How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

With this guide on how long to smoke a whole chicken, you will get to learn how to capture that smoky, delectable goodness.

Personally, smoking meat is actually my absolute favorite way to prepare it. There are a few meats out there that are as fulfilling to cook as a whole chicken.

Although they take a long time when it comes to BBQ smoking, this is par for the course.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

When cooked low and slow in a BBQ smoker, the rather adequate heat allows the juices inside the meat to flavor the meat and allows the aromas of the wood chips to permeate the meat to give it a more intense and rounded taste.

I can assure you that this is unlike anything else that you have ever tasted before.

You might also want to ask why you should be preparing your whole chicken in a smoker.

Well, a simple way to put it is that the quality of the finished article is far superior compared to any other form of cooked chicken, whether that be store-bought or rotisserie.

Just keep in mind that smoked whole chicken is what you need to have in your life today.

It is moist, juicy, and smoky. And most importantly, we will be looking at how long to smoke a whole chicken.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

It takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours to fully smoke a whole chicken at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep in mind that the final internal temperature of the breast should be around 160 to 165 degrees F, and the thighs should be between 170 and 175 degrees.

However, the fact remains that the cooking time for a whole chicken depends on a handful of factors.

First, you should know that the bigger the size of your chicken, the longer it will take to cook.
Second, smokers temps are not always perfectly consistent, so keep in mind that you could be looking at a longer cook time if your temp drops a bit.

As always, make sure you keep a reliable meat thermometer close to you, and when smoking a whole chicken, watch the internal temp and not the clock.

The Best Wood for Smoking Chicken

I recommend that you always smoke with hardwood and never with softwood, and the difference is that softwood is gotten from evergreen trees while hardwood is gotten from trees that lose their leaves in the autumn.

Softwood happens to burn faster and contain more moisture, which produces black smoke.

So, it is preferable that you use hardwood for clean smoke, and it does taste great.

FOR YOU:  The Best Marinated Chicken For Grill Recipe

When it comes to smoked chicken, you can opt for cherry and apple wood, given that they come with a mild, sweet-smoking flavor that complements the chicken.

In addition, peach, hickory, mesquite, and maple are also perfect for smoking chicken.

Making the Best Smoked Whole Chicken

This smoked whole chicken is succulent and juicy, with perfect crunchy skin.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Cooking thermometer
  • Cotton butcher’s twine, about 2 feet long
  • Wood chips or pellets

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 pounds of whole bone-in chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Dry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

For Cavity

  • 1 fresh sage leaf
  • 1 large lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 small white onion, sliced

Laid-Out Instructions

  • First, you are to get a small bowl and whisk all the dry rub ingredients in it. Ensure that you mix it well, then set it aside.
  • After that, remove the chicken from the packaging. Proceed to empty the cavity and rinse with cold water, then use paper towels to pat it dry. Then place the dry chicken on a rimmed sheet pan.
  • That being done, sprinkle olive oil all over the skin of the chicken and apply the dry rub in between the skin and the meat. Also, drizzle some in the cavity and apply the remainder of the rub all over the top of the chicken.
  • You can use the butcher’s twine to tie the legs of the chicken together, then proceed to tuck the wings so that they don’t burn.
  • Afterward, cover the seasoned chicken with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

At the Time of Cooking

  • For this, you are to preheat the smoker to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prep using your favorite wood chips or pellets. For this pellet smoker, I opt for pecan, but hickory, mesquite, and maple are also great options.
  • After that, stuff the cavity of the chicken with onion, lemon, and sage. Then, place the chicken in the center of the smoker and insert a probe of a cooking thermometer, if you are using one.
  • That being done, smoke for 60 to 80 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 162 degrees F, then proceed to transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent it with aluminum foil. Make sure you allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temp of the meat in the thickest section of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Afterward, proceed to remove the butcher’s twine, empty the contents of the cavity, and carve as desired, then proceed to serve and enjoy.
FOR YOU:  Tandoori Chicken Without Oven Recipe

What to Serve With Smoked Chicken

You can serve the smoked chicken with coleslaw, mac and cheese, and a drizzle of Alabama white sauce, given that it is simply great and it comes from Texas. Or you can just go with BBQ sauce.

In addition, you can serve it with just a side of salad and smothered potatoes, or you can just make baked potatoes on the grill if you are grilling. They are extremely good.

This chicken is perfect for pasta bakes, chicken salads, pies, or to make sandwiches if you have leftovers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Chicken Moist When Smoking?

It is certainly best to brine it first when you smoke a whole chicken or any meat for that matter, and there are two different kinds, which include wet and dry.

If you ask, a wet brine is just as it sounds: salt and water are mixed together and used as a soak for the meat.

Some people prefer to use broth or stock for the liquid, but remember that salt is the most important ingredient.

As you already know, this smoked whole chicken recipe calls for a dry brine, which means you coat the poultry with salt and other spices.

Then you refrigerate it with this rub overnight to lock in both the flavor and juices, which will give you the perfect results when cooked.

Why Does the Dry Rub Go Under the Skin?

In the case of flavor, the spices are in direct contact with the meat, and the skin acts as a barrier to hold it all together.

So you will get to prevent that top layer from getting too dark or crispy just by placing the dry rub under the skin.

Conclusion

Now we’ve looked into the smoker temperatures for smoked chicken, given that the secret to juicy chicken is temperature-based and the secret to non-flabby skin is also temperature-based.

You need smoke to get into your chicken, so as suggested, cook your chicken at 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (107 to 121 degrees Celsius) for an hour to imbue the meat with smoky goodness.

Now, this brings us to the end of this guide, as you now know how long to smoke a whole chicken.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

bbqgrillandsmoke
With this guide on how long to smoke a whole chicken, you will get to learn how to capture that smoky, delectable goodness.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

For Cavity:

  • 1 fresh sage leaf
  • 1 large lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 small white onion sliced

Instructions
 

  • Begin by preparing the dry rub. In a small bowl, combine all the dry rub ingredients and whisk thoroughly to ensure even distribution. Set the mixture aside.
  • Next, unpack the chicken and remove any packaging. Empty the cavity and rinse the chicken under cold water. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels and place it on a rimmed sheet pan.
  • Drizzle olive oil evenly over the chicken’s skin. Then, gently lift the skin and rub the prepared dry rub mixture between the skin and the meat. Apply some of the rub inside the cavity and spread the remaining rub over the top of the chicken.
  • Use butcher’s twine to tie the chicken’s legs together and tuck the wings to prevent burning.
  • Cover the seasoned chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.

At Cooking Time:

  • Preheat your smoker to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your preferred wood chips or pellets. Pecan, hickory, mesquite, or maple are excellent options for pellet smokers.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with slices of onion, lemon wedges, and a fresh sage leaf. Then, place the chicken in the center of the smoker and insert a cooking thermometer probe if you have one.
  • Smoke the chicken for 60 to 80 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 162 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the butcher’s twine, empty the cavity contents, and carve the chicken as desired. Serve and enjoy your smoked chicken!
Keyword How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken, Smoked Whole Chicken

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating