A whole chicken is usually divided into four pieces: breast, wings, thigh, and legs. Every part of the chicken is ideal for grilling or smoking. We recommend smoking a whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken for added flavor and moisture.
Spatchcocking a chicken is easier than it sounds and is a great way to speed up the cooking process. You’ll want to have some shears to slice out the backbone, but a large knife will work if you don’t have kitchen shears.
Many Traeger users start with chicken, and for good reason -- it’s fast, easy, and tastes great! Here are a few of our favorite chicken recipes including from easy, early grilling recipes to more advanced flavor combinations.
Don’t let the simplicity of one of our most famous recipes fool you. This bad bird packs a powerful, flavorful punch. Simply coat a whole chicken with Traeger’s Chicken Rub and cook for just over an hour. That’s all you’ll need to do for chicken perfection.
Brew up some major flavor. All it takes is our Chicken Rub, a can of beer, and some Traeger mesquite heat for moist & tender poultry perfection.
Kick boring chicken to the curb with Dennis the Prescott's hot and zesty recipe. Juicy chicken legs are marinated in a flavorful spice blend, cooked on the Traeger until charred, then finished off with a homemade roasted jalapeño salsa.
Ensuring your chicken is healthy and fresh makes all the difference in your meal. Look for a chicken whose skin appears white and milky and doesn’t have many blood spots. These are the signs of healthy, well-fed chickens who didn’t endure too much stress in life. Chickens that appear gray or have a lot of blood spots will likely have unpleasantly tough or spongy meat.
One of the reasons we like cooking chicken is that it doesn’t take a lot of prep time. When you’re cooking a whole chicken, the main steps are to pat the bird dry (don’t rinse it as that can spread germs throughout your kitchen), apply your seasoning of choice, and cook it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking a chicken should take about an hour at 375 degrees, but it can vary depending on the size of the chicken, the outside temperature, and more. You should ensure that your chicken cooks to at least 165 degrees in its thickest part. Ideally, breast meat will be cooked to exactly 165 degrees as it dries out quickly when cooked to a higher temperature.
Do you learn better from watching the experts? Check out our video where pitmaster Matt Pittman walks us through every step of cooking a whole chicken on a Traeger.
The perfect chicken deserves the perfect sides. Here are a few of our favorite things to serve with a chicken grilled on a Traeger.
Fresh corn is given a Traeger Veggie Rub rubdown, grilled on the Traeger, then doused in butter for the perfect summer side.
Forget the mayo-drenched, store-bought stuff and brighten things up with this lemony, wood-fired potato salad.
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