Smoked Whole Chicken


Great rub for smoked chicken that doesn't overpower the chicken flavor.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 (3 1/2) pound whole chicken


  1. Preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

  2. Combine paprika, chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix completely with a fork until well combined.

  3. Spatchcock the chicken by placing chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone. Grabbing hold of both sides of the chicken, open it like a book. Turn breast side up. Push down on each side of breast with your hands until you hear it crack. Flatten. Rub with the seasoning blend.

  4. Smoke until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, reads 140 degrees F (60 degrees C), about 3 1/2 hours. Turn up the heat to 350 to 400 degrees F (175 to 200 degrees C) and get direct heat on the skin to finish out with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).

  5. Remove from heat, cover in foil, and allow to rest until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

Cook's Notes:

Spatchcocking the chicken prior to smoking is optional.

You can also rub the chicken with the spices up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerate. If you can't handle heat, I'd suggest 2 teaspoons of cayenne instead of 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

319 Calories
12g Fat
8g Carbs
45g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 319
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 133mg 44%
Sodium 1118mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 560mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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