How to Smoke a Whole Chicken on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Want the ultimate Pit Boss smoked whole chicken recipe? This one always comes out super juicy and succulent using the Pit Boss. You only need a delicious spice rub for succulent, tender, and smoky perfection.

To get that super juicy and flavorful chicken that has crispy skin, you need to watch the grill’s temperature and the chicken’s internal temperature. 

Are you not sure exactly how to do it? No worries. We’ll go through all the steps to get a juicy, smoky chicken with crisp skin.

The last thing you want is rubbery skin, so follow my recipe below.

Our chicken looking tasty straight out the smoker!

Pit Boss Smoked Chicken

A summer cookout isn’t complete without smoked chicken. We all know that tantilsing smell of a chicken cooking away. That is why my family and I enjoy this recipe so much. It’s also simple to prep, with an easy spice rub that adds a load of flavor and caramelization. 

This recipe is perfect for a backyard BBQ, holiday dinner, or weeknight family dinner. The leftovers are perfect for sandwiches, tacos, and salads all week long. 

Shopping List

  • Whole Chicken
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Bbq Rub

How to Smoke a Whole Chicken on a Pit Boss Grill

Step 1: Prepare The Chicken For Smoking

We’re going to start from the top with this chicken recipe. Preparing the meat is as important as smoking it. 

First, remove the chicken from the packaging. Then, dry the chicken and pat it down with a paper towel. Then, remove the giblets and trim the chicken by cutting away excess fat or skin.

Step 2: Preheat The Grill

Preheat the grill to 275°F and add the wood chips of your choice. My recommendations for wood to use with chicken are below.

Step 3: Give The Chicken a Rub

If you’re using a homemade rub, add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir. Give the chicken a light coat with half the olive oil, then season the chicken inside and out with the rub.

Truss the chicken’s legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings’ tips underneath or behind the back of the bird.

Step 4: Place The Chicken in The Grill

Once the grill has reached 225°F place the chicken breast side up. If your using temperature probes insert these now.

Step 5: Smoking The Chicken

Place the seasoned chicken onto the smoker, breast side up, and let it cook for approximately 2 hours. After the initial 45 minutes, check on the chicken and spray it with cooking oil or butter to aid in crisping up the skin. At the 1.5-hour mark, rotate the chicken for even cooking and apply another spray or coating of oil or butter.

Cook the chicken until it reaches 140°F. Use the remaining olive oil and brush the skin of the chicken. If you want to get crispy skin, increase the grill’s temperature to 350°F until the skin is crispy and until you reach 165°F in the breast meat and 175°F in the thigh.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken. For the best results, keep a close eye on the internal temperature.

Step 6: Allow to Rest and Serve

Pull the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then using a sharp knife you can carve the chicken.

At the 1.5-hour mark,  the internal temperature should be around 140°F for the breast and 150°F for the thigh. At the 2-hour mark, the meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F at the thickest part of the breast and 175°F at the thigh. Ensure the thermometer isn’t touching the bone for an accurate reading. If the reading is accurate, it’s ready to be removed from the smoker.

How To Get Crispy Skin On Your Smoked Chicken

Not a fan of rubbery chicken? Us neither. To get crispy chicken skin, the seasoning is as important as smoking the chicken at a high enough temperature. You should smoke the chicken at 225°F until you reach 165°F in the breast meat and 175°F in the thigh.

What Size Chicken Should You Use?

Choosing the right chicken size is crucial for cooking time and servings. For smoking, it’s best to pick a chicken weighing 3 to 6 pounds. If you want to cook more people, consider using two smaller chickens.

Rub Recipes for Smoked Chicken

Below is the homemade rub for smoked chicken. There are also so many other great homemade rubs to try. Rubs help tenderize and season the chicken. Combine all the ingredients below in a bowl.

  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

Have a look at the options below to find great chicken rub recipes. 

Feel free to experiment with your spices at home to find your new favorite seasoning recipe. 

Can I Dry-brine, The Chicken?

Yes, you can. The dry brining process will keep the chicken moist, resulting in tender meat and crispy skin. Once you have prepped and cleaned your chicken, apply either your rub or salt to the entire chicken, inside and outside.

Avoid using oil with the rub when dry brining, as it will affect the meat’s moisture. 

If you have the time, allow the chicken to sit in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered. Make sure you use a wire rack, as this will allow airflow around the entire chicken.

The next day, you might notice that the chicken has a white powder appearance, which means the salt has penetrated the skin (which you want).

If you find a lot of excess rub or salt on the chicken, give it a very light wipe with a clean paper towel or cloth.

What Temperature Should Your Pit Boss Be When a Whole Smoking Chicken?

Set your Pit Boss to 275°F to smoke a whole chicken. Once the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 140°F, increase the grill temperature to 300°F. To ensure crispy skin, you must cook at a high temperature at the end (this isn’t your normal low and slow BBQ recipe).

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Whole Chicken on a Pit Boss?

A 5lb whole chicken takes 1.5 – 2 hours to cook on a Pit Boss at 275°F and finish at 300°F.

Ensure you use temperature probes in the chicken’s breasts and thighs. Keep the lid shut as much as possible to avoid temperature fluctuations. Use the temperature probes to see when your chicken can pull from the smoker.

Note: if your cooking more than one chicken in the smoker, you need to make sure the chicken doesn’t stall.

Should You Use A Rotisserie?

The rotisserie is good for getting an even good on your chicken. However, the Pit Boss doesn’t come with a rotisserie. It is something you have to add after you buy it. However, I do recommend installing one.

When is a Whole Chicken Done Smoking on a Pit Boss?

When the internal temperature of the breast reads 165°F and the thighs hit 175°F, your whole smoked chicken is ready to eat. Make sure you don’t touch any bones when taking these readings.

Allowing Your Chicken to Rest and Carving It.

You should let your chicken rest for 10 -15 minutes. First, remove the thighs from the bird, then you can cut off the breast and the wings. Make sure you serve the chicken with some tasty sides (see some of my family favorites below)

Should I Stuff The Chicken?

This is entirely up to you and your personal preference. If you stuff the chicken, go with a simple dry rub so the flavors don’t overwhelm the meat. 

Instead, coat the skin with salt, black pepper, apple juice or chicken stock. 

What Wood Pellets Should I Use With The Pellet Smoker?

You should use light-flavoured wood with chicken, like oak, cherry, or apple wood. If you prefer a strong smoke flavor, you can go for mesquite; however, it can overwhelm the flavors. If you find that the Pit Boss isn’t smoking much, if you use damp or low-quality pellets, make sure you keep your smoker under shelter between cooks.

For A Heavy Smoke Flavor

Mesquite and hickory are great options if you’d like a particularly intense smoky flavor to your chicken. 

Looking For Something Milder?

Are you looking for a wood that’s a little less intense? Oak is a lovely milder choice that still gives a sweet smoke flavor. Fruitwood, like cherry or apple wood, is great after a light smoke flavor.

What to Do With Leftover Chicken?

Got leftovers? The world is your oyster if you want to use your chicken in other dishes. The chicken can be eaten whole or chopped up and added to salads, curries, burritos, and more.

How To Store Leftovers

If you do end up with leftovers, ensure they cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container or wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can store these leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

If you don’t plan to consume the leftover smoked chicken within a few days, you may also choose to freeze leftovers by wrapping them securely in plastic wrap and storing them in the freezer. The frozen chicken will stay fresh for 2-3 months and can simply be pulled out of the freezer and whipped up into a quick dinner! 

You may reheat your leftovers from the refrigerator in the microwave or the oven, after preheating your oven to 325°F and covering it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.

If reheating leftovers from the freezer,  thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight or in cold water, ensuring it’s tightly wrapped to prevent moisture loss. 

How Long Can Leave Smoked Chicken in The Fridge?

If you have leftovers, we recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can also freeze them for up to six months by removing the chicken carcass and sealing the meat in a Ziplock bag. 

Side Dishes for Smoked Chicken

Smoked chicken is great on its own, but sometimes, pairing it with some side dishes is good. There are plenty of options out there that you can serve with your chicken. 

See some delicious side dishes for BBQ chicken below

  • Smoked Corn on the Cob
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Smoked Asparagus
  • Pasta Salad
  • Baked Beans
  • Coleslaw
  • Rice

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.

Pit Boss Smoked Chicken

Charlie
This Pit Boss whole chicken recipe is delicious and straightforward. It's perfect for a cookout or weeknight dinner. Plus, it is relatively easy, mess-free, and doesn't take too long.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course
Cuisine American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill
Servings 6 serves
Calories 309 kcal

Equipment

  • Pit Boss Grill

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole chicken

Homemade Rub

  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp rub of choice pre made or home made

Instructions
 

  • First you need to remove the chicken from the packaging. Then dry the chicken and pat it down with a paper towel. Then remove the giblets and trim the chicken by cutting away excess fat or skin.
  • Preheat the grill to 275°F and add the wood chips of your choice.
  • If your using a homemade rub, add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir. Give the chicken a light coat with half of the the olive oil, then season the chicken inside and outside with the rub.
  • Truss the chicken's legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings' tips underneath or behind the bird's back.
  • Once the grill has reached 275°F place the chicken breast side up. If your using temperature probes insert these now.
  • Let it cook for approximately 2 hours. After the initial 45 minutes, check on the chicken and spray it with cooking oil or butter to crisp up the skin. At the 1.5-hour mark, rotate the chicken for even cooking and apply another spray or coating of oil or butter.
  • At the 1.5-hour mark,  the internal temperature should be around 140°F for the breast and 150°F for the thigh. At the 2-hour mark, the meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F at the thickest part of the breast and 175°F at the thigh. Ensure the thermometer isn't touching the bone for an accurate reading. If the reading is accurate, it's ready to be removed from the smoker.
  • Depending on the size of the chicken the cooking time will vary. Keep a close eye on the internal temperature for the best results.
  • Pull the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then using a sharp knife you can carve the chicken.
Keyword Barbeque Chicken, pit boss chicken, Smoked Chicken, whole chicken

Smoking a chicken on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill is lots of fun and comes with some great results. It is relatively easy, mess-free, and doesn’t take too long. When your smoking a fresh home-cooked whole chicken yourself you get to try out all sorts of different rubs and see what you like best.

Plus, it is accessible for both seasoned smokers and those who are new to the Pit Boss world. Are you a fan of smoking a whole chicken on the Pit Boss pellet grill?

Smoke On!

Charlie

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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