Simple roast BBQ honey chicken (on rock salt!) has never been more delicious thanks to a homemade BBQ seasoning + a little drizzle of honey!

I can’t really officially begin this post without asking if you’ve made the best-ever rock salt roast chicken I posted almost five years ago. Have you?

I mean, no pressure, but I’d kind of like to know.

Big pieces of honey roast chicken on a wooden cutting board with a small bowl of salt beside it.

It’s divine. One of the most amazing ways to roast chicken in the comfort of your own home (along with this faux-roasted Instant Pot method).

Because we love the original rock salt roast chicken version so much, I decided it wouldn’t hurt the world if I elevated it from its rather delicious plainness to a more exciting flavor.

In this case: BBQ (I say BBQ, you say barbecue). Actually, BBQ with a little drizzle of honey.

A dark roasted whole honey chicken on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet.

This roast BBQ honey chicken is absolutely glorious.

I can’t tell you all the scientific reasons behind using rock salt as a bed for roasting this chicken. But I can tell you that the result is irresistibly juicy meat packed with flavor thanks to the aforementioned rock salt + that simple, homemade BBQ seasoning (pulled from pantry staples).

The thing with roast chicken is that not only is it surprisingly simple and economical, it makes a fabulous dinner.

Serve it with these cheesy potatoes, homemade biscuits, skillet green beans, and my favorite romaine salad, and honestly, we’ll need to have a serious talk if you don’t invite me over).

But, because we are all human and may not have it built in to our current coping skills to make up all the side dishes above, the flavorful, juicy, roast BBQ honey chicken is fantastic served warm (or even cold!) with rolls (no guilt over storebought, friends) and fresh fruit or vegetables.

Take it one step further, and you can simply roast it, let it rest (don’t skip this part!), pull the meat off the bones, and use/freeze for a future meal.

Four big pieces of honey roast chicken on a small wooden cutting board.

The deliciously tender chicken from this rock salt roast BBQ honey chicken is a shoo-in for any meal that calls for cooked chicken.

I love having a stash of cooked chicken in the freezer for meals like that. Makes the dinner hour a million times easier (especially if you are like me and want to scream when you start making your specially chosen dinner recipe only to find out the dang chicken was supposed to be cooked first).

Because this roast chicken had me laser-focused on cooked chicken, I went through and compiled some of my favorite recipes that call for cooked, chopped (or shredded) chicken.

Click the link below for the full list (happens to include some of my favorite meals of all time).

–> Recipes that Call for Cooked Chicken <–

Top view of a roasted whole chicken on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet.

I certainly hope if you haven’t ventured into the land of rock salt roasted chicken yet that this recipe might be the thing to give you that little, friendly push.

As I note in the recipe below, there has been some discussion about using rock salt in the comment thread of the original rock salt roast chicken recipe. I have tried substituting coarse, kosher salt, and personally, I prefer to use rock salt. Rock salt is also called ice cream salt.

There have even been some readers comment that they’ve converted the rock salt recipe to work in a slow cooker.

Pretty darn brilliant (and a little bit fun), if you ask me. I haven’t tried it myself, but if you are looking for an even more hands-off approach, you might want to give it a go.

I’d say there are worse things than starting off Monday with a deliciously versatile variation on a popular roast chicken recipe.

A small wooden cutting board with thick slices of roast chicken on top.

One Year Ago: Pressure Cooker Dulce de Leche {Stovetop vs. InstantPot}
Two Years Ago: Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix
Three Years Ago: Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake


Rock Salt Roast BBQ Honey Chicken

5 stars (13 ratings)


  • 4 to 5 pound whole chicken
  • 4 pound box rock salt, also called ice cream salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 sprigs parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

BBQ Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, can use regular paprika in a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly, if needed so it’s brushable


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line a 9X13-inch pan with foil for easy cleanup and pour the rock salt into the pan, evening it into a thick, smooth layer.
  • Remove and discard anything (like neck, gizzards, etc.) from inside the chicken, if needed.
  • With a fork, poke holes all over the lemon. Put the lemon, parsley and garlic into the cavity of the chicken.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper (if using). Rub the homemade BBQ seasoning liberally all over the chicken and underneath the skin.
  • Place the chicken breast-side DOWN on the bed of salt.
  • Roast for 40 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the chicken over so it is breast-side UP and bake for another 40-50 minutes until cooked through (the chicken should register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer in the meaty part of a leg – avoiding the bone).
  • Immediately out of the oven, brush the honey all over the chicken.
  • Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.


Salt: there has been some discussion about using rock salt in the comment thread of the original rock salt roast chicken; I have tried substituting coarse, kosher salt, and personally, I prefer to use rock salt (also called ice cream salt) for this chicken recipe.
Chicken: if you don’t want to mess with flipping the chicken halfway, you can try roasting it breast side UP or breast side DOWN the entire time (but I find it’s juicier if you can manage the flipping; I use a large, flat, metal spatula, along with a few prayers, to help flip).

Recipe Source: adapted from my original rock salt roast chicken (BBQ version inspired by this recipe a reader, Crystal, sent me)