How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Chicken?

If you’re a grilling enthusiast, chances are you’ve asked yourself “how long does it take to smoke a chicken?” Though the answer may depend on personal taste and preferences, have no fear—we’ll help guide you through the process of deliciously slow-cooked smoky goodness.

In this blog post, we’ll uncover tricks for preparing a succulent smoked chicken that will satisfy even the most persnickety appetite. So join us here as we go step-by-step into making sure your smoked feast is cooked to perfection!

How to Choose a Chicken for Smoking

When choosing a chicken for smoking, it is important to select one with the right size and quality. Look for chickens that are plump and have thick skin as they will be moister after cooking.

You want to avoid any chickens that look thin or have too much fat on them as it can cause flare-ups in your smoker. Also, keep in mind that the larger chickens will require more time to cook so plan accordingly.

Do you have to bring a chicken before you smoke it?

No, you don’t necessarily have to bring a chicken before you smoke it. It’s possible to buy pre-smoked chicken or buy a whole chicken and cook it yourself. If you’re looking for a smoked flavor in the finished product though, it is best to use raw chicken and then follow the directions in your smoker’s manual.

Brining Chicken Before Smoking

Bringing before you smoke your chicken is recommended to add flavor and tenderize the meat. Brining can take up to 12-24 hours to marinate, so be sure to plan ahead if you decide to brine first. The brine solution consists of water, salt, sugar, herbs, and spices. After bringing, rinse off the chicken and pat dry.

Seasoning and Prepping the Chicken

After you have brined and rinsed off your chicken, it is time to season. Rub the chicken with oil or butter and then add your chosen seasoning. You can use a store-bought rub or create your own blend of spices. Once seasoned, allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes prior to cooking.

Picking and Preparing Wood Chips

Your wood chips can make a big difference in the flavor of your smoked chicken. Choose from hickory, applewood, cherrywood, mesquite, or oak woods to create different flavors. Soak your wood chips for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking for optimal flavor and smoke production.

Best Wood For Smoking Chicken

Hickory is the most popular wood for smoking chicken. It has a strong flavor, adds subtle sweetness, and creates a great smoky aroma. Applewood and cherrywood are also delicious for adding sweet and fruity notes to the meat. Mesquite and oak woods offer plenty of smoke with a slightly bitter flavor profile.

Preheat Your Smoker To 225ºF

Set your smoker to 225ºF and allow it to preheat while you prepare the chicken. To monitor the temperature of your smoker, invest in a quality digital thermometer.

Put the Chicken in the Smoker

Place the chicken on the smoker and monitor the temperature of the meat, as well as the internal temperature of your smoker. Smoke at 225ºF until you reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Chicken?

The length of time it takes to smoke a chicken depends on its size and how hot your smoker is set. On average, it can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to achieve the desired internal temperature of 165ºF. Monitor the color of the skin as well and remove when golden brown for best results.

Nutrition Tip:

To retain the most nutrients in your smoked chicken, it is important to cook it at low temperatures for longer periods of time. This will keep more of the vitamins and minerals intact as well as preserve moisture in the meat.

What to serve with smoked chicken?

Smoked chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it with roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, mac and cheese, coleslaw, or cornbread for an easy and delicious meal!

Korean Fried Chicken:

is also a great option to pair with your smoked chicken. The sweet and spicy flavors are the perfect complement to the smoky flavor of the chicken.

 Baked Chicken Wings:

Another great option to serve with your smoked chicken is baked chicken wings. They are a healthier alternative to fried wings and can be prepared with the same seasonings you used on your smoked chicken for added flavor.

Smoked Chicken Salad:

For a light meal, consider making a smoked chicken salad. Pair it with fresh greens, tomatoes, and other vegetables for a nutrient-rich meal. You can also add cheese or croutons for some extra crunch.

 Firecracker Chicken:

If you’re looking for something with a little kick, try firecracker chicken. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors will pair perfectly with your smoked chicken for an unforgettable meal.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich:

For a classic dish, whip up some BBQ-pulled chicken sandwiches. Use the same seasonings from your smoked chicken to give the sandwiches an extra smoky flavor. Serve them with a side of coleslaw or potato chips for an easy and delicious meal.

