Smoked Pulled Chicken is our go-to smoker recipe. It is loaded with flavor and takes your whole chicken to a whole new level. Shred the chicken to use in many recipes.

Shredded chicken on a platter
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We have used our smoker to make Smoked Pulled Ham, Smoked Pork Steak, Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe, and Smoked Beef. We cook a lot of chicken and this by far is one of my favorite ways to cook a whole chicken.

If you are new to using your smoker, make sure to check out these Smoker Recipes for Beginners.

Why We Love This Recipe

Using the smoker to smoke our meats, side dishes and appetizer has become a family favorite. The smoker does all the work and spices can easily be changed to what you prefer.

This shredded chicken can be served in many different ways but my favorite is a Pulled Chicken Sandwich.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed - Whole Chicken, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, cumin, salt, pepper

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Honey – If you prefer you can substitute the brown sugar for honey or molasses. It gives the chicken the perfect amount of sweetness.

How to Make Smoked Pulled Chicken

  • Step 1 – Preheat the smoker to 250°F. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using.
  • Step 2 – In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, cumin, kosher salt, and pepper to create a dry rub.
Combining the spices together in a bowl
  • Step 3 – Rinse the chickens and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat or skin, if desired.
  • Step 4 – Generously apply the dry rub all over the chickens, making sure to cover both the inside and outside.
Sprinkling the spice mixture over the 2 whole chickens on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Step 5 – Place the season chicken in the smoker and add the soaked wood chips to the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Close the lid of the smoker.
Whole seasoned chicken on the grill grates in the smoker
  • Step 6 – Smoke the chickens for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
  • Step 7 – Remove the smoked chickens from the smoker and let them rest for 15-20 minutes before shredding.
Smoked 2 whole chickens on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Step 8 – Once the chickens are cool enough to handle, use your hands or two forks to shred the meat, discarding any skin or bones.

Expert Tips

  • Brine Chicken – For even more flavor, you can brine the chickens in a saltwater solution for 4-6 hours before applying the dry rub.
  • Wood Chips – For the best smoked flavor, we recommend using apple, maple or cherry wood. You can also use a combination of two for amazing flavors.
  • Meat Thermometer – Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165 degrees when fully cooked.
Shredded chicken on a bun topped with BBQ Sauce

Serving Suggestions

Smoked pulled chicken makes the perfect chicken sandwich topped with barbecue sauce. Serve with a side of Grilled French Fries or Smoked Potato Salad for a complete meal idea.

This shredded chicken would also be delicious served as tacos or wrapped in a tortilla for delicious burritos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Shredded Chicken and Pulled Chicken?

There is no difference between the two. Both shredded and pulled chicken means the same thing.

How Long to Smoke Chicken for Pulled Chicken

Cooking time will vary, but the whole chicken cooks in about 3-4 hours.

What Size Chicken Is best for this Recipe?

We used two 4 pound chicken for this recipe. We love leftovers and serving the smoked shredded chicken to make a BBQ Chicken Sandwich.

Will the Chicken have a Crispy Skin?

We smoked this chicken on low and slow to create a juicy chicken which does not result in a crispy texture. If you prefer a crispy texture, increase the temperature of the smoker to 375 degrees and smoke for about an hour longer.

Storing and Reheating Tips

  • Storing – Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating – Reheat the leftovers in the microwave or oven in a baking dish.
  • Freezing – If you want your seasoned chicken to last longer, freeze it in freezer safe container. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
Shredded chicken

More Easy Smoked Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this Smoked Pulled Chicken Recipe, please leave us a comment or star review.

Smoked Pulled Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Smoked Pulled Chicken is our go-to smoker recipe. It is loaded with flavor and takes your whole chicken to a whole new level. Shred the chicken to use in many recipes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 596

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Preheat the smoker to 250°F. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper to create a dry rub.
  • Rinse the chickens and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat or skin, if desired.
  • Generously apply the dry rub all over the chickens, making sure to cover both the inside and outside.
  • Place the chickens in the smoker and add the soaked wood chips to the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Smoke the chickens for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
  • Remove the smoked chickens from the smoker and let them rest for 15-20 minutes before shredding.
  • Once the chickens are cool enough to handle, use your hands or two forks to shred the meat, discarding any skin or bones.

Recipe Notes

For even more flavor, you can brine the chickens in a saltwater solution for 4-6 hours before applying the dry rub.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 596kcal, Carbohydrates 11g, Protein 49g, Fat 39g, Saturated Fat 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat 9g, Monounsaturated Fat 16g, Trans Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 190mg, Sodium 574mg, Potassium 667mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 5g, Vitamin A 2617IU, Vitamin C 5mg, Calcium 83mg, Iron 5mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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Comments

  1. Kasey Harris says:

    5 stars
    My entire family loved this smoked chicken! Full of smoky flavor