ZESTY GRILLED SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN, ROASTED BACON & BRUSSELS SPROUTS, and SKILLET CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE (all on the grill)

Zesty Grilled Spatchcock Chicken, roasted bacon & Brussels sprouts, skillet chocolate chip cookie
This complete meal was cooked up on the pellet grill at 375 degrees.

This post is sponsored by Kingsford and I used Kingsford Wood Pellets for cooking all of these recipes in this post.

Most folks who cook on the grill primarily use it for meats. While cooking meat on the grill is my jam, just know you can use your grill to cook other foods as well. In this post, I put together a whole meal you can cook on one grill at the same cooking temps throughout. We start with a zesty spatchcocked chicken, then bacon & Brussels sprouts, and then finish it off with a skillet chocolate chip cookie for dessert! I will break down the cooking for each dish separately and all recipe cards will be at the end of each section. Used Kingsford wood pellets for each of these recipes

Grilled Zesty Spatchcock Chicken

Zesty Grilled Spatchcock chicken coming off the grill.
This zesty grilled spatchcock chicken getting pulled off the grill when internal temp of white meat reaches 161 degrees (carryover temps take it to 165).

In the BBQ world, chicken doesn’t get as much love as it should. Don’t get me wrong, I do love me a good brisket and some pulled pork, but spatchcock chicken is a winner to cook because not only is it super flavorful, but it’s also cheap to buy and quicker to grill.

Before you cook the chicken, it is important to note that you will want to brine the bird overnight. I suggest you buy your chicken the day before and brine it before you go to bed. Brining helps bring more flavor to the bird and adds much needed moisture to the white meat parts. You can do either a wet or dry brine, but for this recipe I’m using a wet brine. Simply get a food grade bucket (preferably five gallon size) and fill it with two gallons of water, one cup of kosher salt, one cup of sugar, a couple of tablespoons of Santa Maria seasoning, and a cut up lime. Stir these ingredients together and place the chicken in brine. Place bucket in fridge to keep cool for at least 18 hours. NOTE: you don’t have to spatchcock the chicken for the brine as this can be done afterward.

Pouring Kingsford wood pellets into the hopper of my pellet grill.
Pouring Kingsford wood pellets into the hopper of my pellet grill. Note that I used the Classic blend (hickory, oak, and cherry).

When it’s time to cook your grilled zesty spatchock chicken, make sure you have begun to preheat your pellet grill to 375 degrees on indirect heat using Kingsford Wood Pellets (I used the Classic blend of hickory, oak, and cherry). Also, take the bird out of the bucket and rinse it off. This way, the bird doesn’t taste too salty. Once done, place on a large cutting board.

To spatchcock, the bird, get a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp chef’s knife. Either way, make sure you use a sturdy, sharp blade. turn the chicken on it’s front and press down hard on the spine. Doing this will help break bones in the back of the chicken and make it easier to cut. Then take your scissors (or knife) and cut along one side of the spine from bottom to top. Repeat on the other side of the spine. Once this is done, turn the bird back over and make sure the legs fold inward (they will be much looser since disconnected from the spine).

Prepping the zesty grilled spatchcock chicken by applying some zesty Italian dressing.
After rinsing off the brine, spatchcock the chicken and apply some zesty Italian dressing along with some Santa Maria seasoning.

With the bird spatchcocked, it’s time to make it zesty! Get a bottle of zesty Italian dressing and pour over the chicken, enough to cover the whole bird. the zesty Italian dressing is runny so you shouldn’t have to use a ton. Spread with either your hand or with a basting brush. Then bust out the seasoning and put on a moderate amount. I like to use Santa Maria seasoning, but feel free to personalize this recipe and use whichever seasoning or rub floats your boat.

