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Smoked Chicken


Whole chickens or halved halved, brined and seasoned with a special chicken dry rub before going into the smoker.

So if you’re smoking some ribs, or a brisket, or a big, juicy pork butt, and you want to throw in a whole chicken because it’s just not right to waste smoker space.

The skin won’t brown as nicely as it would’ve using the hot smoking method, but it’ll do in a pinch.

The chicken made with this smoked chicken recipe is great for making sandwiches. Shred the meat, mix in some of your favorite barbeque sauce, and pile it on a bun with a couple of dill pickle slices.

Smoked chicken is also perfect for making tasty appetizers. I like to put a dollop of softened herbed cream cheese on a Ritz cracker and plop a chunk of cold smoked chicken on top. Yummm….sprinkle paprika and wow your next party!

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  • Non-Iodized Salt:
  • Chicken cut into Halves (breast, thigh, leg)
  • OR
  • 3-4 Game Hens
  • Brine Solution: Brine recipes contain salt, sugar, and flavorings. And good brine recipes strike a balance between these three components, so that no single taste or flavor is overpowering in the smoked meat.
  • Canning Salt - Kosher Salt - Sea Salt
  • White Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • Optional Vinegar
  • Optional Spices
  • Rinse a whole chicken. Trim off excess skin and fat. Soak the chicken in a simple brine for 4 hours:
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1/3 cup non-iodized salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar



Step 1

This recipe uses two whole fryers. I remove the giblets and trim off the fat and extra skin. Then split the each chicken in two by cutting down the middle of the breast and back of each chicken. Cut along both sides of the backbone and remove.

*Brine for at least 2-3 hrs. If I think about it sometimes the evening before I mix up brine and soak overnight in the refrigerator.

*See My Brine Recipe **See Dry Chicken Rub

Smoking the Chicken

Smoke the chicken halves skin side up in your meat smoker, maintaining the temperature between 225 and 240 degrees Fahrenheit. For smoke, I find that just about any wood chip works. I like combinations like Mesquite -Hickory–Apple wood gives the chicken a wonderful flavor and great color.

Smoke whole chicken 3-4 hrs or smoke halves or pieces approx 2 hrs. Check the temperature of the thigh and breast with your meat thermometer. When the breast reaches 165 and the thigh is 175, the smoked chicken can be removed from the smoker. Let the chicken rest for fifteen minutes before serving.

FORCRISPYSKIN: Smoke at 225 degrees until it reaches 160/170 degrees, then pop it into a hot (400 degrees) grill or oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, and remove it when the skin has browned to your liking.

The skin won’t brown as nicely as it would’ve using the hot smoking method, but it’ll do in a pinch.

FORQUICKERCRISPYCHICKEN: If you’re short on time, check out Quick Smoke Whole Chicken recipe. You’ll like this one!

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