The Type Of Grill José Andrés Uses For The World's Crispiest Chicken Skin

When you dine at one of José Andrés' restaurants, you can safely assume that the James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred chef will astound you with his craft. But Andrés' dedication and attention to detail isn't limited to his famous eateries. If you follow him online, you can also see Andrés cooking at home with his daughters in an outdoor kitchen that rivals most professional ones.

Andrés could undoubtedly work magic on a single-burner campsite grill. Still, at his family residence near Washington, D.C., the chef has an unparalleled outdoor kitchen featuring a barbecue pit and specialty Josper ovens (a combination of grill and oven). The Barcelona-based company manufactures various styled charcoal grills for some of the world's most acclaimed restaurants, including Alex Atala's D.O.M in Brazil and Andrés' Bazaar Meat at Sahara Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. While some restaurants wait months to receive a single Josper grill, Andrés has two at his restaurant and two more at home, enabling him to test recipes for his meat-centric restaurant in his backyard.

With the ability to reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit, Andrés uses multiple Josper grills to develop the Maillard reaction on vegetables, chops, and entire suckling pigs. However, one of the more impressive culinary feats is the crispy-skinned whole chicken, which he prepares in under 10 minutes. Although it would be nice to have a Josper at home, you don't need one to grill chicken that's just as juicy inside and crispy outside. 

Tips for grilling a whole chicken at home

Getting crispy chicken skin begins before you start grilling. To enable the Maillard reaction to take place, the chicken's surface must be dry. Patting the surface with a paper towel helps, but if you have the time, start by unwrapping the raw chicken once you bring it home — and then place it uncovered on a sheet pan on the refrigerator's bottom shelf for a whole day in advance. The fridge's circulating cold air and dry environment will help dry it out.

When it's time to grill, it can be challenging to cook a whole chicken since the dark and white meat require different internal temperatures. Often, you can end up overcooking the breast meat, leaving parts raw, or burning the delicious skin. Rather than purchasing more expensive chicken parts, José Andrés grills the whole bird by spatchcocking or butterflying it first.

This cooking technique involves removing the chicken's backbone and flattening the carcass so more of the chicken is in contact with the grill. Butterflying the chicken enables the meat to cook faster and more evenly, eliminating most mistakes. You only need a sharp chef's knife or poultry shears to spatchcock a chicken at home, but butchers will do it for free, too. To ensure the chicken's entire surface rests on the grill's hot grates, take a tip from Bobby Flay and place a brick on the chicken to weigh it down. This can be done by wrapping aluminum foil around a masonry brick or using a heavy cast-iron skillet.