This Smoked Whole Chicken will knock your socks off! If you love roasting chicken, you’ll never go back after smoking one. The seasoning and smoke combine to provide such a delicious flavor that you won’t need to brine it.
4 pounds whole chicken, preferably air chilled
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
1 sprig of thyme, leaves stripped and minced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 lemon, squeeze 1 tbsp juice and use same lemon to stuff chicken
Prep the smoker
Preheat smoker to 225°F. Most pellet grills don’t need it, but you can add a pan of water in the corner of the smoker to keep moisture inside.
Make the butter mixture
In a bowl, add all of the butter mixture ingredients. Mix well to combine.
Prep the chicken
Remove giblets from chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Separate the skin from the breasts with your fingers being careful not to tear the skin.
Stuff the chicken
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with crushed garlic cloves and squeezed lemon. Optionally, truss the legs together with kitchen twine.
Slather the chicken
Slather 2/3 of the butter mixture under the skin and the remaining mixture over the skin of the chicken.
Place chicken on the smoker
Place the chicken directly on the grill grates above the pan. If using a roasting pan with rack, place the chicken on the inner rack so it’s floating above the bottom of the pan. Place baking pan on smoker.
Let’s get cooking!
Continue cooking the chicken to an internal temperature of 145°F and then increase the grill temperature to 375°F for the remainder of cook. This will help get the skin crispy.
Let it rest
Once the chicken reaches 160°F into the thickest part of the breast, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise to 165℉ while resting.
Slice and enjoy!
We’re huge fans of using the chicken drippings for gravy! If you’re planning on making gravy from the drippings, pour 2 cups of chicken stock into a pan – aluminum or a roasting pan with rack. If using an aluminum pan, place it on the smoker below the chicken (under the grates) to catch the drippings. Place the chicken directly on the grill grates above the pan. If using a roasting pan with rack, place the chicken on the inner rack so it’s floating above the stock. Place roasting pan on grill grates.
How to Store Smoked Whole Chicken?
Smoked whole chicken is a dish you want to serve as soon as it comes out of the smoker, so you don’t want to make this one the day before. Still, depending on the number of guests you have over for dinner, you might have some leftovers.
To store smoked chicken, let it cool down to room temperature, cut it into manageable pieces and store them in a BPA-free plastic container with a lid. If air-tight, even better. Use cooked chicken within 3-4 days if stored at fridge temp. Leftover smoked chicken makes a mean club sandwich!
How to Reheat Smoked Whole Chicken?
To reheat smoked chicken, place it on a baking tray and warm it up in the oven at 350°F. Remember to preheat the oven for at least 15 minutes.
To prevent the chicken from drying out, pour saved chicken drippings or a few tablespoons of chicken stock over it before placing the pan into the oven. For crispy skin, finish reheating the chicken in the broiler for a few minutes!
What to Serve With a Smoked Whole Chicken?
This juicy and smoky bird is wonderful when served with starchy sides, from sweet potato fries to buttery mashed potatoes. Mac & cheese and creamy pasta are also nice warm side dishes. And don’t forget to eat your veggies; a few assorted grilled greens can really complement smoked chicken without stealing the spotlight.