Smoked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole Chickens
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 3/4 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2-3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf

  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp White Sugar

  • 1 Cup Dark Beer
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 Oz Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

  • 1 Cup Apple Juice

Directions

  1. Cut both of the birds in half, removing the backbone entirely.
  2. Place the chickens into a large stock pot, and tuck the rosemary and bay leaf in between the chickens.
  3. Then, in a smaller stock pot, mix all of the other brine ingredients (water, salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, paprika) until the salt and sugar has totally dissolved.
  4. Pour this mixture over the chickens. Let soak in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
  5. When ready to start cooking, remove the chickens from the brine, dry each half well with paper towels and place onto clean cutting boards or into baking dishes.
  6. Mix all of the rub ingredients (paprika, onion powder, pepper, salt, sugar) together (except the crushed garlic) in a small mixing bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, add the chopped garlic and finish mixing.
  7. Find a gap and carefully separate the chicken skin from the breasts and thighs being careful not to fully remove it. Spread the rub onto the underside of each chicken half. Lightly spread the rub onto the meat under the skin. Use the remaining rub to heavily coat the outside of the skin.
  8. Whisk all of the mop ingredients (beer, vinegar, apple juice, bbq sauce, hot sauce, pepper, salt) together until well blended, then pour into a squirt bottle.
  9. Put the remaining beer and the apple juice into the water pan of the smoker, then fill the pan the rest of the way with water.
  10. Place the water pan in the smoker and replace the grill.
  11. Place the 1/2 birds onto smoker, skin side up.
  12. Baste the chickens lightly with the mop sauce.
  13. Continue basting with the mop sauce every half hour to keep the skin from getting too crispy.
  14. After 2.5 to 3.5 hours, when the skin looks nice and golden-brown, check the internal temperature.
  15. The breasts should hit 160 and the thighs should hit 175.

Notes

  • Used a nice thick Sam Adams Holiday Porter – but any will do
  • Used mesquite wood chunks the first try, but would also like to try using apple-wood chunks soon.