Smoked Chicken Pizza:

For a unique twist, try making a smoked chicken pizza. Top it with your favorite pizza toppings and enjoy all the flavors in one dish!

Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Herbs:

If you want a classic dish, try roasting your smoked chicken with garlic and herbs. The combination of smoky flavors from the chicken and the freshness from the herbs will make for a delicious meal!

Smoked Chicken Tacos:

Tacos are always a hit and smoked chicken tacos make it even better! Top your tacos with your favorite toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese for a delicious meal.

Now that you know how long does it take to smoke a chicken, put this knowledge to good use with one of our delicious recipes!


You should always use a thermometer to check the temperature of your smoked chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and make sure that it is not touching any bones. Once you reach an internal temperature of 165°F, remove the chicken from your smoker immediately.


This chart can be used as a reference when smoking chicken. Remember to always use a thermometer and check the internal temperature of your meat before serving it.

  1. Whole Chicken: 3-4 hours at 225°F until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  2. Chicken Wings: 2-3 hours at 225°F until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  3. Chicken Thighs: 2-3 hours at 225°F until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  4. Chicken Breast: 1-2 hours at 225°F until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  5. Chicken Quarters: 2-3 hours at 225°F until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.

Now that you know how long does it takes to smoke chicken, try one of our delicious recipes and enjoy the wonderful smoky flavors! Whether you’re making baked chicken wings or firecracker chicken, your family will be sure to love it!


1. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken before serving it.

2. Be sure to use wood chips or chunks when smoking your chicken for added flavor.

3. Marinating the chicken in advance can help keep it moist during cooking.

4. Keep an eye on your smoker’s temperature to ensure that it stays in the optimal range for smoking.

5. Let your chicken rest before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and enhance the flavor.

Smoking chicken can be a time-consuming process, but with the right knowledge and techniques you can create some truly delicious meals

 Things to avoid:

1. Never use a marinade with sugar as it can burn quickly when smoking.

2. Avoid adding too much liquid smoke as it can overpower the flavors of your other ingredients.

3. When using wood chips or chunks, be sure to soak them in water before adding them to the smoker to avoid flare-ups.

4. Always maintain an adequate temperature when smoking chicken to ensure it is cooked through properly.

5. Be careful not to overcook your smoked chicken in order to avoid a dry, tough texture.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious smoked chicken with ease!


-Should I put my chicken directly on the rack in my charbroil electric smoker?

Yes, you should place the chicken directly on the rack in your electric smoker. Be sure to spray or rub down the racks with cooking oil first to prevent sticking. You may also want to add some wood chips or chunks for added flavor.

-Can I smoke frozen chicken?

No, it is not recommended that you

Do You Flip Whole Chicken When Smoking?

No, it is not necessary to flip the whole chicken while smoking. The heat will cook the chicken evenly on both sides. However, you may want to rotate or move the chicken around periodically in order to ensure even cooking.

-What are some good aromatics for smoked chicken?

Aromatics such as herbs and spices can add great flavor to the smoked chicken. Popular aromatics include things like rosemary, garlic, cumin, oregano, thyme, paprika, and chili powder. You can also use citrus zest or juices for added brightness. Experiment with different combinations to find a flavor that you love!

What to Do With Leftover Smoked Chicken?

Leftover smoked chicken can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be shredded and used to make tacos or burritos, chopped up and added to salads, or cut into cubes for use in stews and soups. You can also shred the chicken and mix it with mayo, mustard, celery, relish, and other spices to make a delicious chicken salad.


By reading our given analysis in the article, you will be able to make your right choice on How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Chicken?

Now that you know all of the tips and tricks for smoking chicken, it’s time to get started! Experiment with different marinades and spices to find your perfect flavor combination. Just be sure to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature before serving, and always keep an eye on the smoker’s temperature so your chicken doesn’t end up overcooked.

With these guidelines in mind, you can create some truly amazing smoked chicken dishes! So what are you waiting for? Get smoking!






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