Smoking a whole chicken is a surefire way to infuse it with incredible flavor, resulting in tender, juicy meat that will be the star of any gathering. Whether you're a seasoned smoker or a novice, we’re going to walk you through the steps to create a mouthwatering smoked whole chicken that will have your guests coming back for seconds.
Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe:
- 1 whole pasture raised chicken from Acaboanc
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wood chips (apple, hickory, or cherry) for smoking
- Prepare the Chicken: Defrost and rinse your chicken, pat dry with paper towels.
- Season the Chicken: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, black pepper, and salt. Rub this flavorful mixture all over the chicken, ensuring it's evenly coated.
- Let the Chicken Rest: Allow the seasoned chicken to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This helps the flavors meld and penetrate the meat.
- Prepare the Smoker: While the chicken rests, set up your smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Aim for a temperature of around 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C) for a slow smoking.
- Add Wood Chips: Add your choice of wood chips to the smoker box or directly onto the hot coals. The type of wood will impart distinct flavors, so choose according to your preference.
- Smoke the Chicken: Place the seasoned chicken on the smoker's grate, breast-side up. Close the lid and let the magic happen! Maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process to insure an even cook.
- Monitor and Baste: Check the chicken's internal temperature using a meat thermometer after about 2 hours. It should reach 165°F (74°C) at the thickest part of the breast and thigh. Baste the chicken half way through cooking with any remaining olive oil mixture for added moisture and flavor.
- Rest and Serve: Once the chicken reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a succulent result. Serve your beautifully smoked whole chicken with your favorite sides, and watch it disappear in no time!
Tips for the Perfect Smoked Whole Chicken:
Brine the Chicken: For even more moist and tender meat, consider brining the chicken for a few hours before smoking. A simple brine solution of water, salt, sugar, and aromatic herbs will work wonders.
Use a Water Pan: Placing a water pan in the smoker helps regulate the temperature and keeps the chicken moist during the cooking process.
Avoid Over-Smoking:Too much smoke can overpower the chicken's flavor. Control the amount of smoke by adjusting the ventilation on your smoker.
Get Creative with Wood Chips: Experiment with different wood chip flavors to find your favorite combination. Applewood offers a sweet and fruity flavor, hickory imparts a bold and smoky taste, while cherry wood adds a subtle touch of sweetness.
Smoking a whole chicken is a fun culinary adventure that rewards you with tender and smoky goodness. From family gatherings to backyard barbecues, a perfectly smoked whole chicken is sure to be a hit. Try this recipe, and you'll have everyone asking for your secret to making such a mouthwatering dish. Happy smoking!