Now that the bird is spatchcocked and seasoned, it’s time to place on the grill. Make sure to place the chicken on one side of the grill with enough space to add the pan (or skillet) of bacon & Brussels sprouts (we’ll get to the side dish very soon). Cook the chicken until internal temp at center of the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 161 degrees. This could take just over an hour. I like to spritz the bird once or twice with a 50/50 mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar.

Applying some Italian dressing to the spatchcock chicken while on the grill.
Apply another round of zesty Italian dressing to the spatchcock chicken with about 30 minutes to go.

With about 20-30 minutes left in the cook, I like to apply another round of zesty Italian dressing to the spatchcock chicken to help the flavor cook in. When bird reaches 161 degrees in the white meat portion, remove the spatchcock chicken from the grill and place on a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes prior to slicing. This is done to help the moisture build up inside for maximum juicy flavor. Also, the meat will get a few degrees hotter due to carryover temps and will reach the desired 165 degrees the USDA recommends for poultry.

Yield: 6 servings

Zesty Grilled Spatchcock Chicken

Zesty Grilled Spatchcock Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken on the grill and getting great flavor is simple to achieve with this recipe! Brine overnight, season with zesty Italian dressing and Santa Maria seasoning and you'll have one tasty bird to feast on!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • FOR BRINE:
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 Cup kosher salt
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Santa Maria seasoning
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • FOR GRILL:
  • 1 whole chicken (around 5 lbs)
  • 1/2 Cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Santa Maria seasoning

Instructions

  1. Brine whole chicken by combining water, kosher salt, sugar, seasoning, and lime in a large food-grade bucket. Place chicken in brine and place in fridge overnight.
  2. Once brining is done, remove chicken from brine and rinse. Preheat grill to 375 degrees over indirect heat. Spatchcock chicken by removing spine from the back. Flip chicken over and apply zesty Italian dressing and Santa Maria seasoning. Place on grill. Spritz occasionally with mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Apply zesty Italian dressing with about an hour in. Cook until internal temp in thickest part of white meat reaches 161 degrees (carryover temp will get bird up to 165). Rest 15 minutes before carving.

Notes

1. This can be cooked on a pellet grill, regular grill with indirect heat, or even the oven. For best results, cook on grill to get wood smoke-infused flavor.

2. If you don't have Santa Maria seasoning, then your favorite seasoning or rub for chicken will work just fine.

3. You can spatchcock chicken either before or after the brine.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

6 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 0.1gFiber: 0gProtein: 40g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Roasted Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

Roasted bacon & Brussels sprouts finishing up on the grill.
If you didn’t like Brussels sprouts before, this recipe just might change your perspective!

Folks seem to have a love – hate relationship with Brussels sprouts. I used to despise them for a long time, but that was before I learned how to cook them right. When Brussels sprouts are cooked properly, they will change the way you perceive the green vegetable. Adding bacon sure helps, too!

The key to eating a tasty dish of bacon & Brussels sprouts is to roast them. This can easily be done on your grill when cooked in a pan or baking sheet. To prep the Brussels sprouts, take one pound of them and peel off the outer leaves and discard. Rinse off the Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Then cut the sprouts in half with a knife and place in a bowl. Also put any extra leaves that fall off in the bowl, too (they get crunchy roasted easily and taste good). In the bowl, drizzle olive oil, a quarter of a freshly squeezed lime, kosher salt, and minced garlic. Mix together. I like to use a smaller baking sheet that fits one pound of cut up Brussels sprouts perfectly. Before placing sprouts on baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil on there so they don’t stick. Now put the sprouts on there in one even layer. Cut up four strips of thick cut bacon in 1/2 inch squares or 1×1/2 rectangles (like I did). spread evenly over the baking sheet, preferably on the surface of the sheet where space between Brussels sprouts can be found.

Bacon & Brussels sprouts ready to hit the grill.
Bacon & Brussels sprouts ready for roasting on the grill.

