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Whole Smoked Chicken

Whole Smoked Chicken

By Dennis The Prescott

This hardwood-smoked recipe was created by the awe-inspiring Dennis the Prescott. His beautiful and delicious smoked chicken is perfect for a feast. Make a turkey thankful and get stuffed on chicken instead.

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

4 Hours




This recipe serves:


Units of Measurement:
3/4 Cup kosher salt
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves
2 Sprig fresh thyme
2 Sprig fresh rosemary
12 Cup water, divided
1 (5-6 lb) free-range chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
4 Teaspoon kosher salt
4 Teaspoon dehydrated garlic flakes
3 Teaspoon onion flakes
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
2 Teaspoon dried parsley
2 Teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 Teaspoon crushed coriander seeds


  • 1

    Prepare the brine. In a large pot, combine 4 cups of water, salt, sugar, garlic, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Stir until the salt dissolves, then remove from the heat.

  • 2

    Pour in the remaining 8 cups of water. Submerge the chicken in the brine and place in the refrigerator overnight.

  • 3

    Make the seasoning mix: In a small bowl, stir together the salt, garlic flakes, onion flakes, thyme, paprika, parsley, black pepper, and coriander.

  • 4

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 5

    Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse very well, and pat dry with paper towels.

  • 6

    Drizzle the olive oil over the bird and rub to coat evenly. Rub 1 1/2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix and the lemon zest all over the chicken. Stuff the garlic and lemon in the cavity.

  • 7

    Insert the probe into the thickest part of the chicken leg. Place the chicken directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, 3 1/2-4 hours.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

  • 8

    Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes (the internal temperature will rise to 165°F) before carving. Tip: Use the carcass/remains for stock. That sweet smoked grill flavor is to die for. Follow Dennis the Prescott's awesome Instagram for more delicious dishes.

    165 ˚F / 74 ˚C

Tips From the Pros: How to Smoke a Whole Chicken

Follow this step-by-step guide for smoking whole chicken with tips on buying, prepping, brines, injections, rubs, smoking woods, and a time and temp guide.

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