Smoked Chicken ????

Joined Feb 8, 2009
I've smoked salmon but thats about it. Spring is here and I guess I'm looking to use the Bradley Smoker I have sitting in my shed. I have a whole chicken and plan to brine over night. I'm planning to Spatchcock the chicken to cook it faster. My family isn't big on smoke flavor so I'll probably not smoke it the whole time. The Bradley smoker uses the round biskets.....Any ideas on wood flavor, rubs and temp ?????????? Thanks!
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Applewood or hickory work well. Generally, any fruit wood will do fine job.

As for temp, I shoot for something around 225 - 250'f.

I'll brine the bird for an hour or two in the fridge and for a rub, I'll generally use Kosher salt, fresh black pepper, onion powder, sweet paprika, and cayenne. I crush some herbs with a little oil with a mortar and pestle just enough to release the oils and stuff the cavity - rosemary, basil, sage, shallots etc - anything aromatic. I'll also smoke the bird with the breasts facing down in a Texas crutch so the fat from the back of the bird will percolate through the herbs in the cavity and drench the breast meat.

Dealer's choice on whether to crisp the skin in the over before hand. I usually don't.

Joined Jan 8, 2010
I smoke high(ish) temperature for chicken to try and get a crispy skin as well (sort of 350-375 F)
You don't need to though. You can either throw the skin or crisp it afterwards.
As for wood flavour, I would go light initially and then up it next time.
I have no experience with the Bradley smoker or any pellet smoker, so can't advice how strong the wood flavour is going to be


Joined Mar 3, 2018
Best smoked chicken I've had was at the Pioneer saloon, outside Vegas.
A local couple brought some into the bar & served it to everyone.
It was obviously brined and lightly smoked, very tender & juicy.
Tried the same at home a few times, but I've overdone the smoke (hickory/alder) a bit too much each time..a little goes a long way.
Perhaps brine, light smoking & oven finish.
Joined Jun 25, 2017
I prefer the fruit woods for chicken. Definitely brine and I put the dark meat closer to the heat source. I don't use a pellet smoker but the offset smoker in the back yard uses 3 sticks of peach and gets to about 275. Another trick is to rub the chicken in a seasoned mayo.
Joined Jun 23, 2015
The best smoked chicken I have done was in a deep pit. We used hickory as a heat source. About 300 F until done.(165-170). We used half chickens and seasoned with S&P and basted using melted butter, garlic, and lemon juice. We served this many times to groups of 150-200 and never had much left over.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
Thanks to all! I did a light smoke because if it was over smoked I'd get dirty looks from the family. I did it breast down and agree with the juices coming down through the breast. Next time I'll get some fresh herbs and put them on top of the chicken cavity. I used Apple wood, that could be the cause of it not browning. I think Cherry wood would give it a deeper color....Thanks again......ChefBillyB IMG_2056.JPG
Joined Aug 26, 2016
Looks like you did good. And you're right, cherry should give you a bit more color. I actually like the color of your bird. I don't like dark looking "smoked" chickens...always makes me think the cook didn't know what they were doing. The cherry should give you a slight red hue.

Try to stick with the fruit woods. The smoke will get more intense with the nut trees. If you do move toward the nut varieties, start with oak or pecan. Hickory can be intense...pecan is more mild...oak is the most mild. I do not know how much smoke the Bradley puts out...adjust as you will.

Poultry soaks up smoke like a sponge. This is why you need to stay with the more mild flavored woods...not sure if you are able to adjust with the puck smoker.

My go-to temp for poultry is 325-350. That gets you in the "bite through" skin territory. Take it to 165-170 in the breast & the dark will be fine. I agree with spatchcoking the whole bird.
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