Place the sheet of bacon & Brussels sprouts on the grill next to the zesty Italian spatchcock chicken and cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping sprouts over once during the cook. Keep the grill temp at 375 degrees. Do this to get more of that roasted texture on both sides. That extra crust will add to the experience. If the roasted bacon & Brussels sprouts are finished before the chicken is ready, then cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and keep warm in your oven. No one wants cold, soggy, Brussels sprouts. I’m certain you will love the flavor of this side dish and you’ll want to roast your Brussels sprouts from now on!

Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are a great way to eat this vegetable. But add bacon and garlic to them and you've got a side dish worth diving into! NOTE: this recipe can be cooked on either the grill or oven.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 4 strips thick cut bacon, cut into 1x1/2 inch rectangles
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Instructions

1. Preheat grill to 375 degrees over indirect heat. Prep Brussels sprouts by removing outer leaves and slice sprouts in half. Combine in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and kosher salt. Mix and place on a greased 9x12 baking pan. Place cut up bacon slices on pan mixed with Brussels sprouts.

2. Place on grill and cook for 25 minutes, turning sprouts over halfway through to get roasted flavor on both sides. Remove when done and serve.

Notes

1. Feel free to substitute cast iron skillet for baking sheet.

2. Keep excess leaves from Brussels sprouts in mix and cook. They make for nice little crunchy pieces to snack on.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

3 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Skillet chocolate chip cookie fresh off the grill and topped with the essentials.
Skillet chocolate chip cookie fresh off the grill and topped with the essentials.

What better way to top off an epic grilled meal than with a giant chocolate chip cookie you cooked on the grill? This one is fun to make. You simply need a medium or large-sized cast iron skillet and a chocolate chip cookie recipe. For this skillet chocolate chip cookie, I start by combining a stick of room temperature butter, a half cup of sugar, and a one-fourth cup of brown sugar and mix in a bowl (I like to use my stand mixer for this). Then I crack an egg and pour it in along with a teaspoon of vanilla (I prefer Mexican vanilla because I like the subtle difference in flavor) and mix some more. After that is done, I drop in 1 1/4 Cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix. Then I pour in half a bag of chocolate chips (about two cups) and mix some more.

Chocolate chip cookie dough pressed evenly into the skillet and ready to hit the grill.
Chocolate chip cookie dough pressed evenly into the skillet and ready to hit the grill.

Now that the cookie dough is ready, I take a cast iron skillet that is roughly 10 inches in size and rub in a light layer of vegetable oil. Next, I put enough cookie dough in to create an even layer along the bottom of the inside of the skillet. You will most likely have some excess cookie dough. Just consider that bonus cookies. Since your pellet grill is likely still on and those Kingsford wood pellets are keeping that aroma going, place the skillet on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until you see the edges show the very first signs of browning. It may seem a little early to pull out but remember that cast iron skillets hold heat for a long time and that will keep the cookie cooking for a little bit after it’s been pulled out.

To serve, you can either grab a plastic spatula and carefully scrape out of the skillet and eat it that way (whether you slice it into pizza-like slices or eat whole is up to you) or eat it right out of the pan. For me, I like to keep the skillet chocolate chip cookie in the pan and top it with vanilla ice cream and drizzle caramel and chocolate syrups on top. You can grab a few spoons and share with your family and friends or just take one spoon and keep it to yourself (once again, up to you. I won’t judge).

Yield: 6 servings

Skillet Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie

Skillet chocolate chip cookie fresh off the grill and topped with the essentials.

Take your chocolate chip cookie to the next level by cooking the cookie dough in a cast iron skillet on your grill with a touch of hickory smoke! And topping with ice cream when done! Note: can be done in either grill (indirect heat) or oven.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups chocolate chips
  • FOR TOPPINGS:
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • chocolate syrup, to taste
  • caramel syrup, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to 375 degrees on indirect heat. In a mixing bowl, place butter, sugar, and brown sugar and mix. Then add vanilla and egg. Mix. Finally, add flour, baking soda, salt and mix. Finally, add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
  2. Press cookie dough evenly into medium-to-large greased cast iron skillet and put on grill. Cook for 10 minutes or until edges start to get light brown. Remove and rest five minutes before topping with ice cream and syrups (chocolate and caramel).

