On the subject of meals that can change the way you cook dinner, a smoked entire hen is considered one of them. With juicy, tender meat and tons of taste, smoking could also be your new go-to methodology for entire hen each time.

Overhead shot of a golden chicken with spice rubbed crispy skin, arranged on a cutting board with barbecue sauce and pickles ready to carve and serve.

On the subject of the easiest way to cook dinner a complete hen, we’re satisfied it’s on a smoker. An effective way to cook dinner a cheap protein, pop this on the Traeger grill for simple lunches and meal prep for the week. In the event you’re smoking a complete hen, simply throw one other on, and the leftovers shall be devoured up in days.

The place our smoked beer can chicken sits upright on a can of ale, this chicken merely lays over a wire rack on a baking sheet on the pellet grill to cook dinner—making it faster and simpler for once you simply need one thing with out an excessive amount of work. We skip the sauce like on our smoked chicken thighs and maintain it fundamental for this simple recipe. With a fast and easy seasoning mix from a pre-made rub and our favourite butter hack, this hen is so scrumptious.

And since it’s on a pellet smoker, you get a lighter smoke taste when smoking hen, which is ideal for making versatile leftover dishes from chilaquiles to chicken salad.

Ever since mastering smoking entire chickens on an electrical smoker (again when that was the one one we had), we’ve made a convention of breaking in each new grill with one. And proceed to place them on the menu each week simply due to how and inexpensive simple they’re. It doesn’t take up a lot area, so when you’ve received your grill preheated for 3-2-1 ribs or smoked pork loin, seize a small chicken and pop it on as properly.

Ingredients for whole smoked chicken on a black board.


  • Complete hen, be certain it’s thawed utterly. We’ve been testing the place to order our chickens from, and when you’re curious too, take a look at our checklist of locations to order meat online.
  • Butter – all the time use unsalted when cooking
  • GirlsCanGrill Chicken Rub – or your favourite hen bbq dry rub.
  • Kosher salt 
  • Oil – we use avocado oil, however any impartial cooking oil will do

Easy methods to smoke a hen

  • Begin by patting the entire hen dry with paper towels. Be certain that to test the cavity for the neck and giblets and pat it dry as properly.
  • Along with your fingers, discover the place the pores and skin of the hen breast meat traces up with the cavity and gently loosen the pores and skin together with your fingers or a spoon between the meat and the hen pores and skin. Don’t pull too onerous, simply sufficient to slip the butter in and slightly of the spice rub and coat the meat.
  • Then season the surface of the hen liberally on all sides with the spice combination and salt. Some will fall off when cooking, so put a superb coating on the whole hen. Make sure to rub seasoning within the cavity as properly.
  • Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, breasts facet up. This makes transferring the smoked hen and cleansing up simpler. Tuck the hen wing suggestions again behind the breasts and tie the legs with butcher’s twine.
  • Subsequent, prep your pellet smoker or grill for 325 levels. And when the grill is sustaining warmth, place the hen on the wire rack and baking sheet straight onto the grill grates.
  • If utilizing a standard offset smoker, be certain the hen is over the cooler facet of the grill (oblique warmth).
Placing a chicken on the grill grates.
Place the entire hen on the grill. Add wooden chips in a smoker field for extra taste.
  • Smoke the hen for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours till the inner temperature of the thickest a part of the hen reaches 160 levels F and the darkish meat (thighs and drums) reaches 170F. At about half-hour into cooking, baste the hen with just a few dabs of oil over. Repeat this each 15 to twenty minutes, till the
  • Rigorously switch the entire hen and baking sheet from the grill and permit the chicken to chill for quarter-hour. The inner temperature will proceed to rise 5 to 10 levels whereas the hen rests.
Whole smoked chicken resting on a wire rack.
Let the hen relaxation earlier than serving.
  • Lastly, carve the hen legs and thighs from the chicken, then the wings and breast. Slice the breast into skinny strips to serve together with your favourite bbq sauce or our Alabama white sauce if desired.
Whole chicken carved into portions, breast, wings, quarters and wings.

GirlCarnivore Professional Tip

You may smoke a Traeger entire hen at a decrease temp for an extended time for extra smoke taste. However we discover smoking at 325 to 350 levels will get the hen cooked with simply sufficient taste and retains the pores and skin crispy sufficient for a superb compromise.

For a bit extra smoky taste, we use hickory wooden chips in a smoker field or hickory wooden chunks straight on the grill grates of the Traeger smoker.

