How long does it take to smoke a whole chicken?

Joined Apr 3, 2008
I'm seeing recipes that range between 1-8 hrs. A little input is needed here thanks! We want to do this today!
Joined Dec 18, 2010
About 3.5 @ 225 if whole and not cold. Some time can be saved if spatchcocked or if pieces. Assuming a smaller bird. I'd plan 30 - 45 min per pound
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Absorbing smoke flavor takes time. The skin is better with a hot finish though.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I agree.  Think roast chicken in a weber instead of smoked chicken.  Roast it standing up, basting.  Foil pan with water directly underneath, coals around the pan of water, covered.

It will be very good.
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Ideally, brine the chicken, drain and pat very dry, then leave it uncovered in the fridge for about 24 hours. This helps to create what's called a pellicle, and makes the smoke flavor adhere to the meat better. From that point, I think you can cook the chicken in the Weber at your preferred heat/time system. Longer time = more smoke flavor, but chicken is so mild you might want the be cautious so as not to overwhelm it. I'd go 350 as suggested by @kuan and @BrianShaw

Using Tapatalk, so this may not work....
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Thanks for all the suggestions.  It was our first time but certainly not our last!  The chicken ended up being delicious of course.  We put it on the grill with indirect heat and pecan wood.  At 350 it only took an hour and 15 minutes which I thought was a little too quick so we left it a few minutes more only to overcook slightly.  Won't be making that mistake again.  The smoke was enough for me, I'm glad we didn't smoke it for a long time because I don't think I could handle anymore smoke!  The meat was pink in many spots from the smoke which I did not expect.  I think I will try basting a little next time.  But overall we were really happy with this bird!

Joined Apr 25, 2014
Looks good! I'm late to the party but yeah 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of the chicken is pretty normal. I cook 325-350 so the skin renders and crisps nicely. Smoked chicken will look pink, only thing you can look at is if the juices run clear and the temp. 165 breast, 180+ in the thigh. Looks like you nailed it!

One thing I would reccomend is instead of banking coals on either side, get two firebricks and bank them all on one side. You have more space between the chicken and direct heat. Put the legs side facing the heat and the breast farther away.

Here's the setup i mean. Lobsters in the way, but you get the idea:
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
Beautiful !

Pecan smoke is pretty much the pairing of choice for fowl in my area.

It gives the skin the deepest color without tasting bitter.

Or so I have been told and who am I to argue lol?

Way back when (talkin' 30-35 years ago) there was this old timer who (every Friday) would hit all of his favorite dives and hand out these gorgeous pullets smoked to a deep mahogany.

A loaf of fresh sourdough and a mason jar of his wife's killer sauce (tomato and brown sugar base) to round out the gift.

Nice man.

Never sat down and would have ONE Lone Star longneck.

You could get a beer for 75 cents (did I mention this was way back in the day?) he would pay with a dollar and leave the change on the bar.

Don't know if it was a tip or payment for all of the garnish he ate while standing next to the waitress station lol.

Good times /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif.

Joined Jun 23, 2015
That Bird looks Real Good.  Pecan and fruit woods work well for poultry.  I have been smoking chicken with hickory for many years and nobody has spit it out.  I like to baste with melted butter, lemon juice, and garlic.  A BBQ place in Decatur, AL created an alternative to tomato based BBQ sauce for chicken.  It is very popular and very copied in North Alabama.

Big Bob Gibson's Alabama White Sauce

1 quart mayonnaise
3/4 quart apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Prepared horseradish
Lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Read more at:
Joined Mar 21, 2008
Now do a turkey the same way! 10-12 pounds will fit a weber kettle grill. Takes 3-4 hours and is my hands down favorite way to make one!
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Wow nice @Koukouvagia  Makes me want to try this. What did you do with the pecan wood? Did you first soak it in water? Then place it on top of the hot coals, or in an aluminum pouch? 
Joined Aug 26, 2016
oh my gosh, since I'm not a smoker, I would guess a long time! I would think it would need to be very dry first. Maybe powdered. Not sure of the taste. 


I just couldn't resist. I just couldn't!
Joined Apr 3, 2008
The chicken is all gone, we ate it up within 24 hours.  I used the carcass to make stock.  But what do I use smoky stock for?  I'm open to suggestions!  My first thought was to make a roasted veggie minestrone or leek/potato soup.  What else?

@MillionsKnives  That looks like a better set up for next time.  But now I want lobster, smoked lobster!

 @Jimyra butter, lemon and garlic sound really good for a baste!  Will basting make the skin rubbery though?

@MaryB  hubby and I are up for that challenge!  And Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year (weather wise) to sit out for a long smoke.

@French Fries  we used pecan chunks, soaked them and put them on the coals.  The are large and from what I understand they don't need to be soaked but we soaked them anyway.

@Experimenter  I don't get it!
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I've never really ever been happy with stock made from smoked fowl. Often too strong. If I liked split pea soup I'd surely try that... and call it Kosher.  :)

Another idea is to reduce it and use it for stuffing/dressing or a savory bread pudding.
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