Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Whole Smoked Chicken Recipe

About a year ago my wife turned my smoker into a spice garden. She said it was either that or she would call the fire department. The truth is the dang thing was rusted out. In fact, I'll add a picture of it this post. I think you'll agree it was past it's prime. So this Mothers Day I had a surprise for her. I gave her an Oklahoma Joe Smoker. I'm such a giver. So after making the mods as suggested at Smoking Meat Forums, I fired it up. And I decided to smoke chickens.

Smoking VS Grilling Chicken

Smoking chicken and grilling chicken are two different things. Grilling requires close proximity to hot coals. The cook eyeballs the chicken to determine if it's done or not. Smoking has lower heat and longer cooking times. You can't really eyeball a smoked chicken for doneness.

And Then There's The Whole Salmonella Thing

Another reason you need to make sure it's done is Salmonella. If you don't smoke it long enough the meat will be raw. Raw chicken can carry Salmonella. You don't want salmonella poisoning. So the only sure way to avoid it is to use a meat thermometer. That's the main thing about smoking chicken.  Everything else pales in comparison. You can use whatever rub, marinade, brine, or seasoning that you want. It will all be fantastic when you smoke. it.

I'm going to give you the recipe for the rub first. That way,  you can rub the chicken, and then go light the grill. The time it takes to get the grill ready is 'just about' the amount of time the chicken needs to sit with the rub on it

Here's The Rub I Used

This is a good rub. But you should tinker with it to adjust it to your own taste. Add more cayenne to make it hotter. Add more garlic if you like garlic. The whole goal is to create dishes that you like and are proud of. The best way to do that is to "Season To Taste"


  • Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup paprika 
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder 
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder 
  • 2 tablespoons ground basil 
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
The first thing you want to do is rub the chicken with olive oil. No need to drench it. Just enough to make the rub stick to it. After the olive oil, sprinkle the run all over the chicken. Then do exactly what it's called. RUB the RUB into the chicken. Make sure you get under the wings and legs. Add more rub whenever you need it.  Now let it sit for about an hour.

Getting The Smoker Ready

The key to a good smoking cooker session, is to get the temperature right. And it needs to be right for an extended period. I don't know of a way to measure how long a lb of briquets will keep burning. So I have a simple method. I just dump in most of an 8lb bag. I leave just enough out to fill my chimney. I fill my chimney and light it up. The thing I like about chimney's is that I don't need lighter fluid. I just stuff paper in the cavity underneath the coals and light the paper. The chimney does the rest of the work.
After the coals are hot, dump them on top of the coals in the firebox. Leave the cover open for about five minutes, then close them. Adjust the heat of your smoker using whatever method your smoker has. If it's a firebox intake hole, with a smoker chimney....then do that. Whatever it takes to get the smoker between 325° and 350° F. While you're waiting, you could go check on the rub 

Now For The Smoking
Place the chicken(s) on the smoker as near the middle as you can. This will help keep parts of the bird from cooking faster. The heat coming from the firebox is hottest where the hole is. It's also hotter at the end of the smoker. If you get it too close, it may burn the chicken. In fact, if you look at the picture,  you'll see that one side of one of the chickens is very black. That's because it was near the firebox hole for too long. In my case, that's ok...because my wife loves her chicken that way. (to each their own). For me, I prefer it to be crispy, but not burnt.  So, the way you do that is to rotate the meat. What I do is set a timer for one hour. Every hour I rotate the location of the chickens. This gives me a good even cook for every bird. 

Oh Yeah..The Meat Thermometer
Stick the meat thermometer in the breast. Make sure it doesn't hit the bone because that will give an inaccurate reading. The bone usually gets hotter than the meat. So if you get too close to the bone, although it may read 165°, the actual temperature may be much lower. When your thermometer says 165°, you're ready to take the chickens out and let them rest for about 10 minutes. 

I was so busy with Mother's Day, that I didn't get the right pictures.. but here are some of the chicken after it's been rubbed. Also, there are a few Habenero Mango Ginger sauce ribs that were rockin too! 

About Potato Chip Sandwich

According to some people, men can't tell time, can't follow directions and can't cook. That's simply not true. The owner and author of the site, me..  can cook. This site is simply a way for me to keep up with my recipes without putting it into my other 10 or so blogs. Everything is Google-ized, so it's connected to all my other stuff. This site gets it's name from road trips when I was in my 20's. By the time we would head home all we could afford was a loaf of bread and some potato chips.

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