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How To Smoke A Chicken

21 Reviews
My hubby and I have been playing around with our Smoker quite a bit lately. We made quite a few awesome dishes, but surprisingly enough our favorite so far has been this smoked chicken.
I don’t know that I have ever had smoked chicken before. I’ve had pork, brisket, and even jerky, but never chicken. I love rotisserie chicken so much that I’ve just never really thought about sticking the bird in a smoker. Well, and we didn’t have one of our own, so the only times we were around smoked food was at a BBQ place, and I’m all about the pork at those joints.
When we eat whole birds at home it’s either the rotisserie bird from Costco, yes Costco it’s the best rotisserie in my opinion (unless you know a good at home brand we could look into), Honey Roasted Chicken or Crockpot Whole Chicken. All of which are wonderful, but none will ever be as amazing as this baby.

This recipe is all Cade, so I’ll let him take over…

I was feeling like some warm fall flavors so I decided to take out the old allspice and cloves for this smoking event.  I can’t recall ever using the cloves or allspice for any of my meats. I can say with confidence now that I will be using it again.  The combination of these flavors did bring out that warm fall taste that I was looking for.  There is not much to the instructions.

We have an awesome Smoker, so it comes with all the goodies that you will ever need to have fun smoking your food. In the dripping pan I put two cups of apple juice, I was tempted to try orange but went with my ol’ reliable. I also used 1 cup of apple wood for smoking to bring out the sweetness of this dish.  You are welcome to use any type of wood or juice you want and please let me know how it turns out, I can’t wait to try more variations of this.  

This chicken was 3 1/2 lbs, so I cooked it for 3 and 1/2 hours, approximately 1 hour for every pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.  The chicken was one of the best I have ever had, not just in flavor but it was so moist even for second and third day leftovers!  I hope you have fun and enjoy smoking your food as much as I do!

More Easy Traeger Recipes: 

How To Smoke A Chicken

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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how to smoke a chicken

How to Smoke a Chicken

4.15 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings



  • 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves


  • 1 Whole Chicken 3-4 lbs
  • 2 Cups of Apple Juice
  • 1 Cup Apple Wood Chips


  • Rinse the bird, remove the giblets if there are any and pat dry.
  • In a small bowl, add each of the seasoning ingredients and stir to evenly combine. Evenly coat the entire bird with the seasoning mixture.
  • Heat the electric smoker to 215-230 degrees, and once the temperature is met, add the wood chips.
  • Pour the apple juice into the drippings pan, put it on the lower rack and then place the bird on the rack above it. You only want to open the smoker once, so have the bird and drippings pan ready to go.
  • Smoke the bird for 1 hour for every pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees.
  • Remove the bird to a cutting board and let rest for 6-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Carve up and enjoy!
  • *If you are using a bbq, just place the wood chips in a tin pan (you should soak the chips for 30-60 minutes first), and heat the grill to low-medium heat (you can place a thermometer in the grill to achieve the correct temp. ) Then just place a pan of apple juice in there too. Smoke as above.
Nutrition Facts
How to Smoke a Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 475 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 143mg48%
Sodium 286mg12%
Potassium 525mg15%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 523IU10%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


How to Smoke a Turkey


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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Did you spatchcock your chicken? That will make the cooking time shorter, right? We are smoking some pork shoulder and adding a chicken toward the end of the process. (We will be freezing lots of options for later! Yay!) I’m trying to figure out how much time we need and if spatchcocking is beneficial in a smoker. Thanks for your recipe and your site! You are one of my go-to places for recipes here and on Instagram!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Jennifer! We don’t spatchcock the chicken, but you definitely could! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • H, I am making this recipe in my Masterbuilt smoker and it will be first attempt at smoking anything. I am wondering about the apple juice in the drip pan. My drip pan has a hole in it which drips into the grease reservoir which does not make sense to me, however I have a water pan in mine and I am thinking that I should put the apple juice in that instead. Thoughts?

    • Reply
    • Yes, absolutely use the water pan! Thanks!!

      • Reply
  • Hi Carrian

    Thanks for this amazing recipe.

    I am just hoping to smoke the same recipe for my wife on her birthday.

    I think it will be surprise for her.

    Keep sharing

    You rocks

    • Reply
    • Thank you David! Your wife is going to love this!! Let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
  • If you like Costco Rotisserie Chicken try Beer Can Chicken. Season it the way you like and about 45 minutes at 350. Sometimes I rinse out a soda can and fill it halfway with red wine, then up the butt of the chicken and cook away. A La Wine Can Chicken ~ you’ll like it! Trust me!

    • Reply
    • I’ve heard that this is so delicious! We don’t cook with alcohol, but this will be a great tip for all our readers that do! Thank you Mary!

      • Reply
  • I just got a Masterbuilt Smoker.
    I have smoke some pork ribs and that’s it.

    I am looking forward to use this chicken recipe.

    I will let you know how it turns out

    Tom Neel
    [email protected]

    • Reply
    • Yes! Please let us know how it goes!!

      • Reply
  • This is the first recipe I tried in my new electric smoker. It turned out great. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
    • Yippee!! We sure love this recipe! Glad it was a hit for you!

      • Reply
  • Perfect recipe to follow. Great looking skin on that chicken. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
    • Thank you Lisa! And same to you! Smoked chicken is so dang good!

