Can You Cook Frozen Chicken On A Pellet Grill?

Can you cook chicken from frozen on a pellet grill?

The short answer is of course you can!

So, whether or not you want to throw a few frozen chicken thighs on before a game.

Or prepare a succulent roast with all those good smoky flavors…

This post will show you exactly how to do it!

What is a Pellet Grill?

Are you still not sure about how a pellet grill works? 

Pellet grills are the perfect mix between a conventional oven and a BBQ. 

They use hardwood pellets as fuel for heat and smoke like you would expect from a traditional charcoal or gas grill, but they also have electrical and fan-assisted technology.

This technology and a user-friendly interface give the average weekend pit master total control of the cooking environment and the endless possibilities that come with it.

How-To-Clean-A-Pit-Boss-Pellet-Grill

Do you feel like direct heat from your favorite hardwood would be the best way to grill chicken wings? 

Or a slow indirect smoke and a marinade for classic barbecue chicken flavor. 

There aren’t any limitations when using a pellet grill, especially when cooking from frozen, so let’s get into a step guide because I’m getting hungry!

How To Prepare Frozen Chicken 

What is the best way to prepare frozen chicken?

If you have a frozen store brought chicken to eat and have the time, then thawing it overnight in the fridge is the best defrosting option.

 Cooking from frozen requires a little longer cooking time than fresh food but is still safe to do so.

frozen grilled chicken
  • Take the frozen chicken out 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking and put it in the sink with the packaging still intact.
  • Let the tap run cold water until the sink fills up and leave for the water to come to room temperature which will thaw out any large ice crystals. This initial thawing process will take around 30 minutes per 1kg.
  • Remove the packaging and put it on a surface you can easily wash with low contamination risk so we avoid any harmful bacteria.

TIP: Do not wash raw chicken as it can spread dangerous bacteria around surfaces and in the sink. Always wash anything the raw chicken has touched straight away with warm water and an anti-bacterial cleaning product.

How To Prepare The Pellet Grill 

What is the best way to prepare the pellet grill for frozen chicken?

  • Turn on the grill and check if there are enough pellets in the hopper and ignition chamber. If there isn’t, prime the smoker and wait 10-12 minutes for the heating cycle and enough fuel to be ignited. 
  • When the pellet grill is primed and heating, adjust the temperature to 275F.

 

What Temperature To Smoke Frozen Chicken?

We are going to cook the frozen chicken in two stages at different temperatures.  

  • Thawing the chicken will be at 255F.
  • Roasting the chicken with all that smoke flavor will be at 450F.

What Internal Temperature Does The Meat Need To Be?

The ideal internal temperature for chicken is 165F. 

Note: Most pellet grills like the Pit Boss range come with a temperature probe. Make sure you insert the thickest part of the meat to ensure every part has come to temperature. 

Whole Smoked Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Thyme Butter

It’s a weekday and you’ve had some unexpected guests likely going to run past dinner time. 

You suddenly remember you have a whole chicken up your sleeve for a time like this but then it hits you. The chicken is frozen. 

Can you still cook it on the pellet grill?

Worry no more, this crowd-pleaser is not only incredibly simple and cheap but it can be done with minimum effort and maximum time saving on your pellet grill for all to enjoy.

Ingredient List

  • Whole Frozen Chicken cleaned (1kg)
  • Garlic Butter (200g)
  • Black Pepper & Salt
  • Fresh chopped savory thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Equipment

  • Pellet grill
  • Meat thermometer
  • Knife
  • Apple pellets
  • Tin foil
  • Paper towels
  • Grater

After we have checked it is thawed and warm to the touch, we will be removing and adding our seasoning before putting it back at a higher temperature.

Step 1: Preparation of The Frozen Chicken

  • Take the chicken out of the freezer and submerge it under cold water in the sink. Keep it in the packaging and leave it for rapid thawing. (min 20-25 minutes).
  • Mix the Garlic butter, chopped thyme, grated lemon zest, and salt.
  • Prime & set the pellet grill to an initial cooking temperature of 255F and wait until it comes to temperature. (min 6-8 minutes but may vary).
  • Wipe down and clean contaminated surfaces.

