Smoking imparts a delicious smoky flavor and creates juicy, tender meat with a perfectly crispy skin. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the best way to achieve succulent results every time.
Choosing The Right Chicken
The first step to creating a masterpiece is selecting the right bird. Opting for a whole chicken or a spatchcocked chicken is ideal for this smoking process. While the cooking times differ slightly, both methods deliver outstanding results. Consider the size of your chicken when determining cooking times and adjust accordingly.
If you prefer spatchcocked you can purchase a whole bird and spatchcock it yourself or you can purchase a spatchcocked chicken from your local grocery store or butcher. The main difference between smoking a whole chicken and a spatchcoked chicken is the cooking time.
Preparing The Chicken For Smoking
Before you dive into the smoking process, it’s essential to prepare the chicken properly. Start by patting the chicken dry with paper towels. This step ensures that the dry rub adheres well to the meat and believe me you want to make sure the rub adheres well.
The Best Dry Rub For Smoked Chicken
A good dry rub is absolutely crucial for getting a moist chicken with crispy skin. You can use a premade rub but making your own is incredibly simple.
I have the best chicken rub recipe that is seriously so simple to pull together. It uses common pantry ingredients that you already have on hand which is an added bonus. I think it is amazing on smoked chicken but I’ve been known to use it on oven roasted chicken as well.
You only need brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to make my homemade chicken rub recipe.
Applying Spice Rub To Your Chicken
Once your dry rub is ready, it’s time to apply it generously to the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil to help the rub adhere. Massage the dry rub onto every inch of the bird, including the outside, inside, and under the skin. Take your time to ensure an even coating. The dry rub not only adds incredible flavor but also aids in the development of a crispy chicken skin.
After you have applied the dry rub allow the chicken to rest in the fridge for one hour.
Preparing The Pellet Grill
Now that you have seasoned with the dry rub and you have let the chicken rest in the fridge, it’s time to fire up the pellet grill. Pellet grills are fantastic for smoking due to their consistent heat distribution and versatility. Preheat your pellet grill to 375 degrees for a whole chicken or 400 degrees for a spatchcocked chicken.
To infuse that irresistible smoky flavor into your bird, select your favorite wood pellets. My personal favorite is hickory but applewood is another great choice for chicken. Fill your pellet grill’s hopper with the wood pellets according to the manufactures directions.
Smoking Whole Chicken On An Electric Smoker
For a whole chicken, smoke it at 375 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If you prefer a spatchcocked chicken, smoke it at 400 degrees ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
During the smoking process, monitor the chicken’s internal temperature using a reliable meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, without touching the bone, to get an accurate reading. Once the chicken reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more succulent and tender chicken.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Whole Chicken On A Smoker?
The cooking time for smoking a whole chicken on a smoker can vary depending on several factors such as the size of the chicken, the temperature of the smoker, and the cooking method used. However, as a general guideline, it typically takes about 3 to 4 hours to smoke a whole chicken on a smoker.
It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer and aim for a target temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the breast for safe consumption. Remember that actual cooking times may vary, so it’s always best to rely on the internal temperature as the most accurate indicator of doneness.
How Do I Smoke A Whole Chicken And Get Crispy Skin?
First, preheat your smoker to a higher temperature, around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This higher heat will help render the fat underneath the skin and promote crispiness. Next, ensure that the outside of the chicken is dry by patting it with paper towels. This step is important to prevent rubbery skin. Also be sure to generously apply your dry rub. During the smoking process, maintaining a consistent smoker temperature is important. Keep it around 375 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire time. This combination of high heat and flavorful rub will help create a delicious and crispy skin on your smoked chicken. Remember, achieving the desired crispiness can also depend on factors like the size of the chicken and the specific smoker you’re using. Keep an eye on the chicken’s progress and adjust cooking times if needed.
How To Serve Smoked Chicken
Carve the chicken using a sharp knife or kitchen shears and arrange the succulent pieces on a cutting board. Serve it with your favorite sides or on its own as the main dish. The crispy chicken skin, juicy breast meat, and smoky flavor will leave everyone at the table in awe.
How To Store Leftover Chicken
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The smoked chicken can be enjoyed in various ways. From salads and sandwiches to soups and pastas, the leftover smoked chicken adds a burst of flavor to any dish.
How To Know When Chicken Is Done Cooking
Determining when your smoked chicken is perfectly cooked is a great way to ensure juicy chicken with a flavorful exterior. The most reliable and easy way to check for doneness is by monitoring the internal temperature of the meat throughout the cooking process. Using a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the breast, avoiding contact with the bone. Once the internal temperature reaches the recommended 165 degrees F, you can be confident that your smoked chicken is done. This method guarantees a safe and delicious outcome, allowing you to enjoy the full potential of your smoking endeavor.
- Whole Chicken
- Olive oil
- Dry Rub
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel
- Brush chicken with olive oil
- Apply dry rub generously
- Allow chicken to rest in fridge for 1 hour prior to smoking
- For a whole chicken smoke at 375 degrees. For a spatchcocked chicken smoke at 400 degrees.
- Remove chicken from smoker when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees
- Allow chicken to rest before serving
Get rub recipe: https://feliciagraves.com/chicken-rub-recipe-for-smoker/