Recipe courtesy of Susan Vu for Food Network Kitchen

Pellet Grill Cajun Dry-Brined Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr 40 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Dry-brining is a technique that is less fussy (and messy!) than wet-brining and results in a flavorful smoked chicken that is seasoned throughout. You could dry-brine with just salt and pepper, but we added some zesty Cajun spices and a creamy remoulade to make this pellet-grilled chicken a real smoke show (pun intended).



Special equipment:
a pellet grill, kitchen twine
  1. The day before cooking the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels and put on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Stir together the smoked paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, sugar, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Rub a generous amount in the cavity of the chicken then sprinkle the remaining Cajun seasoning all over the outside of the bird to create a thick coating on the skin. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, parsley, scallions, cornichons, mustard, ketchup, capers, garlic and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Stir to combine then season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate the remoulade, covered, until ready to serve.
  4. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  5. Preheat a pellet grill to 400 degrees F (see Cook's Note).
  6. Brush the outside of the chicken all over with the melted butter. Tuck the wings behind the chicken’s back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the chicken directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook until the internal temperature of the thickest part of one of the breasts reaches 160 degrees F, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Serve the chicken whole or carved into parts, with soft dinner rolls and the remoulade on the side.

Cook’s Note

Refer to the manufacturer's guide for specific instructions about lighting and operating your pellet grill.