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How Long To Smoke Chicken
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4.5 from 4 votes

How Long To Smoke Chicken

Smoking a whole chicken can result in a really tender and flavorful bird. While you will have to set aside a few hours, the process itself is fun and rewarding.

Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoke Chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 165kcal


  • 6



  • 2

    Cups Chicken broth

  • 1/2

    Cup Kosher salt

  • 1/4

    Cup Sugar

  • 2


    Whole peppercorns

  • 2

    Bay leaves

  • 4

    Garlic cloves smashed

  • 4

    Cups Ice cubes


  • In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.

  • Add the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic.

  • Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.

  • Remove from the heat and add the ice cubes to cool to room temperature.

  • Make sure it is cool. Then, place the chicken in the pot to cover with brine, breast-side down, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

  • Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse with cold water.

  • Pat dry with paper towels and place it back in the refrigerator, preferably on a rack in a roasting pan, for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

  • Right before you take the chicken out of the refrigerator, soak your wood chips in water.

  •  The package will have directions, but it is really just as simple as placing them in a bowl of tap water.

  • Before smoking the bird, rub it all over with a little olive. 

  • Then, rub it inside and out with a blend of dry seasonings, such as sage, thyme, paprika, and lemon pepper.

  • Or, you can just as easily use a store bought poultry seasoning or barbeque dry rub mix.

  • You don’t need to add salt, as it is already brined with salt. Let the bird sit out and come to almost room temperature, maybe 30 to 60 minutes.

  • Heat up your charcoal using a charcoal chimney (lighting fluid will ruin the taste). 

  • Prepare a foil packet of the drained wood chips with some holes poked into it to allow the smoke to escape.

  • Or, use the wood chip box that may have been included with your smoker.​

  • When the coals are white hot and the smoker temperature registers at 275 to 325˚F, drop your foil packet or wood chip box on top of the coals.

  • Place a drip pan on a lower grill above the coals. Insert your upper grill, and place the chicken, breast side up, on that.

  • Smoke until the breast internal temperature reaches 160˚F and the thigh reaches 170˚F.

  • Use a meat thermometer to check. This will take from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the bird.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 165kcal