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smoked whole chicken
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5 from 10 votes

Whole Smoked Chicken with a Smoked Chicken Brine

This smoked chicken is prepped in a Smoked Chicken Brine. The brine is a homemade zesty Tabasco spiked brine that keeps the chicken incredibly juicy. It is so tender and flavorful, you’ll want to make extra to use in salads, soups, and dinners the whole week!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Brine Time12 hours
Total Time15 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chicken Brine
Servings: 4 people
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)


  • 1 3-4 pound whole fryer chicken
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade BBQ Sweet Rub
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 lemon sliced

Smoked Chicken Brine

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup Kosher salt


  • Brine the chicken. Make 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.
  • Fire up the smoker. 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.
  • Prep the chicken. While the smoker 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.
  • Smoke the brined chicken. Place the brined and 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.
  • Rest, slice and serve. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes. During this time the internal temperature of the chicken will continue to rise to a final temperature of 165 degrees F. Once it's at this final temp, slice the chicken and serve.



Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg