how to smoke a whole chicken.

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by schaydu, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. 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?
  2. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    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!!!
    candycoated and cajuncpo like this.
  5. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    I think it lets the bird cook more even and lets the skin crispen up a lot nicer.
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would brine the bird first over night. Here's the best brine I have found yet:
    Originally Posted by travcoman45 [​IMG]
    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.
    mecgoat and cajuncpo like this.
  7. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    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.
    elbob17 likes this.
  8. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You want to brine your bird, it helps the bird stay juicy [​IMG]
  9. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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
    teamlarryboy likes this.
  10. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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.
  11. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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-view[​IMG]
    teamlarryboy likes this.
  12. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Brine Brine Brine oh and BTW

    WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!
  13. 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
  14. danielh

    danielh Meat Mopper

    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
  15. spg1

    spg1 Fire Starter

    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..
  16. 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.
  17. spg1

    spg1 Fire Starter

    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.[​IMG] I had no idea it cost that much, so I am hoping it helps the brine.
  18. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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.
  19. badfrog

    badfrog Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    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!
  20. mrblack947

    mrblack947 Fire Starter

    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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