Notes

1. This recipe is designed for cooking indirect heat on a grill, but can be done in an oven.

2. Cast iron skillet with hold heat for a while, so remove cookie when edges are light brown because cookie will continue to cook for a little longer.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

8 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 590Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 2.5gSugar: 40gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

BBQ PULLED PORK NACHOS

BBQ Pulled pork nachos are a big hit for families and parties!
BBQ pulled pork nachos are a big hit as either an appetizer or a main dish!

Whenever I smoke a pork shoulder (aka- pork butt) for my family, I end up with a lot leftover. Since there are five of us in my family and seven pounds of pork, we usually have some left. Good thing with pulled pork is that it reheats very well. Probably the best out of all of the BBQ meats. One of my favorite things to do with leftover pulled pork is making BBQ pulled pork nachos! Easy to make and can be served up as either an appetizer or a main dish.

Nacho Necessities

When I make BBQ pulled pork nachos, I prefer to do them in a large cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a good-sized cast iron, then feel free to use something else that you feel comfortable cooking with on the grill. With that said, grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and put down a single layer, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Layers of nachos put together and ready to hit the grill.
Layers of nachos put together and ready to hit the grill.

Next, add the pulled pork. I recommend grabbing a handful and dispersing evenly across the chips. Then I grab a can of black beans, drain the juice out of the can, then grab a handful and spread around in the skillet. Then I grab a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and spread around. Finally for this layer, I drizzle BBQ sauce on top. Add another layer of tortilla chips and simply repeat the layering of the same ingredients. Put on the preheated grill at 350 degrees over indirect heat using hickory wood. Cook for 10-15 minutes then remove for the final steps.

Can I cook this in the oven?

Absolutely! If you don’t feel like going outside and getting your grill going, you can totally cook up these BBQ pulled pork nachos inside in your oven. You won’t get that hint of hickory smoke flavor in the whole dish, but it’ll still taste pretty dang good.

The finishing touches

Dice up some avocado and cilantro for finishing touches. Jalapenos optional, but encouraged.
Dice up some avocado and cilantro for finishing touches to your BBQ pulled pork nachos. Jalapeños optional, but encouraged.

Once you’ve pulled the skillet of BBQ pulled pork nachos off the grill (or out of the oven), dice up some cilantro and avocado to sprinkle on the top. We do this after it cooks so these ingredients don’t get browned and wilted. If you want to spice them up a little, put some pickled jalapenos on top as well. I love keeping the nachos as they are in the skillet because it maintains that authentic, visual effect. I do recommend you grab a handful before serving to your family and/or guests because they will vanish fast!

The video!

Coming soon!

The recipe!

Yield: 8-10 servings

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

BBQ pulled pork nachos are an excellent use of leftover pulled pork. They can be served up as either an appetizer for a small crowd or a main dish for a small gathering.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 2 Cups pulled pork
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Cup black beans
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tsp cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 Cup jalapeños, pickled

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees over indirect heat using hickory wood. Place layer of tortilla chips in large cast iron skillet, covering the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle on a cup of pulled pork, cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of black beans, and drizzle 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Add another layer of tortilla chips and add rest of pulled pork, shredded cheese, black beans, and BBQ sauce.
  2. Place skillet on grill and cook for 10-15 minutes. Dice up cilantro and avocado and put on top of nachos. Add jalapeño to spice it up.

Notes

1. This can be cooked in the oven. It won't have that hint of hickory smoke flavor, but will still be tasty.

2. Feel free to add other ingredients such as diced onions, tomatoes, etc.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10 servings

Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 225gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1000mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2.5gSugar: 12gProtein: 20g

NOTE: nutrition information isn't always accurate.

