How To Smoke Chicken Quarters On A Pit Boss (6 Simple Steps)

Few can resist the taste of smoked chicken.

The combination of crispy chicken skin and smoky flavor is irresistible. 

Yet, the time and effort needed to smoke a whole bird can be off-putting.

That’s where chicken quarters come in.

They are quick, easy, and delicious! 

However some people struggle with the chicken coming out dry!

So make sure you follow my steps below for succulent juicy chicken every time! 

Preparing the Chicken Quarters

Take the chicken from the packaging and pat dry the chicken leg quarters with a paper towel.

You want the skin to be completely dry before it goes on the pellet grill.

If using frozen pieces, thaw completely before grilling.

Frozen meat will extend your cooking time and make it difficult to season beforehand.

Should You Be Brining the Chicken?

Brining helps lock in the moisture in meat that has very little fat content.

It also enhances the natural flavors of the chicken. 

The salt will give you a juicier, flavorful chicken quarter. And give lovely crispy skin when smoked.

To brine your chicken though is an individual decision, so give it a try both ways and see which you prefer.

Wet Brine

Wet brining helps with tenderizing the chicken

It involves soaking the meat pieces in a table or kosher salt, brown sugar, and water mixture. 

Thoroughly mix the ingredients in a container with a sealable lid.

Submerge the chicken pieces and seal. 

Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Don’t leave for more than 24 hours, as the meat will be too salty tasting. 

Rinse off when done, and you’re ready for the next step.

If your after a spicy kick, turn this spicy chicken brine.

Dry Brine

Dry brining is another alternative and skips all the mess of huge amounts of brine mixture to get rid of. 

Coat the entire chicken with a salt and pepper mix. Place in the refrigerator overnight, on a baking sheet.

The skin should look dry and powdery, which means it’s soaked into the meat and drawn the moisture with it.

This will give nice crispy skin and lock in the internal juices.

Seasoning the Chicken

The next step is to coat the chicken quarters with a rub.

Again, it’s best to leave sit for a few hours, to allow the flavors to permeate the meat.

If you have brined the chicken, don’t add any extra salt in the seasoning, to avoid over-salting the meat.

To get the best flavors, season with the chicken rub at least 5-8 hours before smoking. 

With a basting brush, completely coat the chicken with oil.

Rub the entire chicken piece with generous amounts of seasoning rub.

Rub into all the crevices and under the skin.

See the smoked chicken rub here

What Wood Flavors Goes Well With Chicken?

The fruity flavors are the best for chicken recipes. 

Flavors like apple, cherry, or pecan are perfect as they give a light smoky flavor.

Smoking Temperatures and Times For Chicken Quarters

When the internal temperature has reached 165°F, the chicken quarters are ready.

The approximate cooking time is 2-3 hours, but it’s always best to watch after the first hour of smoke time.

The cook time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces.

Chicken quarters are also best cooked in indirect heat at low temperatures.

How To Know When The Chicken Quarters Are Ready?

When the internal temperature has reached 165°F, the chicken quarters are ready.

The internal temperature is a more effective way of checking when the chicken is ready to eat.

Probe the thickest flesh, taking care not to come in contact with any bone.

What You Need for Smoked Chicken Quarters

10 pounds of chicken leg quarters

Light brown sugar

Chipotle powder

Onion powder

Garlic powder 

Kosher salt

Paprika

Cayenne pepper

Chili powder 

Black pepper

Method for Smoked Chicken Quarters

1. Preheat the pellet grill to 275°F for 10-15 minutes.

2. Mix all the seasoning ingredients. Brush chicken quarters with oil, then coat with a generous layer of the seasoning mix.

3. Place the quarters onto the pellet smoker grill.

4. Smoke for 2-3 hours.

5. When a meat thermometer reads an internal temperature to reach 165°F the chicken is ready.

6. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

A little bit of prep and know-how will take your barbeque to a new level of tastiness.

And without the fuss of cooking a full chicken, you can sit and enjoy your meal in no time!

What to Serve With Smoked Chicken?

Chicken is so versatile and goes with all sorts of sides.

However, I have made it easy for you and narrowed it down to 5 f my favorite sides.

Smoked Zucchini

Mac and Cheese

Smoked Corn on the Cob

Smoked Pineapple with Goat Cheese

Smoked Beans

Smoked Chicken Quarters

A little bit of prep and know-how will take your barbeque to a new level of tastiness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Charlie

Equipment

  • Pit Boss Grill

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the pellet grill to 275°F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix all the seasoning ingredients. Brush chicken quarters with oil, then coat with a generous layer of the seasoning mix.
  • Place the quarters onto the pellet smoker grill.
  • Smoke for 2-3 hours.
  • When a meat thermometer reads an internal temperature to reach 165°F the chicken is ready.
  • Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

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.

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