smoked whole chicken
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5 from 1 vote

Whole Smoked Chicken with a Zesty TABASCO® Brine

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Brine Time12 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Whole Smoked Chicken
Author: Susie Bulloch (


  • 1 whole fryer chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon TABASCO® Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade BBQ Sweet Rub
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

For the TABASCO Brine

  • 1 gallon of water
  • ½ cup TABASCO® Sauce
  • ½ cup Kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  • Create the chicken brine by dissolving the TABASCO® Sauce, kosher salt and brown sugar in 1 gallon of water. Once dissolved, submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Weigh down your chicken with a plate, if necessary, to keep the whole bird submerged.
  • When you’re ready to cook, preheat your smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions to 225 degrees F. I recommend mild hardwoods like maple or pecan with this chicken.
  • While the grill is preheating, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Rub with TABASCO® Sauce and season liberally with the BBQ seasoning.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with lemon, onion, and thyme. Tie the legs together.
  • Place the seasoned chicken in your smoker and smoke for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes and the internal temperature to finish rising to 165 degrees F.
  • Slice and serve!