Smoking a whole chicken.

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by tlee00, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. So I bought my first smoker and been looking around looking for how people have smoked a whole chicken (using cherry wood). I've read a few things about brining, I've seen anywhere from 4 hours to at least 12 hours to brine the whole chicken, I am making my brine out of a gal of water 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons garlic powder, and 3 tablespoons of ground black pepper, I may change the garlic and pepper but not to sure yet. I am just unsure of how long I should let the bird sit in the brine for (the bird is 5.12 lbs).

    I've also read different things with the temp of the smoker, Ive seen 185 all the way to 300, and same thing with times (I know they will be different depending on heat). I am looking for a crispy outside but tender and juicy inside. I will be brushing the chicken with a light coat homemade bbq sauce throughout the smoking process.

    Just adding I will be smoking some good home grown Iowa Sweet corn with the chicken just brushed with butter, salt and pepper.

    If anyone has any tips on making my first smoked dinner turn out good let me know. I'm not looking for full recipes I don't like to follow what other people make just need some tips so my bird comes out halfway decent.
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Your brine sounds good, myself I would cut back on the garlic and pepper a bit.

    Like you said 4 -12 hours is fine it's kind of up to what you like. Being a whole bird 12 hours would probably be better, pieces wouldn't need as long, just make sure you keep it cold while brining. 

    185* is way to low for chicken, you need to have an internal temperature (IT) of 165* to be safe so it would take forever at 185* not to mention how rubbery it would be. I cook chicken at 275* - 300* and you can even crank it up higher at the end for a few minutes to help crisp the skin.

    I see this is your first post here, when you get a minute would you do us a favor and go to "Roll Call" and introduce yourself so we can get to know you and give you a proper welcome, also would you add your location to your profile, we like knowing where you are when we talk to you, Thanks
  3. I will do that sorry, didn't see the roll call forums, How long does your bird usually cook at 275-300?
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Actually I've never done a whole bird just pieces but I read a thread the other night and people were talking about it and said about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. The main thing is to get it up to temp, 165* in the breast 175* in the thigh.
  5. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I usually spatchcock (butterfly) my chicken....basically cut out the back bone and lay it out flat.  Your brine looks pretty good, as stated I would cut the garlic back some but that is just my opinion.  I usually use Tip's slaughterhouse brine (do a search on "slaughterhouse brine" here it will come up.  I leave out the celery seed. I also brine my chickens for 20-24 hours at least if I have the time...I have left them in for three days before with no ill effects that I noticed and if you only have 6 or so hours that is better than nothing.  I smoke at 275-300 and take my birds to 165-175 IT in the breast and thigh, this usually takes about 1.5 -2 hours.  Good luck and don't forget the pics.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  6. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    I agree that 185* is way too low for a whole chicken. I just pulled one out of my smoker after ~2:15 at 300*. There was juice bubbling under the skin, so I know it's juicy and the skin had a bit of crisp to it.

    When I've done whole turkeys I used brine for ~24 hours, and it worked out well. For chicken I've found that using the 'beer can' method keeps the bird plenty juicy and means this lazy guy can do less work. [​IMG]

    There are a number of ways to smoke a whole chicken... I just happen to like to do as little as possible to get an acceptable result. You'll find the method that suits you best with a little experimentation.

    By the way, x2 on the corn. One of my favorites.

    Good luck! Post pics if you can.
  7. I smoke my chickens using the beer butt technique too. It works great and helps ensure a moist bird. You can also do a lot of different rubs and I add some of whatever I use to the beer, wine, or whatever is in the beer can.

  8. I have been smoking a lot of whole chicken lately.  I use the beer can method to just hold the chicken upright (the can is empty).  After brining, and rubbing I just set them in the smoker at about 260 degrees.  After a three hours or so, they are perfect, but the skin is a little rubbery.  The meat is the moistest I've ever had in a chicken.
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The brining will do you justice, the breast will stay moist and tender.

    I have a corn recipe that is straight-up: peel back the husk and clean the silk, smear Mayonnaise all over it and replace the Husk, cook of an hor or so and you'll need no butter or salt. just a good ear of corn. No-one here has let me know how it was liked, but I'll assure you it is good...

    Just sayin' , have fun and...

Share This Page