Step 2: Thawing The Chicken

  • Unpackage the chicken and put it on the grill grate facing up and out of direct heat. The smoke temperature should be slowly thawing out the frozen meat but not directly cooking it. 
  • Close the pellet grill lid.
  • After around the 30-minute mark, check if the chicken has thawed and is warm to the touch. If so, we will be removing it to add our stuffing and seasonings which will also help tenderize it. (An additional 1-2 minutes may be required if some parts of the chicken aren’t thawed)
  • Set your pellet grill to 450F.

Step 3: Stuffing Your Chicken

  • Gently create a gap between the skin and the unfrozen chicken breasts to massage the butter in. Repeat wherever else you can get under the skin and put any more you have into the cavity along with half a lemon.
  • Put olive oil over the whole meat for crisp skin and then sprinkle as much pepper and cayenne to favor.
  • Wrap completely in tin foil.

Step 4: Roasting The Chicken on a Pellet Grill

  • Insert the probe into the foil-wrapped chicken and put it into the pellet grill on direct heat.
  • Monitor until the temperature is around 140F which is 26F below the ideal internal temperature.
  • Remove the foil and roast until 166F.

Step 5: How Long Do I Rest The Chicken?

  • Remove and rest with the foil back on the top for 10 minutes.
  • Carve and serve!

TIP: Don’t waste any chicken juices! After resting, the chicken juices in the foil can be basked over to avoid dry meat or added to make gravy with a powerful flavor.

What Sides Should I Serve?

What sides should you be serving with this recipe?

Why not carry on the theme and have roast potatoes with garlic and paprika? Or some chicken gravy with the roasting juices!

What If I Don’t Have A Pellet Grill?

Don’t have a pellet grill yet?

Not to worry, this method can be done in a conventional fan oven as is just as delicious but without the smoky flavor, you’d get from the delicate cooking method.

Whole Smoked Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Thyme Butter

This crowd-pleaser is not only incredibly simple and cheap but it can be done with minimum effort and maximum time saving on your pellet grill for all to enjoy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Thawing time45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Charlie

Equipment

  • pellet grill
  • Meat thermometer
  • Knife
  • Apple pellets
  • Tin foil
  • paper towels
  • Grater

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Whole Frozen Chicken cleaned
  • 200 g Garlic Butter
  • Black Pepper & Salt to taste
  • Fresh chopped savory thyme
  • 1 Lemon
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

Step 1: Preparation of The Frozen Chicken

  • Take the chicken out of the freezer and submerge it under cold water in the sink. Keep it in the packaging and leave it for rapid thawing. (min 20-25 minutes).
  • Mix the Garlic butter, chopped thyme, grated lemon zest, and salt.
  • Prime & set the pellet grill to an initial cooking temperature of 255F and wait until it comes to temperature. (min 6-8 minutes but may vary).
  • Wipe down and clean contaminated surfaces.

Step 2: Thawing The Chicken

  • Unpackage the chicken and put it on the grill grate facing up and out of direct heatThe smoke temperature should be slowly thawing out the frozen meat but not directly cooking it. 
  • Close the pellet grill lid.
  • After around the 30-minute mark, check if the chicken has thawed and is warm to the touch. If so, we will be removing it to add our stuffing and seasonings. (An additional 1-2 minutes may be required if some parts of the chicken aren’t thawed).
  • Set your pellet grill to 450F.

Step 3: Stuffing Your Chicken

  • Gently create a gap between the skin and the unfrozen chicken breasts to massage the butter in. Repeat wherever else you can get under the skin and put any more you have into the cavity along with half a lemon.
  • Put olive oil over the whole meat for crisp skin and then sprinkle as much pepper and cayenne to favor.
  • Wrap completely in tin foil.

Step 4: Roasting The Chicken on a Pellet Grill

  • Insert the probe into the foil-wrapped chicken and put it into the pellet grill on direct heat.
  • Monitor until the temperature is around 140F which is 26F below the ideal internal temperature.
  • Remove the foil and roast until 166F.

Step 5: How Long Do I Rest The Chicken?

  • Remove and rest with the foil back on the top for 10 minutes.
  • Carve and serve!

Enjoy!

So there we go! Our fully cooked, safe to eat dinner from frozen which can be done with any meat.

Just be sure to give yourself a bit of extra thawing time and remember to check the magic temperature if cooking another source of protein.

Happy grilling!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating