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how to smoke a whole chicken.

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
After my first smoking adventure, i think i am addicted. Now i want to do a whole chicken but i am not sure how to prepare it and how to cook it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know i am going to use lump charcoal but what kind of wood should i use with it?
post #2 of 44
as far as wood is concerned cherry, apple, pistachio, pecan and oak are milder than hickory or mesquite but as with everything it is an individual choice. i would brine the bird for 2 hrs in a solution of 1 cup salt to 1 gal of water. then rinse and rub with olive oil and yer favorite rub. also i would spatchcock the bird (take out the backbone)



smoke at a hire temp like 275-325 until 165.
post #3 of 44
Never thought to pull the backbone...good idea! Better smoke permeation?

As for wood choice, I used a mesquite & hickory mix & it turned out delicious.
post #4 of 44
Just like chefrob said the brine is key. I use a brine i found of this site which rocks and everyone who's had my chicken wants to know how i do it. I do try and brine my bird over night though.

Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 1⁄2 Gal Water
1⁄2 C Salt (picklin er kosher)
1⁄2 C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
2 tsp Celery Seed


I've done both spatchcock (which i call butterflying) and keeped it whole. If you keep it whole you just have to watch that one side doesn't cook faster than the other.

Also injecting isn't need IMO b/c the brine leaves the bird so juicy!

Wood is your prefference i almost always use hickery.

Happy smoking and make sure you post some QVIEW!!!
post #5 of 44
I think it lets the bird cook more even and lets the skin crispen up a lot nicer.
post #6 of 44
I would brine the bird first over night. Here's the best brine I have found yet:
Originally Posted by travcoman45
Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 ½ Gal Water
½ C Salt - Kosher
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning
2 tsp Celery Seed

Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection
½ Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Celery Seed
2 TBS melted Butter (non salted
2 C Apple Cider

Slaughterhouse Spritz (Good fer everthin!)
8 oz Apple Cider
6 oz Water
4 oz Whiskey
2 oz Cider Vinegar

This is popular round here, also lower in salt cause I can't have that much no more.

Now after that I would smoke it with some apple wood or another fruit wood if you can. The set the smoker at about 300° if you can and smoke it till you have an internal temp (in the breast) of about 165° and then foil it and let it rest for atlaest a half an hour then enjoy some of the best yard bird you have ever eaten.
post #7 of 44
I rub mine with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion power, and dill.

I smoke breast down for an hour then flip, then smoke until it hits 165 in the thigh and breast.

I'll then give it about 4 minutes a side on a hot natural gas grill to crisp up the skin.

Lastly I'll place the whole, uncarved chicken with a knife and fork on the platter directly on the table and guests can self carve whatever they wish.
post #8 of 44

Brine it

You want to brine your bird, it helps the bird stay juicy icon_wink.gif
post #9 of 44
I too like the Slaughterhouse brine - l take my birds to 162- 163 and finish on my grill to crisp the skin up - Always cook an extra one for tacos and chicken sammies - wishin I had some now
post #10 of 44
What everybody else said about brining and temps (tips brine is a good one) I brined some last weekend with it but I didn't have any celery seed, I used some chipoltle powder, and other seasonings, I basted the last hour with a chipoltle maple bbq sauce, the chicken was great! I used mesquite wood and lump charcoal in my UDS. These where just chicken thighs. If I am doing whole birds I like to do either a beer can or Dr Pepper in the butt, shove an onion in the neck and let er roll to about 175 or so. For a crispier skin I like to run my smoker a little hotter, 275-280. The low and slow doesn't really apply to chicken because the meat is so much different than pork or beef. It will still take on a good smoke flavor and be very jucy at those temps I promise.
post #11 of 44
Just to see you posting on here again today I can tell your addicted!!Finally someone mentioned the beer can. The brine is a must! It's just to juicy when you do. I usually set mine on a bud lime for a little citrus flavor. Should we wait here for the q-viewicon_smile.gif
post #12 of 44
Brine Brine Brine oh and BTW


WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!
post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
thanks again for all of the advice, if i didnt have to go work the next 4 days i would already have the smoker going. I think i am going to go with the slaughterhouse recipe. it seems like everyone enjoys it. When i give it ago i will make sure i have pics up.

and to mr500, this might be yalls year lol
post #14 of 44
The slaughterhouse brine is great! Personally i think the best chicken comes from hickory smoke, especially the next day.. I like to cook mine whole, breast down, and let all the juices sit on top of the breast while cooking. Others may have a different opinion..

However you go, I'm sure it will be great
post #15 of 44
With the slaughterhouse brine, do you still use a rub? The wife want me to do a chicken tomorrow, and I have no idea but I will give it a try..
post #16 of 44
I always use a rub when i do chicken. I find the chicken comes out better without using a brine. I have been injecting the meat with melted butter and whatever rub I am using. The meat is always juicy and tender.
post #17 of 44
I have not tried injecting or brine yet. I figure I will try the brine and buy an injector sooner or later. Besides I just went to the store and bought some celery seed.eek.gif I had no idea it cost that much, so I am hoping it helps the brine.
post #18 of 44
Yup, I use a citrus rub cause it's what I like, but any good rub will sure do the bird justice.

Smoked bird is the best.

The nice thing bout the brine is, it dosen't overpower the taste a the bird, simply adds a bit to it.

Wood: I use alotta maple, apple, cherry, any a the fruit woods. Hickory be my favorite fer myself, but it's a stronger smoke what I like but not everbody does. Ya can always mix woods to, I'd start with apple er maple fer yer first, then start tryin different things.
post #19 of 44
That slaughterhouse brine recipe looks interesting!
I smoked a couple of yard birds today...I always brine a chicken unless I just didn't plan ahead. I used 1 gal of water with 1c kosher and 1/2 cup white sugar; a couple of bayleafs, @T of ground sage and a handful of cracked b. pepper.
I am with Travcoman45, I like Hickory! cooked them (alongside a fattie) in the UDS at about 275...and of course forgot the qview...maybe qview tomorrow!
post #20 of 44
I still use a beer can and temps in the 250-275 range.

Is that weird or what? It has not come up at all.
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