The Perfect Gochujang Chicken

Use our method to make the Perfect Gochujang Chicken!

You’ll need some Korean gochujang spice paste, a reliable grill, and a big appetite! 

Our perfect gochujang chicken has a balance of heat and sweetness. This Korean BBQ chicken 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.

Gochujang Chicken

Ingredients for Perfect Gochujang Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 pounds
  • Korean Spice Rub
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Gochujang paste 
  • Soy sauce, or Tamari
  • Garlic 
  • Fresh ginger, or powdered ginger
  • Sesame oil

Spatchcock or not to Spatchcock:

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

How to 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.
The Perfect Gochujang Chicken

How to Make the Perfect Gochujang Chicken:

  • Apply Korean Rub evenly to chicken, getting some of the spiced under the breast skin. 
  • 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 4-5 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.
  • Start applying the sauce in thin layers. Do this 2-3 times or every 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from grill and lightly tent with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10-15 before carving.
  • Optional: garnish your perfect gochujang chicken pieces with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds.
The Perfect Gochujang Chicken

The Perfect Gochujang Chicken

Our Gochujang Grilled 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

For sauce:

  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang paste use more if you want the sauce spicier
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons water to thin out sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

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 4-5 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 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
  • Photos by: Shebeko

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
The Perfect Gochujang ChickenThe Perfect Gochujang Chicken

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