Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

On the Grill – Smoked Chicken

with 18 comments

     smoked chicken

     I love to BBQ!! Something about the smoke and fire make it a primal experience for me.Through the years I have had a variety of grills from an oil barrel grill to a water smoker.I used to be a “Charcoal Only” person but several years ago i even had an opportunity purchase a gas grill , at a reasonable price. and learned to like it.I have grilled/ smoked everything from geese to potatoes! A goal of mine is to get comfortable enough with BBQ that I enter the world of Competitive BBQ ( I have a cousin on the east coast who does this quite successfully. Her team is the Purple Turtle team ).

     It has gotten warm enough to start smoking again. Although I will, on a whim, grill/smoke in even the most inclement weather I try to save my resources for spring and fall. Whole chicken were on sale at the market this week and provided me with the opportunity.

    One of the most important elements of BBQ is to  prepare your meat. For the chicken I used a brine. This does two things.  The smoke clings to the salt in the brine better and the chicken stays moist from the brine. This brine will be enough for 2 chickens. I brined them for 5 1/2 hours. Also, as long as you are getting a fire going you may as well smoke as much as you can. no sense wasting all that good smoke! When I do ribs I always throw a chicken on too.

 A basic brine recipe:


One Gallon water
One Cup Kosher Salt
One Cup Sugar (Brown)




Right now I still have my trusty Weber Kettle ( 20 years old) and am using to smoke. One of the important things to remember about smoking is that the rule is “Low and Slow”. I put the charcoal on one side of the grill and a drip pan filled with water on the other. I place the chicken over the drip pan so the fat that is rendered doesn’t burn. Also the water help to moderate the heat. My goal is to cook between 225 and 250 degrees.

Smoked Chicken 3     Although there are several  types of wood people use to smoke I like hickory. I soak my chips in water for an hour before tossing them on my fire. I have a thermometer in the grill to monitor temperature and I adjust accordingly by opening and closing the lid and/or the air holes on the top and bottom of the grill. My chickens took approximately 2 1/2 hours to cook.

Smoked Chicken 2

     We ate our chicken hot off the grill. I am making a smoked chicken and vegetable Penne Pasta with the leftover from the one chicken and the other one will go in the freezer for another day!


Written by Ed Schenk

March 9, 2010 at 12:32 am

18 Responses

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  1. I, too, am a year-round griller. I haven’t smoked a chicken in a while, though. Looks like it’s time I did something about that!


    March 13, 2010 at 1:13 am

  2. oh mama mia! is that all I need to do? pretty easy….thanks for sharing chef….:)

    love the presentation….thanks for coming by on my page…great to be here again!


    March 12, 2010 at 10:17 am

  3. Competitive BBQ sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you get to be a part of it! I have yet to brine a chicken. It’s on my list!


    March 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

  4. One day I will get a grill, I feel so left out without one but we’ve been moving around and at least tree other lame excuses. One day I will do this too, mark my words. Thanks for the tips!


    March 11, 2010 at 11:37 am

  5. I adore smoked foods. I love smoked chicken in all kinds of different recipes. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing!!!!


    March 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

  6. I have an old Weber kettle. Never thought about smoking with it. We’ve just now had warm enough weather to start thinking about that. Love your blog Ed


    March 10, 2010 at 10:25 am

  7. Hi Ed,

    I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog (and thanks for visiting mine). This is such a great in-depth “how-to” for what looks like an amazing chicken! As you probably know, Australians and their barbies (barbecues) are often inseparable so this touches a chord :). In fact, we used to own one of these Webbers. Thanks for sharing.


    March 9, 2010 at 7:01 am

    • I am also attached at the hip to my BBQ (s). I have the Weber, a large gas grill, a small gas grill (for travel), and a water smoker.

      Ed Schenk

      March 9, 2010 at 7:17 am

  8. This looks cooked to perfection. I’ll bet it was delicious hot off the grill. Have a great day…Mary


    March 9, 2010 at 2:45 am

  9. Absolutely love the smell of smoked food. Something about birds being smoked that is absolutely fantastic. Actually my favourite way of eating a turkey!


    March 9, 2010 at 12:56 am

    • Can’t wait for it to get a littlw warmer and I’ll be cooking outside just about every day!

      Ed Schenk

      March 9, 2010 at 1:34 am

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