Best way to smoke chicken?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
East Galesburg, IL
Is it best to do beer can chickens or to cut up whole chickens or just do thighs or what. Do you guys remove the skin or not? The main problem without removing the skin is you don't seem to get a lot of the good rub or seasoning on the meat and it is lost on the skin. Any suggestions.
I use the Beer Can Buut Bird method.

Lightly rub and when done I pull off the skin and strip the birds clean.

Some folks like the skin and it's texture can be a real's a matter of choice and method.
i rub the skin & spritz & go low & slow....the skin is 1/2 the flavor- ya may try food choppering the skin after- or ya can slip yer rub/marinade under the skin on 1/4s. either way ya got- the skin holds in the flavor & the bone holds in the juice- just try chix & dumplings w/out bone in chix... ya better have twice the boullion( just my opinion)
I agree with Gypsy, put the rub under the skin, and I think? Dee jay Debi? said, they don't need to be cooked low and slow, crank the heat up and get crispy skin. For me, skin is the best part. Terry
What temp and for how long would you recommend (typically) smoking three 3.5 pound chickens using the beer can method? Just looking for a ball park here, I know all smokers and meats are a little different. I am using a water smoker btw (Masterbuilt propane).
If you want the flavor inside your chicken try putting some rub in beer & inject the chicken with the beer & rub. Lots of flavor & very moist bird!!
Actually I have the 3 chickens on the smoker now. I injected the chicken then rubbed the injection juice all over (and under the skin and inside) then I put the rub all over (and under the skin and inside). Then I also put beer and cider vinegar in the water bowl and am using a mixture of apple and cherry wood chips. I have it going at about 225 - 250 and plan on cooking it about 3.5 hours. Hopefully that is about right. It sure smells good!
I don't know about beer can. I brine mine over night then put on rub or seasoning and put it on the grate breast down for the first 1-1 1/2hrs then turn it, I don't go by time, go by temp, pull at 168° to 170°. Last one I did was about 5lbs and it took 4:45hrs
I would think that a larger bird would take longer than a small one, but would 3 small ones take any longer than 1 small one?
If you want crispy skin, don't go lo & slo. You'll need a temp >300* to crisp it up.
This time I'm going slow and low. Most of those that will be eating won't eat the skin no matter what.

But I may try the crispy skin next time, cause it sounds good to me!
Chicken is not good to do Low and Slow because the low temperature encourage bacterial growth and chicken is a biohazard waiting to happen.
The chickens turned out great by the way!

I ended up smoking them at about 250-275 most of the way. Turned it up a little at the end but not much. They were done in about 3.5 hours, but I didn't start the flame until I had the chickens sitting on their thrones on the grill. It would have been hard to get them on there with the smoker up to temperature. The chicken was very moist and tender, not the least bit dry or chewy. Getting the rub under the skin really got the taste in!! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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