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Smoky Fried Chicken

Smoky Fried Chicken

By Traeger Kitchen

Treat your posse to Traeger Southern fried chicken. Smoke that chicken to infuse it with flavor, then pull out the deep-fryer and go to town.

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

3 Hours




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Units of Measurement:
2 (3 to 3-1/2 lb) whole fryer chickens
As Needed vegetable oil
As Needed coarse kosher or sea salt
As Needed freshly ground black pepper
1 Quart fresh buttermilk
2 Tablespoon Frank's Redhot or Crystal Hot Sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub
2 Tablespoon kosher salt (use only 1 tablespoon if substituting table salt)
As Needed peanut or grape seed oil, for frying


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 200 °F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke if available.

    200 ˚F / 93 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 2

    Rinse the chickens, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

    • 2  (3 to 3-1/2 lb) whole fryer chickens

  • 3

    Rub the outside of the birds with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chickens directly on the grill grate and smoke for 2-1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of a thigh reads 150 °F on an instant-read meat thermometer.

    200 ˚F / 93 ˚C

    150 ˚F / 66 ˚C

    • As Needed vegetable oil

    • As Needed coarse kosher or sea salt

    • As Needed freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

    Transfer the smoked chickens to a clean baking sheet and let cool.

  • 5

    Cut the chickens into 20 pieces - 4 drumsticks, 4 thighs, 4 wings and 8 breast quarters (remove the 4 breast halves, then cut each in half).

  • 6

    Divide the chicken between 2 sturdy resealable bags.

  • 7

    Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the hot sauce and brown sugar until the sugar crystals dissolve.

    • 1 Quart fresh buttermilk

    • 2 Tablespoon Frank's Redhot or Crystal Hot Sauce

    • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar

  • 8

    Pour half into each bag of chicken. Seal, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • 9

    In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and 2 tablespoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.

    • 2 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour

    • 2 Tablespoon garlic powder

    • 2 Tablespoon onion powder

    • 1 Tablespoon Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub

    • 2 Tablespoon kosher salt (use only 1 tablespoon if substituting table salt)

    • As Needed freshly ground black pepper

  • 10

    On the stovetop, heat 2 inches of peanut or grapeseed oil (a true fried chicken connoisseur would use melted lard) over medium-high heat to 375 °F in a Dutch oven, deep cast iron skillet, or heavy saucepan.

    • As Needed peanut or grape seed oil, for frying

  • 11

    Drain the chicken pieces. Dredge a few at a time in the flour mixture.

  • 12

    Fry the chicken in batches (do not crowd the pan), turning as needed with tongs, until it is golden brown, about 6 minutes for the breast pieces and 8 minutes for the thighs, wings and drumsticks.

  • 13

    Drain on paper towels before serving. Enjoy!

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