Oil Drum Chicken

Anyone who’s traveled anywhere in the world has come across this scene: a roadside stand with a table and a few chairs, a couple of coolers, a smoky fire in an old oil drum, and a load of this well-marinated chicken sizzling on top of it. Whether it be on a Caribbean beach or at a fire department fundraiser, this is the quintessential grilled chicken – crispy, juicy, smoky, and tangy.

  • 4-5 pounds of chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Put the salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and give them a whirl until they are well-combined. This makes just under 2 cups of marinade. Reserve a half cup for basting the chicken.

Put the chicken in a freezer bag and coat with the remaining marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

Set your grill up for a direct cook over medium-high (400°F) heat. Put the chicken on the grill and close the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and baste with the reserved marinade using a basting brush or mop. Flip and baste every five minutes. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink in the center, or until you reach 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh.