First Chicken -- Easy Rub Recipe and How Long Approximately Does It Take

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by edl01, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. edl01

    edl01 Newbie

    Just got my first gas smoker yesterday.  I've got a 4.5 lb whole chicken.  Any suggestions for an easy rub recipe and approximately how long will it take (doing it in 45 degree weather)?  Any other suggestions of things I should do?  Thanks.
  2. ok I am new to smoking just like you but I too asked a good friend that has been doing this professionally for years and used this forum.  My chicken turned out awesome! 

    I marinated the chicken in Italian dressing for 4-6 hours.  Place chicken in bowl and drown in Italian dressing and cover, rotate a few times.  After 5 hours I was chomping at the bit to get started...  I wiped of all dressing and patted dry and rubbed the chicken with a concoction of seasonings premixed in a bowl.  I used a little bit of brown sugar, red season salt, cumin, garlic powder, white pepper, rubbed sage and few others from my cabinet.  I let that sit for about an hour while I warmed up my smoker to about 250.  I stuffed the cavity of the chicken with whole garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, cut up onions and a mix of fresh poultry herbs bought from wal-mart, it contained basil, rosemary and few others. I used a charcoal/hickory wood mix to smoke.

    It took a little over 4 hours to bring the internal temperature to 170, 165 is reccommended but I like my poultry a little on the done side to ensure it is done!  It came out juicy and wonderful.

    I left the skin on and trimmed up some of the excess around the neck and butt and smoked breast side up.  I used a turkey fryer thermometer as I dont trust the one that came with my smoker to get a temp on the smoke area of the smoker.  I also used a thermometer I purchased from rite aid for about $5 that I stabbed into the meat portion of the breast and left there for the duration of the smoke.  See my profile for pics.

    I have a huge list of upgrades I will slowly do but funds are scarce and I made do with what I had.

    Enjoy and good luck!

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    There are certainly a lot of ways to smoke chicken. Personally we like beer can chicken, and for seasoning we use Montreal chicken seasoning. I always brine overnight in a simple sugar salt brine with some MCS added. Then to take it one step further we like to inject with a butter/broth mix, in the thighs & breast.
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I have done a chicken or two in my days and I would say for an average chicken of 3-4 pounds I would smoke it 2-3 hours depending on your smoke and the temp that you smoke at. I like to smoke poultry at about 275°- 300° cause I like a more crispy skin.
  5. Chicken in a Smoker

    We like to break down the chicken into smaller pieces for easier management later.  We separate Split the bird vertically, then separate the leg and thigh piece and the breast and wing section.  We also do just wings and just breast tenders.  We smoke the chicken 1/4 pieces for about 2 hours at 260F.  Here is a vid of me loading the box this morning, 12/28/11

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  6. edl01

    edl01 Newbie

    Thanks for all the helpful hints.  Since I was in a hurry, I ended up doing a dry rub (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic and onion powder) and letting it sit for a couple of hours, then smoked it for about 4 hours at 220-230.  Had to finish it off in the oven, since the kids were getting hungry!!  The kids gave it a "best chicken we ever had" rating (even better than the beer can chicken I normally do on the grill).  I gave it an "OK, but could use improvement" rating.  Next time I think I'll do it at a higher temp to get the skin a little crispier, plan farther ahead to give it more time to marinate, and add additional wood half way through the smoke.  I definitely want to try Hamboner78's italian dressing marinade soon!  

    Thanks again for all the suggestions.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  8. As for rubs,I like to try new things but I tend to go to the cupboard and just reach for whatever spices smells or looks good and start mixing and hope for the best. I only messed up once on some ribs and got the rub too salty. As to the size of the bird, since I found this site I went from smoking at 225 deg. and went to 240-250 deg. It cuts down on the 30 minutes per lb rule although that should be considered when prepping it for a meal. You can let it rest longer if its done before you planned. I have to mess with my smoker after getting it up to the 250 chamber temp and after I put the meat in, I have to wait to see where it settles at again. The last turkey I did, I had to babysit the smoker for an hour or more til the temps evened out and I did the whole rest of the smoke with out a hitch. A good meat thermometer is essential since you like it done as do I.  I already relied on the thermometer but the another important point I learned here was to cook til its done,not so much for time. For example, The week before xmas and the week of, I did 20lb turkeys both weekends, I figured on the first one 30 minutes per lb but it ended up taking about 7.5 hours at 240-250 range It was a bit chilly here in Iowa but not much wind. The next week I took the smoker down to the house from my garage and ended up in about 45 deg. weather, but breezy. I had a harder time adjusting he temp but finally got it and that bird also was done in about 7.5 hours. Patience is key. 

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