Smoked Whole Chicken

Everybody loves chicken and this recipe is a beauty. Only 5 minutes preparation time too, which leaves more time for you-know-what!

This recipe is courtesy of Steve Cylka of www.theblackpeppercorn.com. Check out his blog – its packed full of mouth-watering recipes, hints, tips and product reviews.

Says Steve: Chicken is quite possibly the most popular meat that I smoke. We love smoked chicken and it is far superior to any rotisserie chicken you can purchase at the grocery store. The meat is moist and juicy with a wonderful smokey flavor. One other thing we love about smoked chicken is that it is outstanding for leftovers. We always make extras, knowing that the meat will be great in wraps, sandwiches or on pizza. Use the carcass to make some smoked chicken broth for a soup with so much flavour.


  1. 1 whole chicken per four people
  2. 3 tablespoons of dry spice rub for each whole chicken

Here’s Steve’s super recipe for a Spice Rub if you have time. It will be enough for several birds and it will keep for ages in an airtight container so it’s worth the effort.

  1. ¾ cup paprika
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. ½ cup salt
  4. ¼ cup ground black pepper
  5. 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons thyme
  7. 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  8. 2 tablespoons cumin
  9. 1 tablespoons sage

If you haven’t got time to make Steve’s own rub, use half a jar of Joanna’s Classic Chicken Natural Spice Rub per chicken.


  1. Pre-heat your Bradley Digital Smoker to 121C/250F using wood of choice. Some great wood options for poultry are hickory, apple, oak, pecan and maple. I used Bradley’s Whiskey Oak wood for this smoke.
  2. Mix all the spice rub ingredients together.
  3. Rinse the chicken under cold water. Trim any excess skin or fat around the neck area or in and around the cavity of the bird.
  4. Tie the legs together using kitchen string or butcher’s twine. If desired, fold the wings back and under the back. This is not necessary, but nice for presentation.
  5. Generously rub the bird with a spice rub. Make sure that you get all areas of the chicken covered with the spices as this will greatly enhance the flavour.   Smoked_Whole_Chicken_2
  6. Place the birds on the smoker racks and leave in the smoker until they reach an internal temperature of 74C/165F. The time it takes to reach this temperature varies greatly. Depending on the smoker and the amount of food you are smoking it can take anywhere from 3-5 hours.

Steve’s Tip: If you love REALLY crispy skin, transfer the chicken to your oven for the last 30 minutes or so. I have done this and it works really well. In this case, remove the chicken from the smoker when the internal temperature is around 62-65C/145-150F. Place the bird in a 190C/375F oven and cook until the internal temperature is 74C/165F. 

Let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

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