Smoked Whole Chicken is a delicious way to cook a whole chicken. Skip the rotisserie chicken at the store and make this juicy chicken at home.

Close up image of Smoked Whole Chicken on a platter with slices of lemon
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This Easy Smoker Recipe is a delicious way to cook a whole chicken for an easy dinner idea. The smoking flavor chicken cooks tender, juicy and so flavorful.

The simple seasoning that coats the whole chicken gives the smoked chicken a delicious texture and a crispy skin. If you love the flavor of this whole smoked chicken, then you must try this Smoked Cornish Hens Recipe.

Why This Recipe Works

Slow cooking a whole chicken allows for the chicken to cook with the best flavor. We love to prepare this whole chicken on the weekends and use it for recipes all week long.

It taste much better than the rotisserie chicken that you can get at the grocery store. Simple ingredients makes the spice mixture easy to prepare. Add your favorite side dish recipes for a delicious weekend meal.

Ingredients

Smoked Whole Chicken Ingredients - whole chicken, avocado oil, water, salt, brown sugar, black peppercorns, bay leaves, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
  • Whole Chicken (about 4-5 pounds)
  • Avocado Oil

For the Brine

  • Gallon Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaves

For the Chicken Rub

  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

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

Variations Ideas

  • Seasoning – Feel free to change the seasoning to what you prefer. You can use garlic cloves, lemon slices, and fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme).
  • Sauces – You can also add sauces to the whole chicken. Add your favorite BBQ Sauce after adding the dry rub for delicious flavor.

Step by Step Instructions

Brining the whole chicken in a large pot with slice lemons

Step 1 – Combine water, kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cool to room temperature. Add optional garlic, lemon, and herbs. Submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate overnight.

Placing whole chicken on a baking sheet

Step 2 – Remove chicken from brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Coat with avocado oil.

Placing the dry rub on the whole chicken on the baking sheet

Step 3 – Mix smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Rub over the entire chicken. If you prefer, you can tie the legs to make sure everything cooks evenly.

Smoked whole chicken on a baking sheet

Step 4 – Heat smoker to 225-250°F. Use wood chips like hickory, apple, or cherry. Place chicken in the smoker breast side up. Smoke for 3-4 hours until reaches an internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.

  • Step 5 – Remove chicken and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Expert Tips

  • Brining: Don’t skip the brining process. It’s key for ensuring the chicken remains moist and flavorful during the smoking process.
  • Wood for Smoking Chicken: Different woods impart different flavors. Apple and cherry give a sweeter, fruitier smoke, while hickory and mesquite provide a stronger, more traditional BBQ flavor. Experiment to find your favorite ones. You can also use a pellet grill with wood pellets.
  • Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F. Avoid overcooking, as this can dry out the meat.
  • Resting the Chicken: Allowing the chicken to rest after smoking is crucial for juicy meat. It lets the juices redistribute throughout the chicken.
  • Advanced Prep: You can brine the chicken two days ahead for a deeper flavor. Just ensure it’s kept refrigerated and well covered.
  • Slicing Chicken – After the chicken has rested and cooled, it is time to slice the chicken. Place on a cutting board and slice with a knife or kitchen shears.
  • Seasoning Chicken – When added the dry rub to the chicken makes sure to cover the entire chicken with the seasoning. Rub chicken wings, thigh, sides of the backbone, and the cavity.
Close up image of slice whole smoked chicken

Serving Suggestions

This whole chicken can be sliced and served with you a side of bake potatoes, smoked mac and cheese and smoked asparagus. It is even delicious served as a smoked chicken sandwiches or on your favorite salads.

Slice smoked chicken on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long to Smoke Chicken

Depending on the size of your chicken, it will smoke for about 3-4 hours. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked for an internal temperature of 165 degrees f. Cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken and your smoker.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. We like to store in individual containers depending on the meal that we are using the cooked smoked chicken in.

Can I Freeze

Yes, you can place the cooked chicken in freezer safe containers or zip lock bag for up to 3 months.

More Easy Smoker Recipes

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

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Smoked Whole Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Smoked Whole Chicken is a delicious way to cook a whole chicken. Skip the rotisserie chicken at the store and make this juicy chicken at home.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 1 day
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 512

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken about 4-5 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

For the Brine:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional: garlic cloves lemon slices, and fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme)

For the Rub:

Instructions

  • Combine water, kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cool to room temperature. Add optional garlic, lemon, and herbs. Submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove chicken from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Coat with avocado oil.
  • Mix smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Rub over the entire chicken.
  • Heat smoker to 225-250°F. Use wood chips like hickory, apple, or cherry.
  • Place chicken in the smoker. Smoke for 3-4 hours until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Remove chicken and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

– Brining: Don’t skip the brining process. It’s key for ensuring the chicken remains moist and flavorful during the smoking process.
– Wood Chips: Different woods impart different flavors. Apple and cherry give a sweeter, fruitier smoke, while hickory and mesquite provide a stronger, more traditional BBQ flavor. Experiment to find your favorite ones.
– Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F. Avoid overcooking, as this can dry out the meat.
– Resting the Chicken: Allowing the chicken to rest after smoking is crucial for juicy meat. It lets the juices redistribute throughout the chicken.
– Advanced Prep: You can brine the chicken two days ahead for a deeper flavor. Just ensure it’s kept refrigerated and well covered.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 512kcal, Carbohydrates 20g, Protein 34g, Fat 32g, Saturated Fat 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat 7g, Monounsaturated Fat 15g, Trans Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 136mg, Sodium 9596mg, Potassium 425mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 18g, Vitamin A 675IU, Vitamin C 3mg, Calcium 80mg, Iron 3mg

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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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