Crispy Sea Bass with Lemon

Electric Grill Recipes Chicken

Tip #1: Pick the Best Smoke

  • Hickory is a hard wood that has a sweet to strong taste that is almost bacony. It burns hot and slow. If you have a smaller chicken, be light with the hickory chips, as too much hickory on smaller meats can create a bitter flavor. It’s a nice wood that can be combined with cherry wood for a pleasant taste.
  • Maple is a subtle wood that has a milder flavor than hickory, but it also burns hot and slow. It is the sweetest of the heavy woods.
  • Peach wood has its southern roots, imparting a light, sweet flavor to smoked chicken. Peach wood burns hot and relatively long. Use fresh cut peach wood, as peach wood tends to lose flavor quickly after being cut.

While charcoal is great for smoking, without the use of wood chips charcoal can give your chicken a fiery taste with very little flavor. Be sure to include wood chips for that added bonus of flavor your bird deserves.

Tip #2: Spatchcock the Chicken

Instead of smoking the chicken whole, half it. By cutting the chicken in half, you increase the surface area that can absorb the smoke, and you can manage more chickens on the grates.

To spatchcock a whole chicken, remove the backbone of the bird. Use a sharp knife and cut about a half an inch from the side of the backbone all the way from the neck to the tail. Do the same to the other side of the backbone and remove it. With the backbone removed, spread the chicken out. Now, using a pairing knife gently, cut and remove the diamond-shaped breastbone so that the bird will lie flat.

Tip #3: Brine the Chicken

Soak the bird in a mixture of one gallon of water and one cup of kosher salt. This salt will help breakdown the muscles and increase moisture absorption to the meat.

Tip #4: Dry the Chicken

Before you’re ready to put your chicken into the smoker, let it air dry for about an hour. The smoke will adhere better to the bird if the surface is fairly dry.

Tip #5: Getting the Temperature Right

The key to the best tasting smoked chicken is to make sure that it’s a fully cooked chicken. The Char-Broil digital smoker has a true set it and forget it method. Insert the probe into the thickest part of your chicken, set the digital thermometer to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the bird reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the smoker will stop cooking and turn on warm mode.

Set your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The cook time will vary based on the size of the bird, but estimate about 30-45 minutes per pound.

Bonus Tip: Adding the Right Seasonings

While your chicken is bound to taste great smoked with a simple brine, the right seasonings can add another level of flavor to your meal. A spice rub applied to the chicken before you smoke it can impart a deep flavor into the meat. A sweet and spicy barbecue sauce applied during and after the smoking process can help develop an exterior bursting with flavor. There are many seasoning recipes out there that will help enhance your smoked chicken to taste exactly how you want it.

Looking for a specific recipe to follow? Check out this tasty Smoked Garlic Herbed Whole Chicken recipe from Chef Ben Vaughn.


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