Smokey BBQ chicken quarters with a herb infused dry rub.

Best Weber Kettle Smoked Chicken 1/4s Grilled Directly Over Charcoal

Jump straight to the Weber Kettle smoked chicken 1/4s recipe.

Who doesn’t dream of perfectly smoked chicken with a juicy interior and crispy skin?

The mouthwatering aroma, the golden brown hue, and the burst of flavors with every bite! 

Today, I’ll share with you the secrets of mastering the art of grilling chicken quarters directly over charcoal.

In This Recipe

Smokey BBQ chicken quarters with a herb infused dry rub.

Preparing the Smoked Chicken

Before the grilling magic begins, preparation is key.

Choosing the Chicken

Picking the star of our show is a crucial step.

Opt for fresh, free range chicken quarters. They offer a superior flavor profile and tend to be juicier than their caged counterparts.

Your local butcher or farmer’s market is an excellent place to scout for these.

Dry Brining the Chicken

A secret weapon for many grill masters!

Instead of a liquid solution, dry brining involves generously salting the chicken and letting it rest, usually overnight.

This method intensifies the chicken’s natural flavors while ensuring it remains succulent during the smoking process. Ever since I started dry brining, my chicken has consistently been juicy with that perfectly crispy skin.

If you can’t do overnight, go as long as you can.

Even a couple hours under the salt really makes a difference.

Seasoned chicken quarters hanging out in a dry brine.

Seasoning the Chicken

Ah, the flavors!

Whether you’re a fan of spicy, tangy, or savory, seasoning your chicken is where you get to be creative.

Personally, I adore a mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and a touch of cayenne for that extra kick.

But the beauty lies in experimenting and finding your signature touch.

Today I am going with Dizzy Pig Raging River seasonings. Dizzy Pig makes some amazing rubs and seasonings and if you haven’t experienced them I suggest you give them a try.

Weber kettle set up with the minion method.

Setting Up the Weber Kettle Grill

Grilling chicken directly over the coals on a Weber Kettle Grill requires precision, patience, and passion. This approach can imbue the chicken with intense flavors and a deliciously charred texture.

With the right techniques, you can master the direct over the coals method, turning every BBQ into a gourmet experience.

Setting Up and Lighting the Charcoal with the Minion Method

To start:

  1. Create a pile of unlit briquettes on one side of the grill.
  2. Using a chimney starter, light up about 20 briquettes.
  3. Once they’re glowing and ashed over, spread them out evenly on top of the unlit coals.

This is known as the Minion Method, a fantastic technique for long, consistent cooks. With this method, the lit briquettes slowly ignite the unlit ones, ensuring a steady and prolonged heat.

Vent Management for Controlled Cooking

The Weber Kettle Grill offers unique vent control.

By closing both the top and bottom vents, you manage to achieve a slow and low cook at around 250°F (approximately 120°C). The inherent draftiness of the kettle allows just the right amount of air for the coals, maintaining this ideal temperature.

Starting out with just enough lit briquettes to get the temperature you need allows you to grill directly over the coals without the risk of burning the chicken.

Four chicken quarters directly over the coals on a Weber kettle grill.

Grilling the Chicken Directly Over the Coals

With your grill set up and ready, it’s time for the main event.

Place the chicken quarters directly over the lit coals.

This direct grilling approach, combined with the controlled heat from the Minion Method, ensures that the chicken is cooked evenly, low and slow. 

It will give your chicken quarters a deep charcoal flavor and a tantalizingly crispy skin.

Step by Step Grilling Method

  1. Place the chicken on the grill directly over the coals.
  2. Close the lid and let the chicken cook for 40 minutes without opening the kettle. Keeping the kettle closed prevents the temperature in the kettle from spiking when you open the lid.
  3. Flip the chicken (skin down) and grill for 5 mins. Flip and rotate the chicken every 5 mins for the next 20 mins.
  4. After about 1hr of cooking the quarters will be around 150-155°F (66-68°C).
  5. Put the chicken quarters on the indirect side of the grill. Open the top vent fully and open the bottom vent to 1/2 – 3/4 open. This will raise the temperature on the grill making sure we get perfectly crispy skin.
  6. Remove the chicken quarters once the thigh gets to 175°F (80°C).

