How to Smoke a Whole Chicken On a Pellet Grill

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Looking for a smoky upgrade to your whole roast chicken? Then you’ve come to the right place. Smoking chicken has never been easier than on a pellet grill, and in this quick, comprehensive guide, we’re going to show you how to do just that. So just keep reading for the full process of how to smoke a whole chicken on a pellet grill.

The Process

The great thing about smoking your chicken on a pellet grill is that the process is a piece of cake and doesn’t require much effort. Here’s how smoking a chicken is done.

Step One

Start by removing any giblets on your chicken, then clean your bird and pat it dry. If you’re working with a little extra time on your hands, consider placing it on a sheet of baking paper atop a wire rack, then give it some time to dry in your refrigerator overnight. 

This dries the skin of the chicken out further, promoting that delicious golden browning we’re looking for. When you’re ready to move on to the next step, preheat the grill to 230°F.

Step Two

Brush the skin of your chicken with a bit of olive oil, then season its inner cavity lightly with your favorite herbs. The skin of your bird should be the most seasoned. Stuff the chicken with slices of onion, lemon, and a few sprigs of rosemary. Keeping the seasoning simple will preserve the chicken’s full flavor and help the spices’ flavors absorb nicely. 

Step Three

Cross the legs of the chicken, then, using butcher’s wire, tie them together. To ensure even cooking, make sure that you cross them directly in the front of your chicken’s cavity. Optionally, you can tuck its wings beneath the chicken, pushing them downward to the back of the chicken, then placing them underneath.

Step Four

Season the outside of your chicken with the last of your seasoning, making sure to coat the skin well.

Step Five

Insert a thermometer of your choice into the deepest part of one of the breasts, making sure not to touch any bones. Place the bird into your grill, then smoke it for an hour at 230°F. 

After an hour, turn the heat of your grill up to 375° and keep roasting the chicken until all of the meat reaches 165° internal temperature. 

Step Six

Once you have finished smoking the chicken, remove it from your grill and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Serve it with your favorite sides or as part of a burger, and enjoy. 

Whole Baby Chicken Being Prepared in Josper Grill

What’s a Pellet Grill, Anyway?

Pellet grills are unique in that they use ignited wooden pellets and a sequence of fans to heat your foods to a temperature of your choice. They work similarly to outdoor convection ovens and can be used for grilling, smoking, baking, and even braising foods. 

Anything that you make in your traditional kitchen oven can be made in a pellet grill. 

How They Work

With pellet grills, heat is generated from the wood pellets that are situated inside the ‘pellet hopper,’ which is the main chamber of the grill. These pellets are moved through an auger to a fire pot, heating the entire cooking chamber of the grill at once. 

Using a system made up of a few fans, smoke and heat are spread throughout the grill, offering your foods a naturally woody and rich flavor that is derived from the pellets. While these grills are quite similar to regular grills, there are a few major differences that set them apart. 

One of the greatest advantages of using pellet grills is that they offer a combination of efficiency, versatility, and a deep flavor that is difficult to imitate using other cooking mediums.

The Benefits

With all of the capabilities of the average pellet grill, the options for what you can cook on these machines are endless. This is because, unlike other smokers and grills, pellet grills offer you the best of both worlds – you can either cook something hot and fast or low and slow, depending on the temperature that you choose. 

You’re also able to set specific temperatures, providing efficient, consistent cooking every time. What’s more, with no open flame and no direct heat cooking, you’ll never have to worry about flame flare-ups, which can be quite intimidating for people new to the grilling world. 

Read also: How to Prepare Spatchcocked Chicken

Final Thoughts

Smoking a whole chicken using your pellet grill doesn’t have to be a challenging task. With the steps we outlined above, you can see that you can enjoy delicious smoked chicken whenever you want without having to pay for it at a store or restaurant. So grab your pellet grill, your chicken, and your family and enjoy your summers by the pool with amazing smoked chicken on the grill.

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