How to Smoke a Whole Chicken (4-Steps)

whole chicken

The whole family will enjoy the juicy, delectable, and inexpensive smoked whole chicken. Smoking your own entire chicken is incomparably superior to any rotisserie chicken you’ll find at the grocery store.


This article will show you how to smoke a complete chicken in an easy-to-follow manner.


Smoked Whole Chicken

The weekend is the ideal opportunity to prepare a meal that you typically couldn’t on a hectic workday.

Thankfully, smoking chicken requires less upkeep than grilling because you don’t need to stir the meat frequently.

The best method to serve chicken is smoked, and the recipe is simple to make. People will lick their lips and fingers for this dish since it is cooked low and slow and has a ton of smoked flavor.




Even with preparation time, smoking a whole chicken can be completed in as little as an hour and a half. These are the three crucial steps:


  1. Wash the bird

  2. Depending on your preferred cooking method, prepare the chicken.

  3. Season it

  4. Smoke it



Chicken Dry Rub Recipe


We all enjoy a nice rub, and you can make this dry rub for chicken your own.

If you don’t like things too spicy, you may eliminate the cayenne and substitute your favorite herbs instead. You see what I mean.

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup paprika

  • 1/4 cup salt

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

This recipe will yield enough for two entire chickens. For best shelf life, you may also create large quantities of this rub and just keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


How To Smoke A Whole Chicken

It’s time to grill the chicken on a prepared smoker after seasoning it!

  1. Preheat Your Smoker To 225ºF

  2. Season The Whole Chicken

  3. Smoke Your Chicken

  4. Slice and Serve!

1. Preheat Your Smoker to 225 ºF 


Get the smoker you’re using to cook this excellent chicken heated up.


Get it to 225 degrees F and keep it there. 


Just before moving on to Step 2, sprinkle some wood chips on top. 


2. Season The Whole Chicken

Olive oil should be drizzled over the entire chicken before heavily seasoning it with a dry rub on both sides.

3. Smoke Your Chicken

Place the chicken straight onto the grates of your smoker, then secure the cover.

It should take 3 1/2 to 4 hours to smoke.

The internal temperature of the chicken thighs should be between 170 °F and 175 °F, and the breasts should be 165 °F.

4. Slice and Serve

Carefully remove the chicken from the smoker, set it down on a fine dinner plate, get out your well-balanced carving knife, and begin slicing!



How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

Depending on how big your chicken is, It typically takes a 4-pound chicken around 2–3 hours to cook, but you must periodically check the bird’s internal temperature to make sure it reaches 165 °F.

Do the math and keep an eye on the chicken, since 1 pound of chicken has to cook at 275 °F for roughly 30 minutes. If the meat browns too rapidly and its internal temperature is still low, you can easily cover it with foil to prevent further browning.

They perform considerably better if you have one of these high-end, wire-equipped, stainless steel electric meat probes since you won’t have to continuously open the smoker to check the temperature, and you can always keep an eye on it.


What Should You Know Before Smoking a Whole Chicken?

The first thing you should be aware of is that you can smoke a whole chicken.

Regardless of your skill level—from beginner to intermediate—you can do this.

Before you cook your smoked chicken, keep in mind that this technique may produce dry, leathery chicken skin.

Applying copious amounts of olive oil to the chicken before seasoning it with the rub helps prevent leathery chicken skin.

The chicken skin will become supple if you do this. Increase the heat in your smoker for more crispy chicken skin.


How to Choose a Chicken for Smoking

To make a tasty smoked chicken, even with the best smoking process, you’re going to need some excellent-grade meat. To obtain the freshest entire chicken available, we advise visiting your local butcher.

Then, be sure to check again to make sure there are no blood stains on your chicken (blood stains indicate tough chicken). Additionally, if at all feasible, use hormone-free organic chicken!


Best Wood For Smoking Chicken

Hardwood should always be used for smoking, and softwood should never be. Hardwood originates from trees that lose their leaves in the fall, whereas softwood comes from evergreen trees. Black smoke is produced because softwood burns more quickly and has more moisture in it. For delicious, clean smoke, use hardwood!

I typically choose cherry or apple wood for smoked chicken since they provide a moderate, sweet, smoky flavor that goes well with the chicken. For smoking chicken, hickory, peach, maple, and mesquite are all excellent choices.


What Chicken Side Rises When Smoking?

When smoking, place your chicken breast-side up. As a result, they are kept as far away from direct heat as possible, which helps protect them from drying out.


When smoking a whole chicken, do you flip it?

When smoking chicken, flipping it might be more detrimental than beneficial. There is no need to turn it because indirect heat is used in smoking, so all sides should be cooked equally.

The last thing you would want to do is drop it or spill hot juice all over yourself. Instead, the whole smoked chicken is left alone for the duration of the procedure.


How Long Should I Brine a Chicken?

Chicken should be brined for at least eight hours at night. Avoid brining your chicken for more than 24 hours, since the flesh may get too salty.


Do You Have to Brine a Whole Chicken Before Smoking?

Because chicken lacks a lot of fat that might make it moist, brining is a terrific way to prevent dryness in your smoked chicken.

You may just use water and salt as your brine and place the chicken in it the night before smoking it, completely submerged, in the refrigerator. However, missing the brine won’t harm your chicken if you’re in a hurry.


How to Reheat Chicken

Smoked chicken might get dry when microwaved again. Instead, we advise turning your grill up to 325 °F and warming the chicken on a pan there.


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