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Whole Smoked Chicken

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
If Brining4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 45 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue chicken, Barbeque, BBQ, bbq chicken, Smoked Chicken
Servings: 4


  • Smoker or Grill


  • 1 whole young chicken about 5-7lbs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • cooking spray or olive oil


Wet Brine

  • Mix 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water into pot on stove
  • Heat water and salt mixture and stir to dissolve
  • Allow brine to cool and place chicken into pot with a lid
  • Store pot in fridge or cooler for desired time 1hr minimum but not more than 24hrs

Dry Brine

  • Take 1 cup of salt and apply liberally over chicken
  • Place in refrigerator on sheet pan and allow to sit uncovered


  • Place the chicken breast side down
  • Use a sharp chef knife to cut slightly to the left and the right of the spine. several cuts may be needed to ensure you have gone all the way through.
  • Remove spine by pulling
  • Once you have removed the spine turn the chicken over so that the breast are facing up
  • Apply pressure to the chicken breast. You will hear a cracking. This is normal when flattening out the chicken

Seasoning with Rub

  • Combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder into a shaker or small bowl and stir until it is well mixed
  • Spray chicken with cooking spray or coat lightly with olive oil on both sides
  • Sprinkle seasoning until evenly covered

The cook

  • Poor charcoal in a chimney and add 2 wax starter cubes underneath and allow the charcoal to burn until you the majority are covered in ash.
  • Dump into bottom of smoke and assemble with water pan a grates and top with lid
  • Once the smoker has reached 225°-250° place chick skin side up on smoker. Allow to smoke approximately 15 minutes per pound until done.
  • Check with instant read thermometer after the first hour and adjust time accordingly
  • Once your temperature had reached 162-165° take off the smoker and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. There will be 3-5° of carry over cooking from the residual heat.