Whole, split, or quarters?

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what's the best form of chicken to smoke or grill?

  • Whole

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Split

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Quarters

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Individual Pieces

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Sep 26, 2006
I have cooked a few tons of clux in my time, and I have decided that for the best end result, split birds or quarters are better than whole birds, We think that for uniformity of doneness, smoke penetration, uniformity of seasoning, and ease of handling and serving, splits or quarters are just the way to go.

I have cooked more berr butt chix than I care to think about, and I just don't think you can produce as good a quality table fare that way. Not that you can't end up with good vittles, just better the other way.

Please take the time to vote in the poll, but also to tell us all why you voted the way you did.

While it really depends on what type of cooking you're doing (grill, smoke, rotisserie, etc). I've found that I enjoy doing rotisserie whole chix the best. On my grill while rotisserie-ing (is that a word??), I can add smoke if I wish, change the flavor with wine in the drip pan or whatever. The meat is always juicy, the skin crispy, and the flavor is awesome. Next to that, I like to grill legs and quarters, breasts and thighs. This is usually with a bbq sauce marinade that crisps up pretty well. I've smoked parts and pieces and a whole chic a couple of times in the GOSM, but wasn't that impressed with it. So once again it really depends on the type of cooking and how many you're feeding. :)
For straight grilling I would vote for individual pieces. Some parts of the bird cook faster than others. And I like to use a teryaki marinade that works better with smaller pieces.

For smoking and roasting for table presentation I definitely prefer a whole bird.

When a club I belonged to had their annual outting featuring Lobster and Chicken I would do up huge racks of half chickens roasted over an open charcoal fire pit with cherry and a bit of mesquite added. Big hit! Would keep spray bottles of plain water laced with a touch of Caro Syrup for flares and offer sauces at the condiment table.

Just my $.02

If I'm grilling, I split in half. If it's going in the smoker, I leave it whole. My wife doesn't like legs or thighs, so I buy wholes anyway.

I split in half down the breast and marinate in fruit juices and herbs for the grill. Kind of like El Pollo Loco does if you have seen their operation and how they cook their yardbirds
Brine the whole bird overnight, smoke it (no can needed) and just listen to your family rave about it ....... Everytime
I'm with gofish brine them overnight and smoke them whole. If i'm cooking for a large crowd I would rather do quarters.
I smoke them whole on the can. My family absolutely loves them and I do to!
I like wings and thighs best and that doesn't quite fit in so I guess I'll say quarters? I usually buy whole chickens so I end up smoking them that way but the best chicken is the one that on sale!
I like the individual pieces. Usually when I'm done smoking I'm having a cold one and I'm not ready to eat dinner yet...but if you have a nice little leg there you can give it a try! Plus the wifey keeps finding legs and thighs for 29 cents a pound for a 10 pound bag!
I like doing splits for straight grilling - I backbone 'em too. One thing I tried a while back when I first got my chargriller is to smoke them on the rotisserie. It didn't work that well then - it was before I found SMF and got the excellent advice on how to mod that thing to keep good temps and all. I might have to try that again real soon.
- Anthony
A lady truly after my heart. That's the main reason for cooking clux as far as I'm concerned. The only problem I've had w/ that is that neither seems to be as good if it's not cooked still attached to it's neighboring piece.

After reading all the posts, I'd like to say the following things:

A rotissiere chicken grilled over semi direct heat is a fine thing. I think anyone that doesn't like that just doesn't like chicken.

Direct/indirect grilled pieces, glazed with a sweet tangy sauce (BBQ, Asian, fruit and herb, chutney, whatever) is probably the reason that charcoal grills were invented (yeah, that good).

We like splits for smoking and sauce on the side (as is the custom for all true BBQ in this area), the Smoky Okette gets the breast(minus just a smidge of meat that stays on the wing)and the leg. And yes Debi, I get my wings and thighs.

I suppose spatchcocked is good, but too much extra work for no more return than there is.

IMHO, it's all good unless it's overcooked. We just prefer the splits for smoking.

Thank all of you for sharing.

I had to go whole!! I've tried many ways but the whole chicken stuffed with lemons is the one!!YummY!!!
I typically use split chicken when either smoking, or grilling. I also remove the backbone beforehand.
We prefer the leg quarters. They cook evenly and a bit quicker, have a great smoky flavor. The meat pulled off the leftovers makes killer chicken salad and other things.

Here is last Sunday's clux. Just painted with EVOO, rub, smoked at 350°. Crispy skin. Most fine.
I voted split as I think that was my best answer for what you were asking us with the poll. If I am smoking and had pick one way it would definately be halves. I grill, indirect on the Performer, alot of 1/4's but rarely smoke just 1/4's. I also grill alot of thighs.

About the only time I smoke a whole chicken anymore is when I know I am just smoking meat for mexican dishes, chicken salad, or something along those lines.
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