Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe (Traeger Whole Chicken)

This whole smoked chicken is always juicy and tender with golden, crispy skin. The rub infuses the meat with extra flavor and ensures it is moist, as I don’t use a wet brine for this chicken.

I used my Traeger for this recipe, but you can use any smoker or grill for this simple recipe. 

Traeger Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe

Cook a juicy whole chicken without any hassle. I used to find smoking chicken tricky; getting moist and tender meat with crispy skin was hard, but I have figured out the perfect recipe.

I love that it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner, a fancy dinner party (if you serve the right sides with it), or a holiday meal. The best part is that you can enjoy all the leftovers all week long. 

Shopping List

  • Whole chicken
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic
  • BBQ rub

How to make this smoked chicken recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

Preheat the smoker to 275°F and pick out your wood pellets. 

Applewood and cherrywood work well with chicken as they are subtle and sweet.

Combine garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Rub this on all sides, including the cavity. Apply an even coat of your favorite barbecue rub.

Tie the legs with kitchen twine. Tuck the tips of the wings beneath the back of the chicken.

Step 2: Smoke 

Place the chicken on the grill grate with the breast side up. Smoke the chicken at 275°F for about 2 hours.

After 45 minutes, spray cooking oil or butter on the chicken. This will help the skin to get crispy. After another 45 minutes (90 minutes total), rotate the chicken and spray more oil.

Check the temperature to make sure it’s cooking well. It should have an internal temp of 140°F at the breast right now. The thigh should be about 150°F.

Step 3: Finishing Up 

When the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temp of 165°F, it is fully cooked. The thickest portion of the thigh should be about 175°F. Ensure the meat thermometer doesn’t touch the bone and get an inaccurate reading.

Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Carve the chicken and serve with steamed carrots and broccoli. Enjoy!

Other Ways to Cook A Whole Chicken

Spatchcocking

Spatchcocking a chicken can result in a quicker cooking time. This means that the chicken is less likely to dry out. This is a great thing to keep in mind when cooking chicken. It may also result in a crispy skin.

However, you can successfully cook a juicy chicken without spatchcocking it. If you don’t mind the look of a spatchcocked chicken, go for it! But if you want to plate a whole chicken, skip this step.

Beer Can Chicken

One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is with a beer can. It ensures you always end up with juicy and moist chicken. You just place your favorite liquid in a beer can, place the chicken over the can, and cook it standing up.

While it sounds simple, you should follow my recipe for beer can chicken because it can be tricky the first time you do it. 

What temperature do you smoke a whole chicken on a pellet smoker?

In this recipe, we smoke the whole chicken at 275°F. This smoker temperature is high enough to allow the smoke to permeate the meat but low enough to prevent it from drying out too much.

What Internal Temperature You Need to Reach

Chicken needs to reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F. The thighs, or dark meat, may reach an internal temp of 175°F. This hotter temperature shouldn’t dry out dark meat. However, you don’t want to overcook the white meat because it may end up dry.

How long does it take to smoke whole chicken at 275 degrees?

It takes 3 hours to smoke chicken at 275°F. However, the cooking temperature and the size of the chicken will determine the cooking time. The critical thing to keep in mind is the internal temperature. The chicken’s internal temperature must reach 165°F to ensure it is safe to eat.

What To Serve With Chicken

We recommend serving this chicken with steamed veggies. However, other side dishes will pair well with the whole chicken!

For more appetizer and side dish ideas, check out this list of recipes!

Did you try this recipe?

Have you made this delicious recipe and loved it? I would love it if you took a minute to leave a star rating and review. It is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that; thank you!
Please also pin the image below so you can find the recipe for the next time you want to cook.

Traeger Whole Smoked Chicken

Charlie
Never made a Smoked Whole Chicken on a Traeger? Don't , it's easy, Il give you the steps to ensure your chicken is juicy and tender with golden crispy skin.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 serves
Calories 465 kcal

Equipment

  • Traeger Grill

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons seasoning salt pepper, garlic
  • ¼ cup BBQ rub
  • Serve with steamed vegetables:
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 broccoli head

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the smoker to 275°F and pick out your wood pellets.
  • Applewood and cherrywood work well with chicken as they are subtle and sweet.
  • Combine garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rub this on all sides, including the cavity. Apply an even coat of your favorite barbecue rub.
  • Tie the legs with kitchen twine. Tuck the tips of the wings beneath the back of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken on the grill grate with the breast side up. Smoke the chicken at 275°F for about 2 hours.
  • After 45 minutes, spray cooking oil or butter on the chicken. This will help the skin to get crispy. After another 45 minutes (90 minutes total), rotate the chicken and spray more oil.
  • Check the temperature to make sure it’s cooking well. It should have an internal temp of 140°F at the breast right now. The thigh should be about 150°F.
  • When the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temp of 165°F, it is fully cooked. The thickest portion of the thigh should be about 175°F. Ensure the meat thermometer doesn’t touch the bone and get an inaccurate reading.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Carve the chicken and serve with steamed carrots and broccoli. Enjoy!
Keyword chicken, Smoked Chicken, traeger whole smoked chicken, whole chicken

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

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 recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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