Grilled Brick Chicken with Red-Wine Vinegar Marinade

Grilling chicken under a brick will give you outstanding results

Brick chicken is an age-old Tuscan secret.  The brick adds pressure, which helps grill the chicken faster.  It also adds flavor and an awesome sear that gives you a crackling skin and tender, juicy meat.  Grab a left-over brick from a recent honey-do project, and get grilling.  We’ve found that the real secret is to use smaller chicken or even a cornish hen so that the entire chicken fits under the brick when grilling.

Brick Chicken - The BBQ Pit Boss

Chicken under a brick

Brick Chicken Ingredients:

1 – Half chicken or  1 small cornish hen

1- Large plastic sealable bag

Extra virgin olive oil

Your favorite italian seasoning blend

Red wine or balsamic vinegar

Aluminum foil

Brick Chicken Tools:

Meat Thermometer




Brick Chicken Preparation:

Prepare your marinade

Use the olive oil as a base and add your favorite blend of spices. If you don’t have a preference, start out with some oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.  We recommend fresh herbs if you have them.  They just add a lot more flavor.   Add some red wine vinegar as well (if you’re not sure…the ratio rule of thumb is 1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil).

Prepare the Chicken

We recommend you butterfly the chicken.  Don’t know how to do it?  Check out this video.


Besides using a brick, the secret to really nailing brick chicken is to marinate the chicken.  Combine the ingredients in the plastic bag and  let stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature.  You can also prepare the marinade the night before and let sit in the fridge. If you prepare the night before, let the chicken/bag/marinade warm up for 30mins to an hour at room temp before grilling.


They final key is the brick. You’ll need one brick per chicken half / cornish hen.  Wrap the brick(s) in aluminum foil. This is important!  The foil will protect the meat and keep it clean.   Heat the grill to medium-low, and use direct heat.   You’ll place the chicken on the grill skin side up. Then place the brick(s) on the chicken.  Bask in the manliness of the method and crack open a beer.

You should plan to only flip the bird once, so you’ll have to judge the cook times based on your grill, if you don’t grill a lot or your have a new grill it’s okay to pull the brick from time to time and use a meat thermometer.


When you flip the bird skin side down, you’ll get some great searing action. Keep a water bottle or cup of water handy to deal with flare ups. Some flare-ups are okay if you like a good char, but too much can make your bird too burnt for human consumption.  Don’t forget to check the temp after you flip.  Pull the bird off when it hits 165.

Tip:  As with all meats, place the meat at an angle on your grill. Rotate 45 degrees before you flip (usually about halfway through before you flip) for some great sear marks.


Don’t forget to let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 mins after you pull it off the grill.  Then serve and enjoy that crackling skin and juicy meat.

Brick chicken is a very simple recipe that will have your guests admiring your culinary skills, and possibly your masonry skills as well.

This brick chicken recipe was brought to you by the Pit Boss BBQ Tool Belt.  The Pit Boss is sturdy enough to hold two bricks and a couple of chickens, but you’ll probably just want to use it to hold your tools.  Man your grill.

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by Michaelangelo Monteleone
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