BBQ Essentials 2.0!

Another year, another BBQ essentials list! Not to say that the items I shared last time are completely obsolete, but I want to add to the previous list. Consider it an addendum to the previous BBQ Essentials list. Check out more products that I love to use when grilling and BBQing!

Thermapen Mk4

Don’t overcook food again!

For those of you that follow me either here on this website or on Instagram, you’ll know how much I swear by using a digital thermometer. I like to cook by temp, not time. Every animal has lived a different life, meaning the meat off of one animal may be tougher than another, which can lead to the same cut of meat cooking longer than another. With that said, I use my Thermapen Mk4 from Thermoworks on every cook I do. I get fast, accurate temps and backlit, rotating display that changes with the various angles I use to probe. And with how frequent I have used it over the past couple of years, I haven’t even had to change the battery.

You can get your very own Thermapen at the Thermoworks website.

Gloveworks HD Nitrile Gloves

The unique texture on these nitrile gloves helps provide a better grip, even when handling greasy food.

I’m constantly asked what kind of gloves I use in my video posts on social media. In my previous BBQ Essentials post, I mentioned nitrile gloves as a must-have. I still believe this and I have found a brand I have grown to love in Gloveworks HD. They have a great grip and have had some great customer service from these folks, which goes a long way in my book. I love using the black gloves, but they also have other colors such as blue, orange, and neon green.

Check out these Gloveworks HD nitrile gloves on Amazon.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Smoked tri-tip reverse seared in a cast iron skillet is my favorite way to cook this cut of beef.

I love to reverse sear steaks and roasts. While the flame-kissed sear you get directly on the grill grates makes for some beautiful culinary aesthetics, I prefer to sear in a cast iron skillet for two reasons:

  1. I get that seared crust over more of the meat surface in a skillet as compared to only where the grill grates touch
  2. I can add other ingredients such as butter, rosemary, and garlic for the meat to sear in and capture that extra flavor

My Lodge cast iron skillet has been used plenty over the flames and has gotten better with each cook. And for that, I give them my super-duper-important seal of approval! I recommend the 12″ skillet because it can accommodate my tri-tips and other big hunks of meat. I have other sizes of these skillets for cooking other dishes in and love them.

This is the best price I could find a cast iron skillet at online.

Chef Shamy Garlic Butter

That garlic butter from Chef Shamy making these NY Strip steaks more flavorful!

Remember how I talked about using ingredients to throw in the cast iron skillet when searing? I consolidate the butter, herbs, garlic, and parmesan all into one with the Chef Shamy Garlic Butter (wow, that sentence sounded like a paid endorsement. Don’t worry, it’s not). I have made my own compound butter and while it’s fun to do, I also like to how this blend is done and having it readily available at the last minute. The flavors lend themselves great to searing steaks, spreading on poultry, making garlic bread, and other good stuff.

Check out the Chef Shamy butter online at Amazon.

Anova Precision Cooker

Sous vide cooking your steaks before searing on the grill is an excellent way to make your steaks! (pic courtesy of PCmag.com)

One look at this device and you’re probably thinking to yourself: what on Earth does this indoor device have to do with BBQing outside? Well, the sous vide method of cooking is great for getting the food evenly cooked before searing on the grill. There. Tied it in. Seriously though, the Anova Precision Cooker with WiFi (there’s also a Bluetooth version available) will take you from a really good cook to a great one! Wondering what sous vide is? To summarize, its a method of cooking food in a tightly sealed bag submerged in temperature controlled water. The Anova Precision Cooker lets you control the temp of the water it cooks in, so you don’t overcook it.

A few months back I cooked a steak sous vide using the Anova and then seared on the grill afterward. Have you heard of “fork tender” steak before? Try “spoon tender” for this one! That’s right, I straight up cut this one with a spoon!

Check out the Anova Precision Cooker at a great price.