Smoked Chicken

by Sara on September 20, 2011

Smoked Chicken

Where I live, there aren’t many more opportunities to grill outdoors yet this year. Days are shorter and cooler, and though we like to pretend that snow isn’t just around the corner, it tends to sneak up on us all too quickly.

So we grill while we can. Grilling a whole chicken is a nice transition to roasting a whole bird in the oven when the weather cools. And because this chicken is butterflied, it cooks rather quickly on the grill. The addition of wood chips in a smoker box lends a nice smoky flavor, even on a gas grill. It’s also an extremely simple preparation, which always speeds up getting dinner on the table.

Hot off the grill


Not sure what to serve with the chicken? Might I suggest Grilled Potatoes? They can roast away in the foil while the grill is heating up, yet still maintain their heat in the foil pouch after they’ve been removed from the grill. Or how about Coriander Carrot Slaw? It’s another great side, and is a very fast option if you use preshredded bagged coleslaw. You can also make it a day ahead of time – I think it tastes even better on day two.

Butterflied chicken (with cookies in the background)

Cookies for dessert, like those in the above picture, are always a good idea!

Smoked Chicken
recipe from my friend B

Print Recipe

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
Salt & Pepper
Desired flavor of wood chips

Soak wood chips at least 30-60 minutes ahead of time (up to a few hours is fine).

Butterfly the chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper. (Be sure to save the backbone for soup stock!)

Place smoker box filled with soaked chips on one side of grill. Start at very high heat to get the chips smoking, then reduce heat and keep as close to 350F as possible. You’ll want the side of the grill with the smoker box to have the burner on, and the other side of the grill to have the burner off for grilling with indirect heat.

Brush grill grate with oil. Place the chicken on the opposite side of the grill as the smoker box, skin-side down for 10 minutes. Flip and grill another 15 minutes. Flip back over for another 5 minutes to crisp up skin some more.

Let chicken rest 10 minutes, then carve and serve. Reserve bones for making virtually free chicken stock.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet September 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

There have been times I actually shoveled a pathway to my grill. Your method is how I usually smoke fish also. Grilled chicken is definitely one of my favorite go to dishes.

Sandra September 21, 2011 at 8:07 am

Living in Michigan I know what you mean about the weather. We don’t like to mention the “S” word too soon for fear that we will wake up to 3ft drifts in the driveway. This is a great end of summer menu.

Sara September 22, 2011 at 8:12 am

If my grill didn’t end up with the white stuff piled on it each winter, I’d grill year-long. Unfortunately, with the amount of snow we’ve had the past few years, I’ve needed to put it somewhere…the area by the grill was the only option.

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