Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe

Smoked Whole Chicken

Smoked Whole Chicken is believed to be the most common, easy to make, and the tastiest meal that anyone can serve on a dinner table on any special occasion or for a holiday dinner. I found out making this whole chicken recipe incredibly easy, and it takes comparatively much lesser time than any other meat dish. I am sure if you follow my recipe, you will be serving your holiday dinner table with the best-smoked chicken recipe in no time. You can also go through the sideline recipes I have shared to serve a complete and proper meal.

Yones Bbq Rubs

How to make Smoked Whole Chicken

I have shared several grilling recipes, but this smoked whole chicken recipe I like the most. It serves you with a sufficient amount of nutrition calories needed by the body from a one-time meal.

If you are hosting a friend’s reunion or a party, I recommend you smoke a whole chicken instead of going for other time-taking options rather than purchasing a rotisserie chicken from the grocer. I would say to smoke your chicken with the spice rub or the chicken rub you like.

Smoking chicken is a task for the experts, but at the same time, it can be a bit challenging for the young pitmasters to smoke the whole chickens but no need to panic! Here we will walk you through all the tips and tricks along with the top-line recipe to make your best-smoked chicken.

To prepare the best smoked whole chicken, grab your smoker. Fill it up with red hot charcoal and the fruitwood you like to infuse the meat with that tempting smoke flavour. Here I will be using a pellet grill.

Without wasting any more time, let’s jump to the recipe.

Step 1: Brine Chicken

This step is optional!

It is not necessary to brine the whole bird before smoking it, but also there is no harm in it. If you brine the chicken, it will tenderize the meat and keep it moist, serving you with incredibly moist, full of juiciness and tender meat. It will also help in getting rid of any unnecessary saturated fat. Once done with the brining process, you can discard the chicken brine and take the chicken straight for marinating. Always pat dry the meat with the help of paper towels before applying the spice blend.

Many people got confused with the terms chicken brine and chicken broth. Both of them are different things. You cannot use the brine, whereas you can store the chicken broth and can use it while making other delicious recipes such as soups etc.

Step 2: Preheat Smoker

Always clean your grill grates or the wire rack before using. Light up your smoker, make sure that the charcoals are red hot, then add wood pellets to it and close the lid. All fruit woods are considered to be the best wood for smoking, but it purely depends upon your taste. Maintain the internal temperature of the smoker at 225ºF. This is the optimal temperature to cook and make a perfectly smoked whole chicken recipe.

Step 3: Season with rub/ spice blend

If you want to enjoy crispy skin, do not remove the skin while marinating or washing the chicken. To marinate the bird, place it on a cooking tray and brush it up with olive oil. After giving it an oil bath, apply the rub and all the other ingredients with the help of a hand or a brush, the way you feel easy.

When you are done marinating it hold the two legs together from the end and tie them up with kitchen twine and tuck in the wings behind the shoulder joint

Step 4: Smoking a whole chicken

When you are done seasoning the chicken, place it directly onto the grill. You can also place the chicken in a foil pan and put it on the grill. Do you know why we do this? We do this to gather all the juices that pop out of the chicken while smoking so that the juice may not fall on the rack and you will not have to clean it again and again.

Leave it in the smoker at 225ºF for the desired cooking time which is 3 – 4 hours. When you are halfway through, start basting the meat with melted butter. You can also baste it after short intervals.

If you want to enjoy a crispier skin, increase the temperature to 375ºF and let it cook for another 30-40 minutes.

An electric probe thermometer or a simple BBQ thermometer must be inserted into the thickest part of the meat to record the internal temperature of the meat. If the internal temperature is recorded at 165 degrees f, consider it done as smoked whole chicken.

Step 5: Remove & Serve

When the desired internal temp is achieved, remove the foil pan containing the whole smoked chicken and set it aside for almost 10 minutes. You must be thinking about why we let it rest for 10 minutes. We do it to allow the meat to redistribute the juices and flavour amongst all the parts and enjoy a crisp crust. After 10 minutes, take a serving platter, place the bird on it and sprinkle some lemon juice along with finely chopped thyme or parsley. Do not forget to serve the smoked whole chicken with a side salad.

