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The Best Smoked Whole Chicken

Tender, juicy, and smoky perfection. This is the best smoked whole chicken! This easy recipe will help you create a delicious and impressive meal that your family and friends will love.

the best smoked whole chicken

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When people think of smoked meats, they probably often think of things like ribs or brisket, not leaner meats like chicken. But after you try this chicken, this is going to be one of your favorite smoked meats on the menu! This is the BEST smoked whole chicken I have ever had. And the best part? It’s the easiest thing in the world.

We make this chicken a couple of times a month. It is the most tender, moist, and luscious chicken we have ever had. It also makes a great dinner to bring to friends after they have a baby or are going through any major life event and could use a hand in the meal department.


  • One 3-4 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons poultry seasoning of choice. We love Kinder’s Woodfired Garlic.
best smoked whole chicken ingredients


First, you are going to take your chicken out of the plastic package and pat it dry with paper towels. Turn on your pellet grill or smoker per manufacturers instructions and heat it to 225 degrees.

Next, pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over your chicken and rub it all over using your hands. Peel the skin up on the breasts and get a little oil under the skin on those, too.

Then, your will sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning on your chicken. Use your hands to rub it, making sure to get under the skin like you did with the oil.

Next, put a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. We use a Meater+ and it is absolutely amazing! So easy to track your chicken’s temp at any time, anywhere right from your phone. It even gives you an estimated time for when it will be done so you can adjust the temp up or down as needed. It’s usually spot on!

Finally, Place your chicken right on the grill grates, breast side up. Close the lid on your grill and allow it to smoke for about 3 hours or until your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

If you need to speed up the cook, feel free to move the heat up to 250 halfway through.

When the chicken reaches 165 degrees, pull it off the smoker. Let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.

That’s it! This smoked chicken is SO EASY but it tastes absolutely incredible. We make this all. the. time! It’s just so easy to throw on the Traeger mid-afternoon and let it do it’s thing for a few hours.

the best smoked chicken dinner with sides

Tips & Variations

  • I recommend serving this amazing chicken with some homemade mashed potatoes, or even a Mac ‘n cheese for the kids. It goes great with a salad or roasted veggies of any kind. I also love to make maple garlic roasted carrots to serve with it.
  • Play around with your favorite rubs or sauces! I typically use a pre-made blend for this smoked chicken recipe as the best thing about it is how it tastes like it took hours of hands on work, but it was literally only 5 minutes.
  • You can tie the feet together if you wish. We usually don’t, and it turns out just fine.
  • A meat thermometer is so important. Do not overcook!


How long does it take to smoke a chicken at 225?

It took us about 3 hours to smoke this 3.5-lb chicken at 225. Rule of thumb is about 45 minutes per pound.

What is the best temp and time to smoke a whole chicken?

Smoking a whole chicken at 225 gives the absolute best flavor you could ever hope for. It does take a little longer than cooking it at higher temps, but it’s worth it. If you need to move it along a little quicker, move it up to 250 or 275 about halfway through, but make sure to give it a good amount of time at 225.

Is smoked whole chicken healthy?

Chicken is a lean, healthy protein. Smoking chicken gives it an incredible flavor. Consuming home smoked meats in moderation is generally fine. When people suggest avoiding smoked meats, they’re usually referring to the processed meats with additives you buy at the store since most people don’t smoke their own meat. According to Cleveland Clinic, to make smoked meats healthier, you should cook with hardwood pellets and avoid burning the meat.

Nutritional Information

For 4 ounces of meat, you’re at roughly 250 calories. This of course varies depending on light or dark meat, if you eat the skin, etc.

You get:

  • 21 grams of protein
  • 17 grams of fat (4.9 grams saturated)
  • 0 grams of carbs

Related Recipes

Want some other delicious family chicken recipes?

Try our Healthy Ranch Chicken Poutine, our Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe, or my Roasted Plums & Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.

Check out these other recipes for your smoker! Try my Glazed Grilled Salmon or my Smoked Boneless Pork Sirloin.

If you’re feeding a crowd, try my Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Turkey Recipe.

Recipe Notes

the best smoked whole chicken
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

The Best Smoked Whole Chicken

This recipe will change the way you think of chicken forever. You'll never be able to eat it any other way!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Resting Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: smoked whole chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Holly Lee


  • Pellet Grill or Smoker, such as Traeger


  • 3-4 lb Whole Chicken giblets removed
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Poultry Seasoning Blend of Choice We love Kinders Woodfire Garlic


  • Start your smoker/pellet grill per manufacturer's instructions and heat to 225 degrees.
  • Rub the skin of your chicken with your olive oil. Peel the skin back on the breast and rub a little oil under the skin, too.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning blend liberally all over the outside of the chicken. Rub it into the oil with your hands. Make sure to get under the skin where you can, too.
  • Put a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Place your chicken directly on the smoker grates. Close the lid.
  • Chicken will need about 3 hours to cook. If you need to speed it up, you can move it up to 250 degrees partway through.
  • When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from the grill. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  • Enjoy the best chicken dinner you will ever have!



You can tie the chicken’s feet together if you wish, but I never bother. It turns out just fine. 
Cook directly on the grates to get it nice and crispy.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This Chicken was so flavorful and delicious, the process to cook was easy we will defiantly be making this again!

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