Whole Smoked Chicken


Whole Smoked Chicken.

Ok y’all. Seriously. This might be the best chicken I’ve ever made. Or even eaten (excluding that little bit of chicken heaven I ate along the Seine in Paris a few years ago. Roasted Chicken from the Bastille Market with a bottle of wine – perfection). This, this came close. Sunday dinners, you’ve just skyrocketed to 100.

The good folks at Traeger are doing some many things right. Incredible, incredible product. It completely  kills it. What I love is that can smoke & grill, cranking on the smoke and then turning up the cook temp to finish. I made ribs last week – best I’ve had since I left Nashville. Chicken wings – the bomb. Check. These. Guys. Out.



Chicken (or Turkey) is meant to be brined. The depth of flavoured developed from taking the time to allow the bird to soak in all that flavour is well worth the wait. Similarly, smoking the chicken low and slow allowed it to develop a ridiculous amount or flavour, while being moist as all get out on the inside. The homemade seasoning puts it right over the top.

This recipe can definitely be made in your oven at home, adjusted for the cook time. But if you have or are considering a smoker – this is the business.


Whole Smoked Chicken

For the chicken;

1 2.5kg free range chicken

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bulb of garlic

For the seasoning;

4 teaspoons kosher salt

4 teaspoons dehydrated garlic flakes

3 teaspoons onion flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

For the brine;

12 cups cold water

¾ cup salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

Wood Pellets – I used a combo of Mesquite and Apple

First, get the brine ready.

In a large pot, combine 4 cups of water, salt, sugar, garlic, and herbs and bring to a boil. Give the water a stir until the salt dissolved and remove from the heat. Top with the remaining 8 cups of water. Give the chicken a home in the brine and place in the fridge overnight.

Seasoning time. Stir all of the ingredients for your seasoning together, cover, and set aside.

The next day!

Set the grill to smoke and allow the fire to get rocking, 4 – 5 minutes. Turn the grill up to 225 degrees, and leave to preheat with the door closed for 15 minutes.

The next day, remove the chicken from the brine, and pat it dry with paper towel.

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towel. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the bird, getting it completely coated. Rub 1 ½ tablespoons of the prepared seasoning and your lemon zest all over the chicken. Half the whole lemon and garlic bulb, and stuff them in the cavity of the bird.

Place on the preheated grill and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. It will take 2 ½ to 3 hours. Your neighbours will go mental with lunch envy. Smells INSANE – so good.

Serve. And PLEASE use the carcass for stock. That sweet smoked grill flavour is to die for.








  1. creamcili says:

    Amazing pictures! Xx

  2. katiewisdm says:

    Hi Dennis,

    This may be an insanely novice question, but can the wood chips be used in a regular oven? NYC apartment living prevents me from living my dreams, ie owning a smoker.

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