Smoking Split or Whole Chickens

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Original poster
Jul 7, 2005
Falls Church, Virginia
I need some advice as to the best way to smoke a whole chicken. Should I split the chicken and smoke it in two parts or should I smoke it whole? Thanks.

Check out the pics and posts in the poultry section called "Cornish Hens Beer Can Style" by crazyhorse and others. You can use a full size can of your favorite beer or Pop (soda / soft drink / trendy chemical refreshment) and sit the whole chicken, wings and legs tied up (if you're into that) with a drip pan underneath to catch the good stuff for gravy or whatever, and roast away. Save the cutting up (if it needs it) for after the cooking when it's easier. Rub the outside of the chicken with oil if you like and your favorite spices and smoke away!
Thanks Hoosiersmoker. I have used the beer can method on my grill, but my old smoker did not have enough depth between the grate and the lid to accomodate a chicken standing upright on a can. Although I could probably use a smaller chicken as I usually try and do a 5-6 pounder on the grill. I just bought a new smoker (BBQ Chef by BBQ Galores) and have not tried to stand a chicken of that size on a can inside but will try tonight.

I would also recommend that you check earlier posts that talk about brining and refer to the link on the upper left side of this page. Brining is especially impotant if you are going to cook the bird lying down (when not using the beer can method). Brining your bird prior to smoking will help to ensure a moist and juicy finished product.

Hope this helps!

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