Best Sides To Serve With a Smoked Whole Chicken

There are many other smoked chicken recipes, but this is my favorite one, and I just love it when I prepare it with my favorite dry rub presented along with my favorite side dishes that are Smoked baked potatoes, Smoked sweet potatoes, Smoked Asparagus, or smoked deviled eggs.

Best Beer To Pair With Smoked Whole Chicken

This succulent, smoky masterpiece is a delight for carnivores and grill enthusiasts alike. But what’s a chicken feast without the perfect beer to complement it? Let’s dive into the top beer pairings that will make your whole chicken experience even more finger-licking good.


Lager, the classic and versatile friend of the beer world, is an ideal match for your Smoked Whole Chicken. Its crisp and clean taste won’t overshadow the smoky flavors, allowing the chicken’s natural juiciness to shine. The beer’s effervescence cleanses your palate, preparing it for another delicious bite. This pairing is like a backyard barbecue party where the beer keeps things light, and the chicken takes center stage.

Pale Ale

Pale ale, with its hoppy zest and citrusy notes, adds an extra layer of excitement to your smoked chicken. The hoppy bitterness of a pale ale contrasts the savory smokiness of the meat, creating a lively dance of flavors that will have your taste buds doing the happy chicken dance. This pairing is like a flavor adventure, where each bite is a burst of hoppy excitement. The pale ale’s refreshing character ensures your palate is ready for the next mouthful of chicken deliciousness.

Wheat Beer

Wheat beer, with its light and slightly fruity character, is like a sunny day in a glass for your Smoked Whole Chicken. The beer’s subtle sweetness complements the smoky, tender meat, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. The effervescence of wheat beer cleanses your palate, making every bite of chicken feel like a refreshing flavor adventure. This pairing is as easy-breezy as a picnic on a sunny day and as tasty as a summertime cookout.

Smoked Whole Chicken

Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe

Smoking chicken is a task for the experts, but at the same time, it can be a bit challenging for the young pitmasters to smoke the whole chickens but no need to panic! Here we will walk you through all the tips and tricks along with the top line recipe to make your best-smoked chicken.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes



  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 batch of Smoked Chicken Rub
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • Smoked Paprika
  • BBQ Sauce optional
  • Garlic powder
  • Apple juice optional
  • Brown sugar optional
  • Fresh thyme for dressing


  • Preparing the chicken brining and afterwards marinating it .
  • Start your smoker and get the temperature stable at 225ºF.
  • Coat the outside of your chicken in some olive oil, and then add your preferred chicken seasoning. For extra flavor, separate the skin from the meat by sliding your hand between the two and coating the meat with seasoning.
  • Place the chicken directly on the grill and smoke for 3 hours. Optionally, you can also place it on a disposable tinfoil pan to keep some of the juices.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.

Smoked Whole Chicken FAQs

How long does it take to smoke whole chicken at 225?

The exact time to smoke the whole chicken at 225 is 4 hours until the thighs, breasts, or any thickest part has reached the said internal temperature. If compared with other smoked recipes, it consumes much less time giving an incredible flavour of smoked whole chicken.

How Do You Smoke A Whole Chicken Without Drying It Out?

There are three different ideas by which you can smoke a whole chicken without drying it out.

Brining the chicken: it will give you a tender meat with all the juices trapped inside the meat.

Avoid cooking or smoking it at high temperatures.

Leaving the skin on the meat will allow it to retain all the juices while cooking, thus providing you with juicy smoked whole chicken meat.

How do you keep chicken moist when smoking?

To keep the chicken wet while cooking, add a brine before smoking. Brines can be made with just salt and water or with spices, fresh herbs, or aromatics like lemon and garlic. It is an important step for a smoked whole chicken.

What temperature should you smoke a whole chicken?

The optimal temperature to smoke a whole chicken is 225. Whereas if you want a crisp crust to increase the temperature to 375.

The optimal internal temperature at which your chicken gets fully cooked is 165

Do I Need To Brine Chicken Before Smoking?

It is not necessary, but if you want to enjoy meat full of tenderness, juices, and natural flavours. I recommend brine it before cooking because brining the meat with spices, salt, and sugar will leave you with the best aromatic and juicy texture.

Do You Wrap Chicken In Foil When Smoking?

Wrapping the bird should not be necessary. Cooking the chicken in foil after it has been cooked can assist the flesh in becoming even more soft and moist. However, you should not wrap the smoked whole chicken for an extended period of time since it will lose moisture.

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