Ready in 8 hours
I'm presuming you know a bit about smoking or indirect cooking with this post, but if you have any questions, just let me know!
Ask your butcher to cut the birds in half (or do it yourself like I do, removing the backbone entirely).
Mix brine ingredients together and soak the chickens in the brine mixture for 4-8 hours. When ready to start cooking, remove from the brine and rinse the chicken well.
Rub the chicken halves with the rub mix. Don't be bashful. Get it all over, up, and under. I like to use latex gloves at this point.
Whisk the mop ingredients together.
Place the 1/2 birds on a smoker or grill on indirect heat at 250-275f (that would mean a grate temperature of about 225 to 250f). For the Big Green Egg, this means using the plate setter with a drip pan. If you are using a grill, put the hot coals to one side, place a foil pan with liquid (apple juice, water, chicken broth, etc) on the other side and place the chicken over the pan. For this cook, I used cherry wood mixed with lump coal because chicken is very vulnerable to smoke flavors. I also like using hickory or apple wood but go sparingly with hickory.
Food Safety Tip: The original recipe called for mopping or basting the chicken with the "mop sauce". This requires being very careful about swapping out brushes and working in small batches to avoid cross contamination. To skip that, I like to splash the mopping sauce on using a cheap squirt bottle.
Mop or splash just enough mop sauce on to dampen the chicken at the beginning and every 30 minutes thereafter. Smoke the chicken until it hits 160 in the breast or 175-180 in the thigh. This takes right at 3 hours for me. Remove chicken to rest.
I serve these as a quarter chicken by cutting at an angle under the thigh.
This is our spin on smoked chicken. It borrows from several things I've learned over the years, including a brine, a rub, a mop, and fire control.
cook768 1y ago
Randy1hall 3y agoVery good. Did not do the mop. Impressed with how moist and juicy the meat was. I had the bbq sauce on the side. Most did not use the sauce.
corinnegregory 4y agoI just cooked these this past weekend. I didn't do the mop, though, because I was not really interested in the "bbq" flavor..just wanted smoke. Took a little longer to cook than described, but they were kinda big birds. All my guests ranted and raved and the smoked chicken salad I whipped up yesterday for lunch with remainders was outstanding!
DavidnShennee 5y agoDid this with the chicken, now we are moving to the turkey. The mop for the skin is key. We used apple wood for the smoke. MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!
swibirun 7y agoThis is our spin on smoked chicken. It borrows from several things I've learned over the years, including a brine, a rub, a mop, and fire control. [I posted this recipe.]