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Easy smoked whole chicken

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Smoked whole chicken recipe that is great for your electric or charcoal smoker! Easy, juicy and beginners friendly recipe!

chicken in the smoker

How to smoke a perfect whole chicken?

Knowing how to smoke a perfect whole chicken can sound a little intimidating. You’ll first need to understand that there are a lot of variables when it comes to smoking the perfect chicken. Since whole chickens come in many sizes the time to smoke a perfect whole chicken will also vary. The average time to smoke a perfect whole chicken is four hours, with the possibility that it could take up to 5 hours.

Smoking chicken in Electric smoker

Learning how to smoke a perfect whole chicken is all about what method you’re using to complete this process. Electric smoking is more controlled and sometimes easier to gain that perfectly smoked whole chicken. You’ll want to make sure your chicken is smoked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and then allow time for the meat to rest. I use a Masterbuit electric smoker!

Do you smoke a whole chicken breast up or breast down?

Your whole chicken should be placed on the smoker breast side down and then splashed with the marinade or barbeque sauce that you’ve opted to season your whole chicken with. Once your chicken has been on the electric smoker for about an hour, turn it breast side up so that you don’t overcook the meat when trying to smoke a perfect whole chicken.


What temperature do you smoke a whole chicken in an electric smoker?

You’ll want to set your electric smoke to be at 250 degrees Fahrenheit or a range of 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit if your electric smoker has more of a “range option” for temperature setting.

How often should you add wood chips to an electric smoker?

Whatever type of wood you’re using to smoke a perfect whole chicken is entirely up to you. When it comes to knowing how often you should add wood chips to an electric smoker, the rule of thumb is to add them once the heating light is off as the electric smoker has come to temperature. You only need to add wood chips to an electric smoker within the first 20 minutes or so and they’ll last about an hour. Your whole chicken will continue to cook and hold in the flavor. If you add wood chips too frequently, it will end up making your perfectly smoked whole chicken taste a little too strong with that wood flavor. 

How do you reheat a smoked whole chicken?

Sometimes we end up with leftovers whenever we smoke a perfect whole chicken. It’s completely normal for leftovers to occur. In the case that you have leftovers of your smoked whole chicken that you’d like to reheat, you can easily reheat a smoked whole chicken in the oven. Place your smoked whole chicken in a preheated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven with tinfoil wrapped around it. Be sure to pour about a tablespoon of water inside the aluminum foil and allow your smoked whole chicken to reheat in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow your reheated smoked whole chicken to rest and then serve.

When you’re opting to save leftovers of your perfectly smoked whole chicken, it’s best to wrap it in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for 304 days or a freezer for up to 3 months, depending on how well you’ve wrapped the leftover smoked whole chicken.

Now that I’ve answered some frequently asked questions about how to smoke a perfect whole chicken, I hope you’re ready to dig into this recipe. I’m going to share my favorite smoked whole chicken recipe for you to indulge in this delicious option for your next meal or family gathering event.

smoked chicken

More SMOKER recipes readers love!

  1. Smoked turkey breast
  2. Smoked chicken quarters
  3. How to smoke ribs in electric smoker-with the video!
  4. Smoked orange chicken
  5. Smoked brisket-so juicy!
  6. Smoked beef ribs

Dont forget to check my electric smoker recipes page!

Print Recipe
4.72 from 7 votes

How to smoke a whole chicken

Smoked whole chicken recipe that is great for your electric or charcoal smoker! Easy, juicy and beginners friendly recipe!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy smoked whole chicken, electric smoker recipes, smoked chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Tatiana


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup jerk seasoning


  • Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees with Mesquite or Apple wood chips.
  • Rub chicken with Jamaican jerk seasoning. You can any other rub.
  • Place the chicken in to your smoker. Be careful, its hot! Smoke for about 3-4 hours, checking the temperature. Once the temperature  reaches 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, its ready!
  • Remove the chicken and let stand on the counter for about 10 minutes before carving.

Tools used in this recipe

Electric smoker


Calories: 409kcal | Protein: 35g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 359mg | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators.

Tried this recipe?Follow me at @Myberrymaple and tag #berrymaple!


Recipe Rating


Saturday 17th of August 2019

I’m smoking two whole chickens tomorrow. They come out super juicy and like Chrissy said you can use the leftovers throughout the week. One question though your saying 304 days in the refrigerator?? Must be a typo

Tatiana Shifruk

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Oh thank you so much for letting me know. Of course its 3-4 days:)


Thursday 11th of July 2019

Love all of your tips and tricks! Everything you need to become a pro! Thanks for sharing.


Thursday 11th of July 2019

There is just nothing like a fresh cooked, seasoned and smoked chicken. It's SO good and then I love having all the leftover chicken to use in salads and wraps throughout the week!

Danielle Wolter

Thursday 11th of July 2019

I am in love with this! I cannot wait to try it. It sounds incredible, especially with the jerk seasoning :-)


Thursday 11th of July 2019

The colors are amazing and the flavors must be out of this world! :-) I love your closeups, too - they truly show all the great results you can achieve with this recipe.