Reach new levels of poultry nirvana with our “go to” recipe for slow smoked chicken!
Smoked chicken is like liver. You either love it or hate it. In the South, you can start a fight by voicing a preference for either smoked chicken or fried chicken. For me, it’s all about the skin. Fried chicken is worthless unless it crunches. Smoked chicken, Georgia style, is big, bold, and assertive, but the skin, although it is packed with flavor, is not crispy. The only way to tell which side of the chicken wire fence you’re on is to try it. Fortunately, it’s easy to make. This method will produce a delicate, moist bird if you don’t overcook it, so there is no need to even consider brining it.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Prep. An hour or three before cooking, split the chicken in half by cutting it with heavy shears. Dig out all that brown goop nestled along the spine (kidneys). In fact, I usually just remove the spine, rinse out the kidneys, toss the spine in a bag, and save it for making stock.
- Fire up. Preheat your smoker to 325°F. If you are using a grill, set it up for 2-zone or indirect cooking. At 325°F, you can render more fat and crisp the skin a bit.
- Cook. Put the meat in the smoker or on the indirect side of the grill. Add less wood than you normally do. Resist the urge to add more. After you've tasted it you can decide if you want to use more wood next cook. But chicken doesn't need much smoke. Cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the temperature in the thickest part of the meat without touching bone is 165°F.
- Serve. Remove the chicken from the smoker or grill and serve as whole parts, chopped, or pulled.