      • Reply
  • Wow amazing smoking recipe with full of nutrients. As a Nutritionist I appreciate this recipe with all healthy ingredients. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I will must try to home.

    • Reply
    • Thanks Mira! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Love what I have seen so far. Can’t wait to get cooking

    • Reply
    • Yay!! Enjoy!!

      • Reply
  • Smoked chicken is one of my favorite things to make on my grill. I just set it up to cook indirect on my weber grill and add a chunk or two of apple wood. It turns out great. Your chicken looks like it turned out pretty tasty too.

    • Reply
    • Thank you!

      • Reply
  • This chicken looks great. I will make this for weekend

    • Reply
  • Brine your bird first and 1 hour per lb is more correct than 2 hours. The bird is not done in two hours.

    • Reply
    • Hi AJ, thank you for your information. We are HUGE brining fans and should for sure include that. As far as time goes, our whole chickens generally are 2 pound birds, I guess we just don’t have bigger whole birds here. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Cook time- top of recipe Cook Time in box states 2 hours, yet the in theInstructions #4 states smoke the bird for 1 hour per pound, so with the 3-4 pound chicken you have in the ingredient list should it be for 3 1/2 hours?

    • Reply
  • Hello Cade and Carrian,

    Thanks for your post and your excellent recipe. I noticed that you soak your wood chips before using as I have done for years.

    Recently, however, I listened to a podcast of America’s Test Kitchen, where the host Christopher Kimball declared that they tested soaked and unsoaked wood chips, and that there was little to no difference in the post water bath weight, as wood does not readily absorb water (think boats)

    The slight amount of residual water that was there seemed to simply create steam that is mistaken for smoke. So based on your experience…what’s your opinion?

    • Reply
    • Mark, that’s interesting because lately we haven’t been smoking our chips like we used to, so it seems right that it isn’t as necessary as we once thought. In fact, we haven’t noticed a difference at all!

      • Reply
  • Trying this today ! Likes and sounds like an awesome recipe ! Love your choice of seasonings! I love to cook and use a lot of seasonings in all my recipes ! I used clove on my Turkey, just never thought about it on chicken! Thanks can’t wait to taste!

    • Reply
    • Oh it’s so good! eNJOY!

      • Reply
  • Five stars just for the pics. Feeling hungry just looking at this. I’ve been thinking of getting a smoker.

    • Reply
  • The picture alone has me sold on this recipe! I also have a Masterbuilt and I love it – the 40 inch one with the window is awesome. I started out with a 30 inch electric smoker but found it a bit small as extended family seem to drop by quite often to try some of my smoked foods! Going to bookmark this and give your recipe a try next weekend.

    • Reply
  • Was that chicken spatchcocked when cooked?

    • Reply
  • Breast up or down for smoking.

    • Reply
    • Breast up! 🙂

      • Reply
      • Had same question – breast up or down – you answered breast up but pic shows breast down?
        Can’t wait to try the yummy spices!

      • Breast up, sorry about the photos.

  • The methods of outdoor cooking are covered so well here, and the settings are even better! Lovely.

    • Reply
  • Love the look and ingredients listed. Just bought a smoker and this will be my first try. My smoker has a window in the door. I am a peaker, so am hoping this will help me break a bad habit. Masterbuilt as well.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply
    • Oh, so lucky yours has a window! I wish our smoker did!

      • Reply
  • Oh YUM~Wish I had a Smoker

    • Reply
    • Well, maybe it’s time I do another giveaway! I’ll have to look into that!

      • Reply
  • My wife decided I needed a smoker and bought me a Masterbuilt and I have to tell you, it is wonderful.
    Have done ribs and turkey, and today, chicken which is why I am surfing the web, looking for suggestions.
    Appreciate yours very much, looks delicious!

    • Reply
    • yay!!! I love Masterbuilt! I have yet to smoke a brisket, but it’s such a classic I need to try it!

      • Reply
  • looks very good

    • Reply
  • My husband and I bought a smoker at a yard sale for $16…brand new…the guy had only used it twice before his wife bought him a “better” one….well we use it for everything and love it! This recipe is definitely now on our “have to try” list 😉

    • Reply
  • Ohmy goodness – I need a smoker. That looks SO good!!

    • Reply
  • There's just something about men and their smoked meats! I love to eat it though! I have to say that I also love Costco's rotisserie chicken. mmm.

    • Reply
  • After going through 2 inexpensive smokers, I spent the money and bought a Traeger grill smoker. It's the most amazing thing in the cooking world! We use it 2 or 3 times a week, and have perfected a number of dishes. Robin does a great chicken, and seasons it with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary, sage and thyme, and shoves some lemon, rosemary and garlic in the cavity.

    I, of course, pair the wine

    • Reply
  • This look so delicious! Reminds me of my friend who used to smoke dozens of chickens once a month and then deliver them to friends who had requested one. I've got to put a smoker on my wish list!

  • Wow, does that ever look good! A smoker has been on my wish list for a very long time.

    • Reply
  • We want a smoker so badly. This looks amazing!

    • Reply
  • That looks just perfect! WHat a beautiful color that chicken has! WOW! Yummy!

    • Reply
  • That looks stunning. Hmmm I think I know what I want for Christmas 😀

    • Reply
  • Now I want to get a smoker. Looks delicious!

    • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