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Smoky Korean Gochujang Chicken

Use this simple method to make the best, smoky Korean gochujang chicken! This Korean-style chicken is vibrant, bold, and chock full of delicious smoky flavor. Prepare to reward your taste buds with this finger-licking, tender, smoky Korean Gochujang chicken that will leave you wanting more!

Spatchcock gochujang chicken

Smoky gochujang chicken has the perfect balance of heat and sweet. It will have you licking your fingers and reaching for more. We tested this recipe using a pellet grill, but you can use any grill or smoker, to get the job done! With that said, we recommend using cherry, apple, or any mild fruitwood for this recipe.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a spicy paste used in Korean cuisine. It has a blend of umami and sweet flavors that work well with most meats. Gochujang is made of crushed red chilies, ground rice, salt, and fermented soy beans.

Ingredients for Smoky Korean Gochujang Chicken:

Spatchcock or not to Spatchcock?

We’ve tried our gochujang chicken recipe both ways, and honestly, they both turned out delicious. However, we recommend spatchcocking the chicken if you desire a faster cooking time. If you’d like this gochujang chicken to spend more time in a hot smoking environment, then keep the chicken whole. 

How do you spatchcock the chicken?

  1. Use a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears to remove the backbone from the chicken.
  2. Turn the chicken breast side up, pulling the back open.
  3. Press down firmly on the breast bone until the chicken lays flat.
Gochujang Chicken

Making Korean gochujang chicken:

  • Apply Korean Rub evenly to chicken, getting some of the spices under the breast skin (skin side). 
  • Place seasoned chicken into a glass dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  • Preheat pellet grill to 275 degrees F. I recommend using cherry or apple wood for this Korean gochujang chicken recipe.
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and place it on the grill—Cook for 45-60 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, simmer gochujang BBQ sauce ingredients over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir often, and add more water if the mixture becomes too thick. Reduce heat as needed. Remove sauce from heat, cover, and keep warm.
  • Once the chicken reaches 145 degrees F, it’s time to increase the grill temperature and sauce the chicken. Increase pellet grill temperature up to 350 degrees.
  • Apply the sauce in thin layers. Do this 2-3 times or every10 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches between 165 degrees F in the breast and 175 degrees in the thigh and leg area.
  • Remove chicken from grill and lightly tent with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10 before carving.
  • Store leftover Korean chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 4 weeks.

How to use gochujang chicken

Besides carving and serving this Korean BBQ chicken with your favorite rice and vegetable sides, you can also shred the chicken and use it in tacos, salads, noodles, or soups. We’ve used them in spring rolls.

More chicken recipes to try!

Spatchcock gochujang chicken

Smoky Korean Gochujang Chicken

This Gochujang Chicken is spatchcocked and cooked whole. The rich Korean Spice flavors really shine in this recipe. This one of our favorite chicken recipes and can easily be adapted for rotisserie cooking.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: pellet grill recipes, spatchcock chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 5 People
Calories: 419kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh

Equipment

  • Pellet Grill

Ingredients

Instructions

  • You can keep the chicken whole and smoke it as is or spatchcock the chicken as indicated below.
    How to spatchcock the chicken. To do this, use a sharp knife or better yet a pair of kitchen shears to remove the backbone from the chicken. Turn the chicken breast side up, pulling the back open. Press down firmly on the breast bone until the chicken lays flat.
  • Apply Korean Rub evenly to chicken, getting some of the spiced under the breast skin.
    Place seasoned chicken into a glass dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  • Preheat pellet grill to 275 degrees F. I recommend using cherry or apple wood for this recipe.
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and place it on the grill. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, simmer gochujang BBQ sauce ingredients over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir often, and add more water if mixture becomes too thick. Reduce heat as needed.
    Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.
  • Once the chicken reaches 145 degrees F. It's time to increase the grill temperature and sauce the chicken.
    Increase pellet grill temperature up to 350 degrees.
  • When chicken reaches and internal temperature of 145 degrees F, start applying the sauce in thin layers, Do this 2-3 times or every 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-175 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from grill and lightly tent with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10-15 before carving.
    Optional: garnish chicken pieces with green onion or toasted sesame seeds.

Notes

  • Pellet recommendations: Cherry or Apple

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 233IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

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