A smoked whole chicken is easy to make on a pellet grill and so delicious. I will explain how simple it is to smoke a chicken and why it's one of the best things you will make all week!
When I want to make something that's both yummy and affordable without too much effort a whole chicken is usually my go-to dish.
I love smoking a whole chicken because you not only get a flavorful meal but the leftovers can be transformed into a variety of other dishes. One cup of cooked chicken only has 38 grams of protein and only 5 grams of saturated fat making this a healthy dish.
Is a pellet grill chicken hard to make?
A whole chicken is simple to make when you're using a pellet grill.
The key is to smoke the bird first which will add some sweet and savory flavors. Then you roast it to get the chicken skin nice and crispy.
It's just as good as a rotisserie chicken but with the additional pop of smoky flavor from your pellet grill. If you don't have a pellet grill you can still make this dish.
Consider adding a bit of smoked paprika to your dry rub for some additional smoke flavor on your gas grill. You can also get a smoky flavor by placing some wood chips in a smoking box for gas grills for additional flavor.
How long does it take to smoke a whole chicken?
It can take as long as six hours to smoke a chicken at 225F until it's safe to eat which is an awfully long time to wait.
Smoked whole chicken needs to come to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. So instead of smoking for the entire time, we smoke for the first hour and then roast the chicken to our desired finish temperature.
The additional roasting encourages the chicken to have crispy skin that retains the delicious smoke flavor. This method makes some of the juiciest smoked chicken breasts I've ever tasted. It's so satisfying when you remove the thickest part of the breast and it's just dripping with juices.
Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe
- Pellet Grill
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chicken seasoning
- ½ lemon sliced
- ½ onion chopped
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- Remove any giblets from the chicken
- Wash and pat dry
- Optional: Place the chicken on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath and allow it to dry in the refrigerator for 2-4hours or overnight. This will further dry the chicken skin and promote browning
- Preheat your pellet grill to 225F
- Brush the chicken skin with olive oil
- Lightly season the inside of the chicken cavity, reserving the majority of the seasoning for the skin
- Stuff the bird with lemon slices, onion, and rosemary sprigs
- Cross the two chicken legs and tie them together using butchers’ twine to secure them in front of the cavity to promote even cooking. You can optionally also tuck the wings under the chicken by pushing the flats down toward the rear of the bird and tucking them underneath
- Season the exterior of the bird with the remaining chicken season so it’s well covered
- Insert a digital meat thermometer or the grill’s thermometer into the centermost and thickest part of the chicken breast without touching any bone
- Place the chicken on your pellet grill and smoke for one hour at 225F
- Increase the heat on your grill to375F and continue roasting until the white and dark meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Snip and discard the butcher twine and enjoy.