Rotisserie Grilling: Barbecued Chicken

It’s I wrote a Cookbook week on DadCooksDinner!

To whet your whistle, here’s a sample recipe from Rotisserie Grilling. Rotisserie Chicken, with a spice rub and a BBQ sauce glaze. Enjoy!

—Start Excerpt—

Barbecued Chicken

I love real barbecue, pork shoulder and beef brisket cooked low and slow. But I’m a Northerner, so when I think of barbecued chicken, I think of thick, sweet, tomato based barbecue sauce.

The problem is, barbecue sauce burns. The high heat of the grill and the sugar in the sauce are a bad combination. I want a glaze on my chicken, not charred carbon. I wait until the last fifteen minutes of cooking, then brush on the sauce in a few layers. This is just enough time to caramelize the sugar in the sauce and thicken it into a tight glaze.


  • Sauce brush


  • 1 (4 pound) chicken

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

Barbecue Rub

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Fist sized chunk of smoking wood (or 1 cup wood chips)


1. Season, truss and spit the chicken

Whisk the barbecue sauce ingredients in a bowl, then set aside.

Mix the barbecue rub ingredients in a small bowl. Break up any clumps of brown sugar until it is completely mixed with the other spices. Sprinkle the chicken with the barbecue rub inside and out, patting it onto the chicken to help it stick. Gently work your fingers under the skin on the breast, then rub some of the barbecue rub directly onto the breast meat.

Fold the wingtips under the wings and truss the chicken. Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the chicken rest at room temperature until it is time to grill. Submerge the smoking wood in water and let it soak until the grill is ready.

2. Set up the grill for indirect high heat

Set the grill up for indirect high heat with the drip pan in the middle of the grill.

3. Rotisserie cook the chicken

Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the chicken. Add the smoking wood to the fire, then close the lid and cook until the chicken reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce every five minutes.

4. Serve

Remove the chicken from the rotisserie spit and remove the twine trussing the chicken. Be careful – the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve, passing the remaining barbecue sauce at the table.


  • If you have the time, use the barbecue rub as a dry brine. Rub the chicken the day before, and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
  • I make large batches of the rub and barbecue sauce. The rub keeps for about a year in the pantry, and the sauce keeps for a couple of months in the refrigerator.

—End Excerpt—

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

The book:

Rotisserie Grilling by Mike Vrobel

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  1. Hi Mike  – great photos, congratulations on the cook book!  I’ve been tempted to get a rotisserie for some time – I take it you’re using the standard Weber rotisserie fitting?

  2. Yes, I have Weber’s rotisseries; a kettle rotisserie attachment, and the rotisserie built into my Weber summit gas grill. I love them both, if you can’t tell…

  3. dad with young kids /

    Mike, great recipe. I tried this today and it was great. i have a smoke box with my Weber and also ran the smoker at the same time (hickory wood chips). You could taste the smoky flavor throughout and the chicken required only a thin coat of bbq sauce. One key is to lower the heat on the rotisserie as the smoker takes the temperature up a bit.

  4. Great recipe, can you tell us whats in the drip pan? Its kinda hard to make out from the pic.

  5. Nothing in the drip pan in this one…other than the leftover drippings from cooking the day before.

    Of Drip Pan Potatoes are
    always a good idea with chicken. The only reason I didn’t make them was the kids asked for mashed potatoes that day.

  6. Patrick /

    Making this today. :)

  7. Thanks Mike. It was great. I used the rub but didn’t use the sauce and it tasted wonderful. I’ll try the sauce next time.

  8. You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Adam /

    Thank you! was absolutely delicious. Tripled the rub recipe for two birds and stuffed ~5 cloves of garlic and half a lemon in each chicken. Will be making this again.

  10. Jeff Byrne /

    I was wondering if I could marinate the chicken in the sauce instead of the rub? I’m cooking this tomorrow for a second choice for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. If not will follow your instructions can’t wait to put on the rotisserie.

    • Don’t marinate the chicken in the sauce. The sauce has sugar in it, and will burn in the longer cooking time. Save it to brush on at the end.

  11. Hi Mike

    I went against your advice for the chicken. I mixed your sauce and rub together minus the sugar because we didn’t have it marinated over night. I cooked on the rotisserie for 2 hours at 350 then turned down to 300 for another hour. I used your your recipe entirely except sugar and I brushed on every half hour it turned out amazing. Kids want it again and my thanksgiving dinner had more chicken than turkey eaten. Fantastic mixture will be using more of your recipes in the future.

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