a gas cooker, turn one on high and get the BBQ up to about 130-140c.  then place the chook on the opposite side, and turn the gas down low.  You want it to cook on a grill on indirect heat.  My gas BBQ only has one control, so I use a hotplate on one side to try and get some indirect heat happening.
    • If you are using charcoal, do the same as the above, but place the charcoal all off to one side.
    • Place the chook on the grill skin side up for about 20 minutes, then flip for about 10.  Be careful to rotate so you don’t overcook one side of the chook.  Once it’s skin side up again, give it a quick baste with the BBQ sauce, and leave it
  7. Now for the hot and fast part. When the internal temp of the chook is about 65-72c (~1 hour ish), give the skin one more baste and put it on the hot grill skin side down.  Keep basting and turning and basting and turning basting and turning until the internal temp is 82c.  it is very important not to abandon the chook at this stage – the skin will burn at the drop of a hat, and the sugar in the sauce may catch fire (don’t worry, it looks good but won’t do any damage)
  8. Once cooked, set aside for 5 minutes, carve up and serve!  Keep some of the BBQ sauce spare to drizzle over the final product

Low and slow:


So good:






One comment on “Ben’s Magic Butterflied BBQ Chicken”
  1. Dians Cooks says:

    I wish i could grill because I love grilled anything! unfortunately I live in a small apartment

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