Smoked Chicken

5 from 2 votes
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Smoked Chicken – a whole smoked chicken that is super tender, juicy, and full of flavor.  A great way to get dinner on the table the whole family will love.  

I am a big fan of the rotisserie chicken at Costco, not only are they cheap, but they are actually taste delicious.  Well, I found something to top it!  I have made whole chickens in the oven plenty of times before, and never been a huge fan. 

Throwing it on the smoker changes everything!  The entire bird was incredibly moist and you could taste the seasoning throughout the whole chicken. Plus you can throw on Smoked Potatoes during the last hour and you have a whole meal ready.

whole smoked chicken on a cutting board


Smoked Chicken

This smoked whole chicken recipe is a super simple one that you can make over and over again.  You can even throw more than one chicken on the smoker at a time, so you can have leftovers for days. Or you can freeze to use in enchiladas, dips, or soups later. Like most smoking recipes, it is very easy, you just have to know your smoker so you can gauge when it will be done.  

When chickens go on sale I like to buy more than one.  Then I can smoke one to eat for dinner and use the other one in different recipes.  It is a very budget friendly dinner and a great way to stretch you food budget.

whole chicken with a spice rub on a baking sheet

What You’ll Need

  • Whole Chicken
  • Olive Oil
  • Spice Blend

The spice blend is where you can get creative. You can use the Best Dry Rub, which is super versatile. you can use a chicken seasoning if you have a favorite. Even this Pork Chops Seasoning is a great flavor with chicken as well.

How To Make Smoked Chicken

  1. The first step it so drizzle a little olive oil over the skin of the chicken. This helps to keep moisture in and make sure the skin doesn’t get a leathery texture while it is smoking.  
  2. Generously season the chicken, but because of the olive oil you don’t want to actually rub it in like you would other meats.  Just get it on the surface evenly over the entire chicken.  
  3. Tie up the legs and tuck the wings under.  This will help to keep everything tight and together so the whole chicken stays nice and moist.  
  4. Place it on the smoker that is set for 225 -250 degrees F, you can go as high as 275 degrees with a chicken. 
  5. Cook until the breasts temperature is 165 degrees F.  Then let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. If you want to brush with barbecue sauce do this during the last 5 degrees of cooking.  That will give it time to caramelize a little and really flavor the meat.  
chicken on the smoker

How Long Should You Smoke Chicken

The size of the chicken will be the biggest variable when it comes to smoking a chicken.  You can count on about 45 minutes per pound.  So the average chicken will take somewhere in the range of 3-4 hours.  Chicken isn’t super tough like a lot of cuts of pork you make, so you don’t have to cook it quite as low and slow as Smoked Pork Butt.  So if you want to speed things up a little, you can cook at 275 degrees for closer to the 2 1/2 hour range. 

What Wood To Use For Smoked Chicken

I really like a more mild wood for chicken otherwise I think it over powers the meat.  Apple wood chips are my favorite for chicken.  They give it flavor, but it isn’t too strong.  You could also use cherry, maple, or hickory wood for this recipe and it would be delicious.

sliced chicken on a white plate with salad

How To Use Smoked Chicken

You really can just slice and eat, it super juicy and flavorful. But if you have leftovers or just want to take advantage of the smoker being on and cook more than one, here are a few of my favorites.

What To Serve with Smoked Chicken

This is such a versatile recipe, you can serve with just about anything. But here are a few great sides that we love.

looking down on white plate with slices of chicken

When Is Smoked Chicken Done

You know a smoked whole chicken is done when the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 165º F. You want to insert into the thickest part of the chicken, without hitting the bone. Once it reaches 165º F remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 10 minutes before you slice and serve it. This allows the juices to redistribute and you don’t lose them all while slicing.

More Summer Dinner Recipes

close up smoked chicken for pinterest
close up sliced chicken on a white plate with a fork
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Chicken

By Erin
Smoked Chicken – a whole smoked chicken that is super tender, juicy, and full of flavor.  A great way to get dinner on the table the whole family will love. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 5


  • 1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Dry Rub, recipe link in notes below


  • Preheat smoker to 225º F.
  • Tuck the wings underneath the chicken and tie up the legs with kitchen twine.
  • Drizzle olive oil over chicken and sprinkle dry rub over all sides of the chicken. Do not rub the seasoning into the meat or it will clump up.
  • Place on chicken and cook for 3-4 hours until a meat thermometer says the chicken breast is 165º F.
  • If you want to brush with barbecue sauce, do this during the last 5 degrees of cooking temp.
  • Remove from the smoker and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 334kcal | Protein: 33g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 98mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Calories: 334
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. Love a good smoked chicken recipe and this was no exception! The dry rub was the best I have ever tasted!

  2. What a great way to feed a hungry family and get no complaints about dinner for anyone. Like you I also love Costco rotisserie chickens. However, I bet this has more flavor.