Smoked Whole Chicken

We smoke whole chickens that have been brined as well as unbrined and find both versions acceptable. Try it both ways and decide for yourself!

Our recipe provides brining ingredients and directions but feel free to skip this step. When you are busy sometimes it’s just easier to go the unbrined route!

Leftovers can be used in lunches and other meals so you may want to double or triple this recipe. Smoked Chicken, Caramelized Onion and Artichoke Pizza is a favored main dish for our family when there’s leftovers in the fridge. Feel free to drop us a line and share your own ideas for using smoked chicken leftovers.

We like to use Applewood, Maple wood or Pecan wood pellets when smoking chicken but feel free to experiment with your own choices.


  • 1 C Kosher salt
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 whole chicken (about 2-4 lbs)
  • ½ lemon, cut into large chunks
  • ½ cooking onion, peeled & cut into large chunks
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T of poultry rub (choose one with low salt content)


  1. Combine brine ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt & sugar
  2. Place the chicken in an extra-large, food-safe Ziploc type bag and pour the brine over the chicken, making sure it is completely covered.
  3. Put the bag containing the chicken into a large bowl (in case of leakage) and place in the fridge for at least two hours (or overnight).
  4. Chop the fresh thyme coarsely and toss with the lemon and onion chunks.
  5. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it inside and out and pat the chicken dry. Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon/onion/thyme mixture.
  6. Brush the outside with olive oil and sprinkle on the rub. We recommend using a low sodium rub because the chicken is already brined.
  7. Put the chicken directly onto the bottom rack of the Memphis Pellet Grill.
  8. Place the temperature probe in the thigh area making sure to avoid the bone. Set the probe temperature to 170 degree F and close the lid.
  9. Now set the Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC) to 225 degrees and smoke the chicken until the probe reaches its programed temperature. This will take anywhere from 4 – 6 hours depending on the size of your chicken.

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