Two chickens after cooking

Today I’m going to show you how to smoke a whole chicken. In this case I am actually doing 2 but you can do however many you want from 1 to however many your smoker can accommodate.

Preparation

The Chicken:

The first thing you are going to do is remove the giblets from inside the chicken.

If you wish to brine the chicken you may, but I didn’t do so this time.

Rinse off the chicken and pat it dry.

Then apply the rub of your choice to the chicken. For a good homemade rub check out the recipe I posted here.

Two chickens with dry rub applied

The Smoker:

Light your smoker using your favorite method. For tips on how to do so check out How To Light A Charcoal Grill.

Charcoal in a charcoal chimney

Heat your smoker up to 250 degrees and maintain that temperature throughout the whole cooking time.

You can use the wood of your choice. I used cherry this time. For suggestions on choosing wood types for smoking take a look here.

Cooking the Chicken

Place the chicken on the rack inside your smoker.

Two chickens placed in a smoker

During the cooking process, you are going to want to monitor the temperature of the grill and the internal temperature of the chicken itself.

Maintain a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit in the smoker.

Cook the chicken until it reaches a temperature of 165 degree Fahrenheit. Insert the probe through the thickest part of the breast to get ensure the whole chicken is cooked thoroughly. This process should take about 30-45 minutes per pound of the chicken.

Almost There!

When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the chicken from the smoker and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Doing this allows the juices to draw back into the chicken.

Two chickens after cooking

At this point the chicken is ready to be carved and served.

Tip Regarding the Skin: The skin of the chicken when done in a smoker tends to be very chewy. If you prefer a crispier skin, you can remove the chicken from your smoker at about 145 degrees Fahrenheit and place it in your oven at 350 degrees to finish it off. This will leave you with a nice crispy skin. I did not do this, this time, but it works very well.

How Were They?

These chickens came out very well if I may say so myself. They were very juicy and had a sweet smoky flavor from the cherry wood smoke.

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