As the chicken nears completion, the air thick with smoky goodness, it’s time to finish strong and serve up a dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds (or thirds).

Checking for Doneness

While the beautiful golden brown hue of the chicken skin might be tempting, it’s essential to ensure the chicken is cooked through.

The most foolproof method is to use a meat thermometer. 

Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, avoiding the bone. A reading of 165°F (about 74°C) indicates that your chicken is perfectly cooked and safe to eat.

Weber kettle smoked chicken quarters resting in a foil pan.

Resting the Weber Kettle Smoked Chicken

Patience, as they say, is a virtue.

Once off the grill, let the chicken quarters rest for about 10 minutes.

This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring every bite is as succulent as the last. It’s a small wait, but it’s worth it.

Trust me.

Serving and Enjoying Your Chicken Quarters

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

Serve the chicken with your favorite sides.

Whether it’s a tangy coleslaw, creamy potato salad, or simply some grilled veggies. The smoky, tender chicken is sure to be the star of the show.

There’s something profoundly satisfying about mastering the art of BBQ, especially on a classic like the Weber Kettle Grill

Grilling directly over the coals may seem intricate at first. However, with a dash of enthusiasm and a sprinkle of patience, the end result is nothing short of BBQ perfection.

So, if you haven’t tried this method yet, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give it a go. Explore, experiment, and embrace the BBQ spirit. And remember, good food is best enjoyed with great company.

Here’s to many more BBQ adventures!

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Recipe Card: Weber Kettle Smoked Chicken Directly Over Charcoal

Weber Kettle Smoked Chicken 1/4s: Grilled Directly Over Charcoal

Recipe by Pitmaster RyanCourse: BBQ RecipesCuisine: ChickenDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





The Weber Kettle makes perfectly smoked chicken with a juicy interior and crispy skin. These chicken quarters are sure to be a hit.


  • Chicken 1/4s: 4 (leg and thigh)

  • Dry Brine Mixture: 2 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp black pepper (adjust to preference)

  • Charcoal Briquettes: 20 in the chimney starter, 40-50 in the kettle

  • Your choice of BBQ sauce (optional)


  • Dry Brining: Rub the chicken quarters thoroughly with the dry brine mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Set Up the Grill: Create a pile of unlit briquettes on one side of the Weber Kettle Grill. Light up about 20 briquettes using a chimney starter and spread them out over the unlit coals using the Minion Method.
  • Vent Management: Close both the top and bottom vents to maintain a temperature of around 250°F (120°C).
  • Grill the Chicken
  • Place the chicken quarters directly over the lit coals, skin side up. Monitor the internal grill temperature, ensuring it stays steady at 250°F (120°C).
  • Let the chicken hang out over the coals for 40 minutes without opening the grill.
  • Flip the chicken every 5 minutes for the next 20 minutes.
  • Move the chicken quarters to the indirect side, open the top vent fully, and open the bottom vent to 1/2 – 3/4.
  • The quarters should be around 150-155°F (66-68°C). Cook them indirectly for around 15-30 minutes
  • Check for Doneness: After approximately 1.25 – 1.5 hours (or once the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-175°F (74-80°C), remove from the grill.
  • Rest: Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Pair with your favorite sides and enjoy the delicious, smoky flavors of chicken cooked to perfection on the Weber Kettle Grill.

Recipe Video

Frequently Asked Questions

At what temp should you smoke chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs should be smoked at around 250°F (120°C).

How long to smoke chicken thighs at 300°F?

At 300°F, chicken thighs will typically take 40-50 minutes to smoke.

How to smoke chicken thighs on a Weber kettle?

Dry brine the thighs, set up the Weber kettle for direct or indirect heat, and smoke at 250°F (120°C) until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

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