Smoking Ribs & Chicken At The Same Time

Wondering if you can smoke ribs and chicken at the same time?

Cooking these two pieces of meat at the same time can require some extra care.

But with the right techniques and tools, you can easily master the art of cooking pork ribs and chicken together!

It is important to manage the cooking techniques for both types of meat.

Such as the optimal temperature for smoking and timings.

Let’s get stuck in and achieve the perfect flavor together!

Smoking Ribs & Chicken Together 

You can smoke ribs and chicken together in the same smoker. But the key is understanding the separate requirements within the smoking process. 

Below are the important factors to manage for achieving perfectly cooked finished products. As well as how to be safe by avoiding contamination from poultry and meat.  

How to Place Ribs & Chicken When Cooking Together 

How do I place and organize my meats in the cooking chamber?

A rack of ribs and medium size chicken can easily fit side-by-side in a cooking chamber. Smoking next to each other on dual food grates diminishes the risk of contamination.

Not enough room? Smoke the ribs above your chicken! This stops any raw juices from dripping over your delicious racks of ribs, poultry to go on the lowest grill grates.

Note: Smoking a rib rack will take longer than smoking a chicken.

What Cooking Temperature For Ribs & Chicken Should You Use?

The target temperature when cooking two types of meat requires a balance. Set the smoker temperature to 225°F -250°F.

This low-medium heat is perfect for indirect cooking and great for the chicken and the ribs. We are smoking the ribs first with a method known as 2-2-1 (but more of that later). Next is cooking the chicken which has 2 internal temperatures for dark and white meat.

This temperature lowers the risk of the breast drying out. (Before the darker thighs and chicken legs are cooked).

How To Monitor The Internal Temperatures

Use a calibrated conventional meat thermometer to monitor temperatures.

This includes the internal temperatures of the pork ribs and chicken meat, as well as the smoker’s temperature (if your smoker doesn’t include a temperature gauge). 

Digital meat thermometers are a staple when smoking any meat- especially 2!

Note: We cover the different types of smokers a bit later!

What Are The Safe Internal Temperatures To Eat Rib & Chicken Meat?

Pork ribs can be eaten when the internal temp reaches at least 145°F. 

The dark meat in the chicken drumsticks and thighs can be eaten at 180°F.

The light meat in the chicken breasts can be eaten at 165°F. Make sure you insert the temperature probe into the thickest part of the chicken

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Ribs & Chicken At 225°F?

At 225°F and using the 2-2-1 method, a rack of ribs will take 5 hours of cook time.

At 225°F a whole chicken will smoke at 20 minutes per pound.

The 2-2-1 Method For Smoking Pork Ribs

You may have heard about the 2-2-1 method for smoked ribs recipe.

This method is straightforward to master and the numbers stand for the amount of time.

– 2 hours smoking the ribs unwrapped ensure you spritz the ribs with apple juice or beer every 30 minutes

– 2 hours smoking the ribs wrapped in aluminum foil.

– The final hour unwrapped again!

This is a popular method as it leaves the rib meat falling off the bone.

Final Considerations For Smoking Ribs & Chicken Together

What Type Of Smoker Should I Use?

There are some fancy smokers on the market. My favorite and best are the electric smokers that use pellets. These give you complete control over the temperatures and have large cooking chambers.

If you have a charcoal smoker you will need to monitor the cooking temperature. As the temps are likely due to the lack of technology.

Protect The Cooked Meat While You Wait To Finish

There are 3 different internal temperatures to monitor. Working out when to put the meat in is vital for an equal cook. 

This will lower the chance of you burning the ribs or chicken breasts while waiting for the dark meat. Consider wrapping the top of the chicken breasts when they come to temperature.

This defects the heat and slows down the rate of cooking. It will also stop the meat from drying by keeping the juices for an immense smoke flavor. 

A Quick Guide For Smoking Ribs & Chicken Together 

– Know the weight of your ingredients.

– Load the fuel and set your smoker to 225°F, wait until it comes to temp.

– Place the chicken at the bottom of the smoker after inserting temp probes into the thigh and breasts.

– Estimate the cooking time and work out when to add the chicken, based on the above timings.

– Monitor the internal temperatures carefully and do the 2-2-1 method for your ribs. 

– Wrap the chicken breasts in foil when cooked.

Food Safety Advice When Smoking Chicken & Ribs Together?

– Do not leave raw meat unrefrigerated for more than 30 minutes.

– Work out the timings based on the 2-2-1 method for the ribs. 

– Make sure you have enough or monitor the fuel levels in your smoker.

– Put the meat side by side or the chicken at the bottom on top to avoid contamination.

– Use calibrated meat thermometers to know if each part of the chicken is cooked. 

– Monitor the cooking temperature to avoid underdone meat (especially on a charcoal smoker). 

Smoke On!


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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