How to Cook Chicken on a Smoker

How to Cook Chicken on a Smoker

Been craving that smoked chicken you had at a restaurant the other night? Bought a smoker but want to start by cooking something rather easily? Well this guide is for you. Delicious, smoked chicken done right in your backyard done just like the restaurants!

Recommended reading: 20 Grilling Essentials you need to have!

Table of Contents

1) First you’ll need to gather:

– Smoker

– Charcoal

– Woodchips

– Bone-in Chicken

Start off an hour before hand. Place a couple handfuls of woodchips in a small bowl of water and let them soak. I prefer mesquite chips for chicken the most. Disassemble your smoker at this time if you need to and fill your water bowl up with warm water. Also, get a chimney full of coals started up a couple minutes after you’ve done all of that.

– Chicken prep:

Take all of your chicken out and run them under water to clean them. Take a pair of kitchen shears and trim off the fatty layer of skin. It doesn’t have to be perfect but just make sure you get the majority of it off. An optional thing to do is take a few paper towels and dry off your chicken in preparation for the rub. Take your favorite dry rub and liberally apply it to your chicken.

At this time, you can also make a small bowl of melted butter and olive oil to baste onto your chicken later. (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)

2) Starting to cook:

Your charcoal at this time should all look white and be ready to dump into your smoker. Don’t forget your water, either, after you dump the charcoal. Seal up your smoker and let it get up to tempature (225 degrees). If you don’t have a thermometer, get one. It is essential that you have the right tempature. Place your chicken onto the smoker with the fat part up.

3) During the cook:

After bout 30 minutes you should see your temperature to drop off slightly. Get a small batch of warm coals ready (either in your chimney or in a spare grill) and place them in a little at a time. You should also add some wood chips at this time so it can start absorbing that smoky flavor. You can also take your cooking brush and spread on your butter and olive oil mixture on top of each piece of chicken. This will help keep the outer layer nice and crisp. Continue to add charcoal and woodchips about every 30 minutes to maintain temperature and smoke. Don’t forget to baste them, as well.

4) Done smoking:

If you maintain the correct temperature, split breasts and thighs should be done around the 3 hour mark. If you have wings or legs, they may be done a little sooner. Cut into a piece or use a meat thermometer to check doneness. Take the chicken off the smoker, add your favorite condiment and enjoy!


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