The Cast Iron Trick For Perfectly Grilled Chicken Every Time

spatchcocked chicken in skillet, lemon
spatchcocked chicken in skillet, lemon - Ilia Nesolenyi/Getty Images

The temperature is heating up which can only mean one thing -- the grills are ready to heat up too. As you gear up for a summer season of cooking and eating in the sunshine, it's important to brush up on your barbeque skills and revitalize classic grilling recipes. So if you're looking for a way to upgrade a cookout favorite, whole chicken, we have a trick for you.

Your cast iron pan is not only the go-to piece of cookware for durable stovetop sautéing and oven roasting, but the heavy pan can help bring a nice, even char to your grilled whole chicken. But you're not placing the chicken inside the cast iron skillet. Similar to roasting chicken under a brick, this method involves simply placing your cast iron skillet on top of the chicken as it cooks on the grill. The weight of the pan will push the bird against the grill grates, helping to cook the chicken evenly, giving it those perfect seared grill marks and a fantastically crispy skin.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Preparing Your Chicken For The Cast Iron Grill Method

grilled spatchcocked chicken, spatula
grilled spatchcocked chicken, spatula - AVN Photo Lab/Shutterstock

By using a cast iron skillet, you avoid having to manually press your chicken against the grill with a spatula continuously, ensuring the chicken is evenly cooked throughout all its different parts -- and freeing you up to do other things. But to get the best results possible, you'll need to grill your chicken whole with the spatchcock technique. Spatchocking involves cutting down the chicken's ribcage along the backbone to open it up into a butterfly shape, so the entire chicken's exterior surface area and insides are exposed to the hot grill. It'll take a few tools and a bit of butchering, but it's necessary for this method to work its best. It's just a little more effort in exchange for a huge payoff.

After you spatchcock the chicken, wipe it clean and completely dry with paper towels, slather it in oil, and prep it with your desired seasonings. It's best to begin with the chicken skin-side down on the grill, starting on a lower flame so you don't skortch the skin. Although you will eventually flip it and use the cast iron skillet to press down on the other side, starting skin-side down will help the skin get ultra-crispy first while locking in the chicken's natural juices, making for a moist, tender bird.

Use The Cast Iron To Cook A Side Dish At The Same Time

roasted potatoes in cast iron skillet
roasted potatoes in cast iron skillet - Rudisill/Getty Images

With this trick, the cast iron skillet is used only for its brick-like weight to press and hold the chicken down, but that doesn't mean it isn't available for its primary use. You can kill two birds with one stone -- or rather, one bird and one side with one pan -- by using the cast iron skillet to roast something else, like baby potatoes or a sturdy grilling vegetable like onions, mushrooms, or bell peppers. Plus, the extra weight from those ingredients will help press the chicken down onto the grill even more.

When you close the grill, the potatoes or veggies will roast and be infused with smoke on all sides, making for a hearty side dish infused with the aroma of your brilliantly grilled spatchcocked chicken. So if you thought you'd figured out everything the do-it-all cast iron skillet could do, now you have one more way to put it to good use. Take your grill game to the next-level and create your crispiest, juiciest chicken yet by trying out this cast iron weight trick. It's sure to be one of your best grilled chicken recipes ever.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal