How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

Table of Contents

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

How long to smoke a whole chicken? If you do your research and plan ahead, smoking a whole chicken can be easy and fast. Whether you’re new to grilling or already an experienced pitmaster, this article will give you all the tips and tricks for getting your perfectly smoked whole chicken in no time – in just about 3-4 hours. I will cover everything including which type of smoker is best suited for smoking a whole chicken, how many wood chips to use, and techniques for locking in flavor. So get ready to fire up that smoker – let’s find out how long it takes to smoke a mouth-watering, succulent whole chicken!

What’s The Best Temp To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

A whole chicken should be smoked between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This will guarantee that your chicken is well-cooked without being overdone.

You should pull the chicken out of the smoker when it is approximately 5 to 10 degrees below your target temperature since the internal temperature will continue to rise after it has been taken out of the smoker.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken
How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

How To Choose A Chicken For Smoking?

  • When selecting a chicken for smoking, you should aim for one that weighs between 4-5 pounds.
  • With this size, you can be sure that your chicken will cook evenly, smoke quickly, and stay moist.
  • It’s entirely up to you whether you smoke a whole chicken or cut up chicken pieces.
  • Make sure to remove the giblets from a whole chicken before smoking it.
  • Again, it’s entirely up to you whether you smoke the skin on the cut-up chicken pieces.
  • The skin will assist prevent the meat from drying out if you decide to keep it on.

If you’d prefer, you can use a larger chicken, but bear in mind that the smoking process will take longer.

How To Prepare A Chicken For Smoking?

It’s time to get your chicken ready for smoking when you’ve made your selection.

The giblets must be taken out of a whole chicken before continuing.

  • The chicken should then be thoroughly rinsed with cold water inside and out.
  • Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry after that.

You can forego removing the giblets and washing the chicken if you are using cut-up chicken pieces.

Once your chicken has been prepared, season it.

  • You can season your food with whatever you desire, from a straightforward salt and pepper rub to a more intricate spice mixture.
  • Make sure to season both the interior and the outside of the chicken.
  • If you’re using a whole chicken, you can put aromatics like onions, garlic, and herbs within the cavity.

As the meat smokes, this will enhance its flavor.

How To Choosing A Smoker?

  • Grill: You can smoke your chicken on the grill if you have one.
  • Offset smokers: These smokers have a connected firebox to one side and an offset smoking chamber. They work well for smoking several racks of ribs or big chunks of meat.
  • Charcoal smokers: Charcoal is the fuel source for charcoal smokers. They are often more affordable and simpler to use than other kinds of smokers. However, compared to other types of smokers, charcoal smokers might be more challenging to manage and need more care.
  • Gas smokers: Gas smokers burn either natural gas or propane as their fuel. They’re perfect for beginners because they’re simple to operate and maintain.
  • Pellet smokers: These smokers run on compressed wood pellets for fuel.

Best Wood For Smoking Chicken?

Light-flavored wood, such as cherry, apple, or maple, works best for smoking chicken.

These woods will give your chicken a taste boost without being too overbearing.

Mesquite and hickory, which have strong flavors, should not be used since they will make your chicken taste bitter.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken?

As I previously stated, there are numerous factors that affect how long chicken should be smoked. Having said that, you should plan on smoking a whole chicken for roughly 3 to 4 hours. Remember that this is only an estimate, and based on the things I discussed above, your real smoking duration may be greater or less.

I advise starting with a 4-pound bird if it’s your first time smoking a chicken. Without having to worry about overcooking or undercooking your chicken, this will give you a decent sense of how long it takes to smoke chicken.

You can experiment with other sizes and smoking times after you get a sense of how long it takes to smoke a chicken. Just keep an eye on the chicken as it smokes, and remove it from the smoker once it is thoroughly cooked.

If you’re looking for helpful hints to make life a bit easier, my article How Long To Bake A Whole Chicken At 350? is definitely worth exploring. It’s full of great advice and strategies you can use every day!

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken At 225 Per Pound?

A full chicken can be smoked for three to four hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooking time is for a chicken weighing 4 pounds. You must vary the cooking time based on how big or tiny your chicken is. I advise checking the internal temperature of your chicken before serving with a meat thermometer. At least 165 degrees Fahrenheit should be present inside.

The length of time it takes to cook will also depend on how hot your smoker is operating, so keep that in mind as well. The chicken will cook more quickly on a hot smoker. The chicken will take longer to cook if your smoker is low on fuel. Once more, I’d advise using a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of your chicken before serving.

Finally, it’s crucial to remember that while the chicken is cooking, you shouldn’t open the smoker door too frequently. The chicken takes longer to cook each time you open the door because heat escapes. So, try to curb your need to peek!

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken At 250?

You should smoke your whole chicken for around 4-5 hours, or roughly 45 minutes per pound at 250 degrees, if your smoker is operating at that temperature.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken At 275?

The general procedures for smoking a whole chicken at 275 degrees Fahrenheit are as follows:

Just keep in mind that these are guidelines and that the timing of your chicken’s completion will depend on the aforementioned elements. Use a meat thermometer to determine whether your chicken is cooked through. When chicken reaches a temperature inside of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to eat.

I hope that this helps you determine how long to smoke a whole chicken. Remember that using a meat thermometer is the best method to guarantee that your chicken is well done.

How Long To Smoke Half Chicken At 275 Degrees?

Place the chicken on the grill with the breast side facing up and the legs spaced apart so it sits flat. The chicken should be smoked for 3–4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Before slicing and serving, remove the grill and allow rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Whole Chicken At 350 Degrees?

For the majority of smokers, smoking a chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 2-3 hours. The size, type, and type of your smoker, as well as the size of your chicken, can all affect how long it takes to cook. It can take closer to 4 hours if you’re smoking a bigger chicken or one with a lot of breast flesh.

It might just take 1-2 hours to smoke a smaller chicken or one with primarily black meat. Once more, everything depends on the particular smoker and chicken you’re using. Utilizing a meat thermometer is the most reliable approach to be certain. Make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees and insert it into the thickest portion of the chicken breast.

When the chicken is finished cooking, let it rest for a few minutes before carving. The meat will become even more tender and tasty as a result of the redistribution of the liquids.

How Long Does To Smoke A 5 LB Chicken?

When cooking a 5-pound bird at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take roughly 2.5 to 3 hours to smoke a complete chicken. However, because grill temperatures might vary, it is preferable for you to use a probe thermometer to determine how long to cook the meat.

How Long Does To Smoke A 6-pound Chicken?

A 6-pound chicken will take around 3-5 hours to cook at 225 degrees Fahrenheit in your smoker.

How To Make Smoked Whole Chicken Rub?

I enjoy getting rubbed, don’t you? The ideal combination of spices is used in this recipe for smoked whole chicken rub to give your chicken a delicious flavor. And making it is very simple! Simply combine all the ingredients and rub them all over the chicken. After that, give it a minimum of 30 minutes to settle so the flavors can truly permeate the meat.


  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

This recipe will yield enough for two entire chickens.

This rub can be applied to chicken wings, thighs, or breasts. Simply remember to adjust the cooking time appropriately.

How To Smoke A Whole Chicken (4 Easy Steps)

It’s time to smoke your chicken now that it has been thoroughly coated. What you need to do is as follows:

Step 1: Preheat Your Smoker To 225ºF

  • Get the smoker you’re using to cook this excellent chicken heated up.
  • Get it to 225 degrees F and keep it there.

Just before moving on to Step 2, sprinkle some wood chips on.

Step 2: Season the Whole Chicken

Olive oil should be drizzled over the entire chicken before seasoning it thoroughly with the dry rub on all sides.

Make sure to enter every crevice!

Step 3: Smoke Your Chicken

  • Place the chicken straight onto the grates of your smoker, then secure the lid.
  • It should take 3 1/2 to 4 hours to smoke.
  • The internal temperature of the chicken thighs should be between 170°F and 175°F, and the breasts should be 165°F.

Step 4: Slice and Serve!

  • If you like, you can baste it with your preferred barbecue sauce toward the end of cooking.
  • However, as the chicken will taste just as excellent with the rub alone, this step is completely optional.
  • However, BBQ sauce will work if you want your chicken to have that caramelized appearance!

Video – How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

Expert Tips

  • Get extra crispy skin: After the chicken has done cooking in the smoker, remove it and place it under the broiler for a minute or two to get additional crispy skin. Just watch it closely to prevent burning!
  • Stuff and tie early in the process: If you’re stuffing your chicken, stuff it early so it has time to cook thoroughly. Additionally, secure the legs with ties to prevent stuffing spillage while cooking.
  • Use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken to prevent overcooking. Make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before removing it by inserting it into the thickest region of the breast.
  • Smooth out the spice mixture: Before using a dry rub or spice mixture on the chicken, make sure it is thoroughly combined. You’ll get a spotty flavor if you don’t.
  • Flavor the chicken all over: Try injecting the chicken for the most flavor infusion! A delicious marinade can be injected into the meat with a syringe. This is a fantastic method to give the chicken more moisture and flavor while also preventing it from drying out.
  • Check that there is adequate ventilation: When smoking chicken, ventilation is crucial.

What To Serve With Smoked Chicken?

You can serve smoked chicken with so many delectable dishes! Listed here are some of our favorites:

  • Cheese and macaroni
  • Greens from collards
  • Baking beans
  • Cornbread
  • Salad of potatoes
  • Coleslaw

These are but a few suggestions; get inventive and accompany your smoked chicken whatever you prefer!

Reheating Smoked Chicken

You can quickly reheat your smoked chicken if you have leftovers. Simply put it in a baking dish and bake it in a 325°F oven until it is well heated. The chicken may also be shredded and used to a broth or stew. It will taste exactly as good as the first time!

Storing Smoked Chicken

You can keep any leftover smoked chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to three months. Just make sure you tightly cover the chicken to prevent drying out.

A wonderful and simple way to add some smoky flavor to your next dinner is to use smoked chicken! Simply season your chicken with a spice mixture, smoke it for three to four hours, and then eat it.

Serve it with baked beans, macaroni and cheese, or any other favorite side dish. Additionally, simply reheat any leftovers before eating.

Leftover Smoked Chicken Recipes

White Chicken Chili Recipe:

Use up any leftover smoked chicken with this tasty and simple white chicken chili. It’s bursting with flavor and guaranteed to be a hit with your loved ones.

Sandwich with Smoked Chicken Salad:

Use up any leftover chicken by making this sandwich with smoked chicken salad. It has a ton of flavor and is perfect for lunch or dinner.

Loaded Grilled Chicken Tacos:

Use up any leftover smoked chicken with these tasty and simple loaded grilled chicken tacos. They make a delicious lunch or dinner and are bursting with flavor.

4 Ways To Smoke A Whole Chicken

The Classic Crispy:

If you want skin that is crispy and crunchy, use this technique. Simply season your chicken with a spice mixture, then smoke it for three to four hours. The final 10-15 minutes should be spent in the oven.

Spicy And Sweet:

Rub a sugar and spice mixture on your chicken for a sweet and sour variation. Next, inhale it for 3 to 4 hours. Serve it with the dipping sauce of your choice.

Smoked Lemon Chicken – Green Version:

Rub some lemon juice and fresh herbs on your chicken for a healthier alternative. For 3 to 4 hours, smoke it. Serve it after that with a green salad.

Chicken with Smoked Lemon – Red Version

Rub some lemon and herbs on your chicken for a heartier rendition. For 3 to 4 hours, smoke it. the red potato salad to go with it.

There are countless ways to smoke a whole chicken; these are just a handful of them. Get inventive and experiment with various sauces, side dishes, and spice combinations.

Smoked Chicken Recipe

The whole family will enjoy the juicy, delectable, and inexpensive Smoked Whole Chicken. Smoking your own whole chicken is incomparably superior to any rotisserie chicken you’ll find at the grocery store.


  • 1 2-3 pound whole chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Signature Sweet Rub


  1. Heat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Olive oil should be used to coat the chicken before applying the sweet rub on all surfaces. Because it will merely pull back on the skin and cause your seasoning to chunk, I don’t advise rubbing in your seasoning.
  3. The wings’ tips should be tucked below the shoulder joint once the legs are tied together using butcher twine.
  4. Directly on the grill grates of your smoker, place your chicken. Smoke for 3 1/2 to 4 hours with the lid closed. Breast temperature should be between 160 and 165 F. It should be between 170 and 175 degrees F in the thighs.
  5. During the final 30 minutes of grilling, baste with your preferred barbecue sauce (this is optional). Additionally, raise the heat on your smoker for the final 8–10 degrees if you want your chicken’s skin to be crispy (aim for 375-400 degrees).
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill, slice it, and serve it once it has reached the proper internal temperature.
How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken
How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

Frequently Asked Questions Of How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

What is a dry brine?

A dry brine is a combination of salt, sugar, and spices that you rub onto the outside of the chicken before it goes in the smoker. This helps to keep the chicken moist while it smokes, as well as adding extra flavor.

Should I wrap the whole chicken in foil when smoking?

No, you don’t need to wrap the whole chicken in foil. Foil helps to trap the smoke and other flavors, but it can also cause the skin to become soggy when smoking.

Is it better to brine or rub a whole chicken?

Both brining and dry-rubbing your whole chicken will help to keep it moist while smoking. Brining is typically done with a salty liquid mix, while rubbing uses a dry mixture of spices.

What temperature do you cook a whole chicken on a pellet grill?

When smoking a whole chicken, you should cook it at 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours. The internal temperature of the chicken should be around 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

Can I use a gas or charcoal grill to smoke a whole chicken?

Yes, you can use both gas and charcoal grills to smoke a whole chicken. However, you may find that the flavor is not as strong when using these types of grills. We recommend using a pellet grill for the best results.

Do You Have to Brine a Whole Chicken Before Smoking?

No, you don’t have to brine a whole chicken before smoking. Brining helps keep the chicken moist while it smokes, but you can also achieve this same result by rubbing the chicken with oil and spices before cooking.

How many people does one chicken serve?

A whole chicken typically serves 4-6 people. However, depending on the size of your family or group, you may need to purchase a larger chicken.

How long does it take to dry brine a chicken?

A dry brine should be applied to the chicken at least 8 hours before smoking. This gives the salt and spices time to penetrate the meat, giving it added flavor.

What can I spritz a whole chicken with?

A spritz is a combination of liquid and seasonings that you spray onto a smoking piece of meat. The most common spritzes are made with apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, beer, and olive oil.


So, if you’re wondering how long to smoke a whole chicken, now you have your answer! Just remember to cook it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. And don’t forget to give it a little rest time before digging in so that all those delicious juices can redistribute evenly throughout the meat. Now get out there and try smoking a whole chicken for yourself! Sweet Basil’s Cafe hopes it helps you.

How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken

It's time to start working on your smoked chicken recipe now that you know how long to smoke a whole chicken for! This recipe makes a simple smoked chicken, but you may add any flavors to make it your own.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 473 kcal


  • 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
  • Your favorite BBQ rub


  • Set the smoker's temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use the BBQ rub to season your chicken all over.
  • Put the chicken in the smoker and smoke it for three to four hours, or until it is fully cooked.
  • After the chicken has rested for 10 minutes, remove it from the smoker.
  • Enjoy your smoked chicken!


  • Stuff and tie early in the process: If you're stuffing your chicken, stuff it early so it has time to cook thoroughly. Additionally, secure the legs with ties to prevent stuffing spillage while cooking.
  • Use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken to prevent overcooking.
  • Before taking the meat out of the smoker, insert it into the thickest portion of the breast and make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keyword How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

Related Articles

Back to top button