How to make a smoked chicken like a pro

I’m trying new things… I decided to smoke a chicken this weekend.
I just couldn’t figure out which end of it to light


If any of you are still wondering what to cook / grill / smoke for the 4th of July weekend (the biggest summer holiday here in the US), might I recommend a new recipe I just came up with this week for smoked chicken. It is very easy, although it does take some time to prepare. It is best to start the night before you plan to serve it.

smoked chicken recipe

I started the night before with 3 whole fryer young chickens. As an aside, I thought this would be the right amount for 6 people, but it turns out, I vastly overestimated the amount of meat each of those chickens contains and two would have been plenty. Take them out of the package and rinse them off. If they contain a bag of organs (giblets as they are sometimes referred to), be sure to remove those and discard them. Rinse the chickens off in cool water.

smoking a chicken

Prepare a large container of brine solution to soak the chickens in for several hours. There is no exact measurement I use for the amount of salt to put into the water. I usually just taste the water before putting chickens in, adding salt until it tastes almost like seawater, but not quite that salty. Some say to soak the chicken for four hours, but I usually let them sit in the brine overnight. Place the chickens in the refrigerator until you are ready to start cooking them.

smoking a chicken

The chickens will need to cook anywhere from 3 to 4 hours on the smoker, so be sure to give yourself enough time to smoke them properly or else you will be rushing them and not getting the full effect of the flavor a smoker can offer.

Prior to placing the chicken on the smoker, you will want to add some spices. There are many good recipes out there, but I will let you in on my little secret… McCormick’s Rotisserie Chicken seasoning… It’s pretty good stuff. Cover your chicken in spices, being sure to get some under the skin, directly again the meat. I also put some Cajun seasoning on one of the chickens, just to see how it turned out. Play around with your spices and don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit.

smoking a chicken

To build my fire, I like to use lump charcoal and odorless lighter fluid. I think this burns a little better and has fewer “chemical” orders to that can potentially impart themselves onto the food.

smoking a chicken
smoking a chicken

Build your fire just as you would any other charcoal fire. Once your fire if hot, add your smoking wood. Place the chickens on the grill. I added some pineapple juice to a can near the firebox, so that it would evaporate and keep the chicken moist. I then placed the pineapple slices on the rack above the chickens, so that juices could drip out of the slices down onto the chickens.

smoking a chicken

Now comes the waiting part. You want to keep your smoker putting out a small to medium amount of smoke for the next 3 to 4 hours. You will also want to keep the temperature between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip the chicken once during cooking. Cook until the internal temperature of the breast meat is at least 165 degrees.

smoking a chicken

There are many recipes out there for smoking chickens. Many of them are tasty, but complicated. This is a simple, yet very tasty recipe for smoked chicken that almost anyone can do.

Be sure to like and share this so I know you are out there!

2 thoughts on “How to make a smoked chicken like a pro

    1. Thanks! It was real good! We saved the leftover chicken and put it in salad the next day. That was pretty much awesome as well.


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