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How to Smoke a Whole Chicken on a Pellet Grill

By Pellet Grill Pros March 01, 2022 0 comments

Chicken cuts are one of the most convenient and popular cuts of meat for cooking and they are enjoyed across different countries. However, with a variety of herbs and spices and cooking techniques, it is easy to be overwhelmed.

In this post, our chefs summarized how to smoke a whole chicken on a pellet grill for that easy, savory, smoky, and overall chicken deliciousness. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion or onion powder
  • Dried oregano

6 Steps on How to Smoke a Chicken on a Pellet Grill

Step #1: Prepare the Chicken

Carefully select and purchase 1 whole chicken from the nearest supermarket. Make sure you choose a chicken that is fresh. 

whole chicken, lemon and spices

Then proceed to clean and rinse it with cold water and pat dry the excess water with a clean kitchen towel. Trim off any excess skin and fat. Set aside the chicken for later.

Step #2: Season, Stuff, and Tie the Chicken 

Prepare the seasoning by mixing the ingredients of your choice. Our chefs recommend assembling equal parts of the following: brown sugar, chili powder or cayenne powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano. 

Before using this seasoning, it’s now time to prepare the chicken. Clean the chicken further by applying a substantial amount of olive oil all over the skin. 

Then, apply liberal amounts of the seasoning onto the chicken. Stuff the lemon cut into wedges as well as the thyme into the chicken and tie to close. 

Step #3: Pre-Heat the Pellet Grill 

Prepare the pellet grill by preheating the grill to 375 degrees. Also make sure it’s loaded with wood pellets of your choice. We recommend using fruitwood for roasting which includes: apple, pecan, maple, cherry, and hickory. Fruitwood creates a sweet smoke throughout the grilling process.

Use a thermometer to achieve the desired temperature. 

Step #4: Place the Chicken on the Grill 

To start the cooking process, place the chicken on the preheated grill and insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. Cook the chicken low and slow at 375 degrees to render as much of the fat and skin and to avoid drying out the chicken. 

Step #5: Monitor and Increase the Temperature 

Monitor the rise in the internal temperature of the chicken by checking the thermometer. Continue to cook the chicken until the thermometer reads 160 degrees. 

It usually takes about 3 hours of cooking time to fully grill a whole chicken. 

Step #6: Take the Chicken Out Once Ready 

Remove the chicken from the grill and cover in foil. Allow the whole chicken to stand loosely for 15 minutes to allow redistribution of its juices. Once done, it’s time to serve and enjoy!

Best Wood Chips to Smoke Chicken

The best wood chips to smoke chicken generally include fruitwood. A variety of fruit woods are available for cooking. The usage of these fruit woods brings out a mild and sweet-tasting smoke to the chicken. 

FAQ 

What temperature do you cook chicken on a pellet grill? 

The recommended temperature to cook chicken on a pellet grill would be 375 degrees. At this temperature, it is easy to render the fat and skin and will also prevent the chicken from drying out. 

It would also be better to check and monitor the internal temperature of the chicken throughout the cooking process.

How long will it take to smoke the whole chicken?

It will take about 3 hours to smoke a whole chicken. With these kinds of recipes, it is always best to cook it low and slow so you need to replenish the wood chunks every now and then. It takes this much time for the thermometer [1] inserted into the center of the chicken leg to read 165F. 

How long does it take to smoke a whole chicken at 225 degrees? 

It takes around 3 hours or less to smoke a whole chicken at 225 degrees. When a grill is maintained at 225F, it takes around three hours for the thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh to register a reading of 165F. 

Conclusion 

Cooking chicken is easy, but with different methods and techniques, it can be overwhelming for newbies. Our chef and kitchen experts summarized how to smoke a whole chicken on a pellet grill to ensure easy preparation for a flavorful and smoky roast. This recipe will surely make your family happy and will definitely be a crowd-pleaser on any occasion. 


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