Hot Smoke Barbecue Chicken
This is the hot smoked chicken recipe that really got us hooked on barbecue. The juicy and spicey taste of this roast chicken made me forget all other chicken I had ever tasted before. (well, almost... ;o) Smoking whole chicken is really very easy, and if you like grilling whole chicken I'm sure that this fragrant grilled chicken recipe will soon be your favourite too!
If you want to know how to smoke chicken, or how long it takes for smoking chicken, keep reading!
Hot Smoking Whole Chicken
There must be at least a thousand ways to prepare a chicken...
The whole chicken recipe described here below is one of our favourites. This is easy chicken, juicy chicken, spicy chicken, crispy chicken, smokey chicken, you fill it in. Prepared in this way, even the cheapest chicken will taste fantastic.
We normally use our small Weber kettle grill for smoking whole chickens, set up for indirect grilling, which will accommodate two to three chickens in the range of 2 to 4lbs (1-2 kilos).
Smoke a chicken. An easy smokey juicy crispy spicy chicken. Here's how it works:
1. The Chickens
The main ingredient. Go buy yourself one or two of your favourite chickens. Most of the times I buy the best I can get, but sometimes I also buy a cheapo just to compare final results.
Wash the chickens under cold running water, remove any loose parts, dangling fat, excess skin, etc., and blot dry inside and outside using paper towels.
2. Barbecue Dry Rub
Put the chicken on a clean and dry surface, or in large non-reactive bowl, and apply a dry rub, inside and outside, spreading the rub with your hands and working it into all crevices until you have a nicely and evenly covered bird.
We have been using this rub on grilled chicken once or twice a month for two years now and it is an absolute winner.
To us, this mix represents a true American taste for grilled chicken. My wife Juanita developed this rub using a recipe from one of Steven Raichlen's wonderful barbecue cookbooks as a starting point.
3. The Barbecue
Prepare your Weber (or similar barbecue, or smoker or oven) for indirect grilling. Use about 10 to 12 charcoal briquettes in each side coal pocket.
I always use charcoal briquettes because of their even shape and size. I also found they have a more constant quality when compared with regular "lump" charcoal (mostly small lump charcoal, that is...).
Once the charcoal in my barbecue is glowing and grey, I put a few water soaked chunks of smokewood (say about 1"-2" thick and 3"-5" long) on top of the charcoal.
Because of the fairly high temperature of the charcoal fire during hot smoking, and to prevent the smoke wood from burning too fast, I soak my smoke wood in a bucket of water for a couple of days prior to use.
4. Time to Relax
With that chicken sitting in your black backyard coal-fired microwave, take it easy. Get yourself a drink, sit down, check the fire, watch that whisp of smoke curl up and follow a path to the neighbours. Chicken smoking! Aaah, enjoy that lovely smell. There's nothing that can make you feel more down to earth and relaxed.
Read a book, listen to your favourite music. Relax.
Try to resist peeking under the lid too often. Every time you open your barbecue you will loose heat, and the cooking process will take longer. On the other hand, if you have time anyway, what the heck...
After about forty five minutes or one hour of smoking, you should check under the lid to see if the chicken skin is not turning too dark. Once you like the color of the skin, cover the chicken loosely with aluminium foil and return the lid.
5. Dinner Time
To check whether your smoked chicken is really done, I simply cut off a leg to see if the inside meat has the proper texture and comes off the bone easily.
Not that I've ever done so, but you could also check whether the chicken is indeed well done by inserting an instant read thermometer in the thickest parts of the meat which should then read about 180oF (just over 80oC).
The PitBoss Suggests:
This hot smoked chicken combines particularly well with a potato salad and baked beans, or with Hot Smoke Barbecue Fries and Juanita's American Coleslaw.
Cold beer (!) goes very well with every barbecue, summer and winter. Also: cold mineral water with fresh lemon slices, or a real cold dry white wine.
A fruity red wine is very well possible too, especially when served a bit chilled.
OK, and then there's Rianna and Juanita... Nobody will drive these girls crazy, they will always keep their cool... Whatever's on the menu, they'll stay with their red Rioja and Merlot !!!