posted April 12, 2021
Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken
Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken could likely win an award for the most flavorful, succulent, melt in your mouth smoked chicken that ever was. Injected with peach juice, whiskey, and melted butter then slow smoked over peach wood, you can taste the love in every single bite.
Smoked Pulled Chicken
This smoked pulled chicken is a tasty meal that will fill a crowd. It’s full of incredible flavor, and your guests will leave begging you for the “secret recipe.”
And the secret to this recipe? The whiskey peach butter injection combined with an incredible Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce. I love the way smoked chicken tastes when basted with BBQ sauce, and this recipe is no different. Even if the skin itself gets discarded, you still get that smoky sauce mixed into the meat itself as you shred your chicken.
This recipe has you smoke the chicken over indirect heat, and I recommend peach wood to accent the flavors in both the injection and the whiskey peach barbecue sauce. With pulled chicken, we aren’t too concerned about getting that crispy skin since it mostly gets discarded, so spend your efforts increasing the flavor of the meat itself.
Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken
As I previously mentioned, this recipe is exploding with flavor thanks to the injection and BBQ sauce. Back when I originally created this recipe in 2018, I made a special Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce just for this smoked pulled chicken and it was the perfect complement to the whiskey peach butter injection.
That BBQ sauce was so popular we ended up bottling it up and selling it along with the rest of our rubs and sauces through our Hey Grill Hey store. You can buy your own pre-made Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce here.
While I often recommend alternatives to BBQ sauces in my recipes, there is no alternative here. This smoked pulled chicken is PERFECT with the whiskey peach, and you’ve gotta give it a go before making any substitutions.
How to Make Smoked Pulled Chicken
The secret to this succulent smoked pulled chicken is the low and slow smoke time. We’re going for maximum smoke flavor, and you’ve gotta be willing to put in the time to make that happen.
Quick note: Be sure your chicken is fully defrosted before cooking and have all of your ingredients ready to go. Then once you’re ready to begin making this chicken, all you have to remember are the 4 flavor elements: injection, seasoning, smoke, and sauce.
- Injection. Inject the chicken in several spots with a mixture of peach juice, whiskey, and melted butter (scroll below to the printable recipe card for full ingredient amounts). Having a good stainless steel meat injector makes quick work of this step.
- Seasoning. Season the chicken liberally on all sides with my Best Sweet Rub. You can also purchase this pre-made from my store.
- Smoke. With your smoker preheated to 225 degrees F, smoke the chicken for 45 minutes per pound (my 3-4 pound chicken took around 3 hours).
- Sauce. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, brush liberally with the Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce. Remove the chicken from the smoker when the thighs and breasts reach temps of 160 degrees F.
What Temp to Pull Smoked Chicken
This has been up for debate among pitmasters for quite some time. I say the perfect temp to pull smoked chicken is when you hit 160 degrees F in the breast. I then cover tightly with foil and let the carry-over cooking bring the internal temperature up to 165 degrees F.
Other pitmasters claim the best way to do low and slow smoked pulled chicken is to take it up to 200 degrees like a pork butt or brisket. I don’t love this method because my results have either been incredibly dry in the breast or, if I have brined the bird to retain moisture, I end up with mushy meat.
My personal recommendation is to stick to 165 degrees F, but if you’ve found success with the higher temperature, let me know in the comments! Make sure you are using an accurate instant read thermometer, the Thermoworks MK4 is my go-to and I’ve used it daily for a couple of years with no issues (I’ve never even had to replace the battery).
How Long to Smoke a Whole Chicken
If you’re cooking your chicken whole, I recommend smoking the chicken for 45 minutes per pound. If you want to spatchcock or split your chickens into halves (like I did in this recipe for Smoked Chicken) you can shorten your cooking time to 35 minutes per pound.
Don’t be put off by the longer cook time on this recipe. The extra time gives the smoked pulled chicken more time in the smoker allowing more of that amazing smoke flavor throughout the exterior of the meat.
More Smoked Chicken Recipes
If you find yourself a fan of smoked chicken, you’ll love these other smoked chicken recipes from Hey Grill Hey!
Smoked Pulled Chicken Recipe
Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken
Whiskey Peach Injection
- 1 cup peach juice
- ¼ cup whiskey
- ¼ cup melted butter
- Preheat the smoker. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F using a mild fruit wood like peach.
- Prep the chicken. Remove any giblets or neck from inside of the chicken and pat dry.
- Inject the chicken. In a jar, combine the peach juice, whiskey, and melted butter. Inject this mixture into your chicken in several spots. Be sure to inject in at least 3 different places in each breast, 2 places in the thighs, and 1 time in each leg. Work quickly during this step to prevent your butter from getting hard and clogging your injector. If your butter does start to harden, you can microwave the jar of liquid for 30 seconds to soften it up again.
- Season the chicken. Season your chicken liberally on all sides with the Sweet BBQ Rub (link in recipe notes).
- Smoke. Place in the middle of your smoker and close the lid. Smoke for 45 minutes per pound of chicken. A 3-4 pound bird will take 2.5-3.5 hours.
- Sauce and finish smoking. When the internal temperature of your meat reaches 150 degrees F, brush liberally with the whiskey peach BBQ sauce. Check the temperature in both the thighs and the breasts and when your internal temperature reads consistently 160 degrees F, remove the chicken to a rimmed serving platter or baking sheet
- Rest the chicken. Cover the chicken tightly with aluminum foil to allow the chicken to come up to 165 degrees F and rest for 20 minutes.
- Shred and serve. Shred the chicken and set it onto your serving platter. Discard the carcass or save for homemade stock. Drizzle your smoked pulled chicken with more of the Whiskey Peach Barbecue Sauce and serve on toasted buns.
**This post was originally published in January 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
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