Easy methods to Retailer Leftovers and Reheating

Retailer leftover hen in an hermetic container or wrapped in foil within the fridge for as much as 4 days. We carve our hen for simpler storage and leftovers and freeze the carcass to make chicken stock in a while.

Solely reheat what you want in parts in a preheated oven at 325F. Wrap leftovers tightly in foil and place within the oven for five to 10 minutes to reheat. If reheating thighs or quarters, set the oven to broil for crispy pores and skin, and reheat on a foil-lined baking sheet for five to 10 minutes, till heated by way of.

Leftover smoked hen is wonderful in Mexican Chicken Soup, on a giant pile of nachos, in bbq sandwiches, enchiladas, chicken tinga stuffed poblanos, and even foil wrapper sandwiches.

Hands holding a knife and fork slicing the drum from the whole chicken.

What to serve with smoked hen

This Traeger smoked hen recipe goes properly with so many issues. Nearly any facet dish or taste profile works as a superb pairing.

We like to serve entire chicken with smoked brussels sprouts, rajas con crema, creamy dutch oven mac and cheese, or smoked corn on the cob. A light-weight salad is all the time a beautiful facet dish with this as properly.

how lengthy Does it take to smoke a complete hen?

Smoking is all the time about inside temperature and never time, however a 4 to 6-pound hen will cook dinner in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours on a smoker, sustaining a good warmth of 325 to 350 levels F. Remember, when grilling, altitude, wind, climate, and the airflow to the grill all have an effect on cooking time and smoker temperature.

It’s all the time finest to make use of an instantaneous learn digital meat thermometer for probably the most correct inside temp. Insert the probe into the thickest a part of the breast and hen quarters with out touching the bone to test. Chicken and darkish meat cook dinner in another way, and we encourage rotating the chicken not less than as soon as throughout the smoking course of to assist it evenly cook dinner. If you already know your grill has a scorching spot, put the darkish meat in direction of that facet to assist the chicken to not overcook or dry out.

Hands holding knife and fork slicing a chicken breast into strips.

Extra scrumptious smoked hen recipes

Have you ever tried a complete smoked hen recipe but? What’s your favourite dry spice rub or mix to make use of? In the event you made this recipe, please be sure you charge the recipe card and drop a remark under, letting us know what you served it with.

Need juicy, tender hen each time? Smoke your chicken! For a superbly moist flavorful hen, that is the easiest way to cook dinner a complete hen for simple meal prep or dinner.

Prep the hen

  • Take away the hen from the packaging and dry it off very properly with a paper towel. Take away the neck and every other objects from the cavity and be sure you dry the cavity out properly as properly.

  • If wanted, place a paper towel within the cavity for a couple of minutes to soak up and liquid.

  • Rigorously carry up the pores and skin on the breast from the underside, utilizing your fingers and loosen it. Place the butter below the pores and skin so far as you possibly can handle to get it.

  • Season the hen liberally with the hen rub and salt.

  • Place the hen on a wire rack on prime of a rimmed baking sheet.

Smoke the hen

  • Place the chicken, nonetheless on the wire rack and baking sheet, straight on the grill grates. Shut the lid and smoke for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

  • On the 30 minute mark, baste the hen with the oil, by gently dabbing it over the pores and skin. Proceed to baste each 15 to twenty minutes till the hen breast reaches 160F and the thighs attain 170 levels F with a digital meat thermometer.

Relaxation & serve

  • Rigorously take away the baking sheet from the grill.

  • Enable the hen to relaxation for quarter-hour. Because it rests, it’ll rise one other 5 levels internaly as a result of carryover cooking.

  • Carve the hen by slicing the legs and wings from the chicken. Then take away the thighs and slice the breasts from the breast bone.

  • Serve with barbecue sauce if desired.

We use Jack Daniel’s Charcoal pellets for this cook dinner and hickory wooden chunks.
This recipe works nice on a barrel smoker or conventional offset smoker as properly. Merely prep the grill to take care of a good warmth of 325 levels F and cook dinner as instructed above. 

Serving: 1g | Energy: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.01g | Protein: 24g | Fats: 31g | Saturated Fats: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 6g | Monounsaturated Fats: 13g | Trans Fats: 0.4g | Ldl cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 242mg | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Major Course

Delicacies: barbeque

Key phrase: smoked entire hen

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