How to Smoke a Whole Chicken on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill (8 Simple Steps)

Want the ultimate smoked whole chicken recipe? This one always comes out super juicy and succulent

Not sure exactly how to do it?

No worries.

We’re going to go through all the steps to get a juicy and smoky chicken with crisp skin

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

How To 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. 

Follow these basic steps for preparing your chicken. 

Method 

1. Remove the chicken from the packaging. 

2. Clean and rinse the chicken in cold water.

3. Dry the chicken and pat it down with a paper towel. 

4. Remove any items stuffed in the cavities or giblet bags. 

5. Get some kitchen shears or a meat knife. 

6. Remove the heart, liver, heart, and neck from the internal cavity. 

7. Trim the chicken by cutting away excess fat or skin from the corners. 

8. Trim any excess pieces on the edges of the cavities. 

9. Thoroughly wash the chicken in water. 

10. Pat the chicken dry with a damp paper towel. 

11. Get seasoning!

How To Get Crispy Skin On Your Smoked Chicken

Not a fan of rubbery chicken? Us neither. 

To get crispy chicken skin, seasoning is vital as is smoking the chicken at a high enough temperature.

This is also the case for smoking turkey as well as other cuts of chicken.

Should I Use A Rub On The Chicken?

We highly recommend you do!

A rub will give your entire chicken additional flavor and result in a delicious tender bird. 

You can use a premade rub or makeup something from scratch. 

Rub Recipes for Smoked Chicken

If you’re looking for some rub inspiration, look no further. 

These rubs will help tenderize the chicken as well as the season it.

Have a look at the options below to find a great chicken rubs 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 and result in tender meat. 

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

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 reccomedn installing one.

Preheating The Pit Boss

Preheating the grill is an essential step before you begin or start smoking the chicken. 

Preheat the grill after you have washed the chicken but before seasoning.

Preheat the temperature to 275-300 degrees, which will ensure a nice crispy skin. 

How To Smoke The Chicken

And now it’s time to get cooking!

Follow the basic process below for smoking your chicken. 

Method

1. Prepare your chicken. 

2. Preheat the Pit Boss. 

3. Put the chicken breast side up on the preheated pellet grill. 

4. Let it smoke until the internal temp of the breast is 165 F and the thighs are 180 F (about 2.5 hours of cooking time). 

5. Cook chicken breast side up for the entire cook. 

6. To make sure it is fully smoked, the leg and chicken thigh should easily twist and almost come off. 

7. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes and cover with foil. 

8. When you’re ready to eat, remove it from the grill and start serving!

NOTE: 

Depending on the size of the chicken the cooking time will vary. Keep a close eye on the internal temperature for best results. 

My Pit Boss has a Flame Broiler, Do I Need To Worry About Temperature?

Some Pit Boss grills have a flame broiler option which will tell you the temperature of the meat. 

However, the temperature distribution can be uneven so this is not always a reliable source.

We recommend still using a digital thermometer to check the doneness of your chicken. 

Should I Stuff The Chicken?

This is entirely up to you and your personal preference.

If you do choose to stuff the chicken, go with a simple dry rub so that the flavors don’t overwhelm the meat. 

Instead, coat the skin with salt and black pepper and a bit of apple juice or chicken stock. 

What Wood Pellets Should I Use With The Pellet Smoker?

There are plenty of options when it comes to what type of wood you can choose.

Your selection ultimately depends upon what sort of flavor you’d like

Have a look at the wood options below to find which one works for you. 

For A Heavy Smoke Flavor

Mesquite is a great option if you’d like a particularly intense smoky flavor to your chicken. 

Hickory is also an ideal choice if you like chicken the smokier the better. 

If you’re after an aggressive smoke flavor go try these woods. 

Looking For Something Milder?

After a wood that’s a little less intense?

Oak is a lovely milder choice that still gives a sweet smoke flavor. 

Fruitwood pellets are great if you’re after a mild mix of woody flavors. 

Other Options

Chicken is an incredibly versatile meat, so plenty of woods work with it. 

Applewoodcherry, and alder are all mild, non-offensive flavors that work well. For an alternative wood, we recommend trying beech or pecan with your chicken. 

Or You Could Pick Seasonally

Another option is to choose the wood you wish, depending upon what season it is. 

For winter and fall flavors: pecan, apple, mesquite, and hickory. 

For summer and spring flavors: beech, cherry, pecan, and alder. 

Storing Your Wood Pellets

To ensure your wood pellets last, make sure you store them indoors. 

We recommend keeping them in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Storing them as such, will give them a much longer life and retain their flavor. 

Side Dishes For Your Smoked Chicken

Smoked chicken is great on its own, but sometimes it is good to pair it with some side dishes. 

There are plenty of options out there that you can serve with your chicken. 

Have a look at some of the ideas below to get some inspiration. 

Side Dishes for Smoked Chicken

See some delicious side dishes for BBQ chicken below

  • Vegetable Salad
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Pasta Salad
  • Corn Pudding
  • Baked Beans
  • Coleslaw
  • Rice

Smoked chicken is a versatile dish that can be paired with many different foods. 

Feel free to experiment with different pairings, depending upon what you have available. 

What to Do With Leftover Chicken?

Got leftovers?

If you’re looking to use your chicken in some other dishes, the world is your oyster. 

The chicken can be eaten whole or chopped up and added to salads, curries, chicken burritos, and much more. 

How Long Can Leave Smoked Chicken in The Fridge?

So, you’ve smoked a delicious whole chicken with your Pit Boss…

If you’ve got 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 6 months by removing the chicken carcass and sealing the meat in a Ziplock bag

Pit Boss Smoked 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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Charlie

Equipment

  • Pit Boss Grill

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp rub of choice pre made or home made

Instructions

  • Prepare your chicken.
  • Preheat the Pit Boss.
  • Put the chicken breast side up on the preheated pellet grill.
  • Let it smoke until the internal temp of the breast is 165 F and the thighs are 180 F (about 2.5 hours of cooking time).
  • Cook chicken breast side up for the entire cook.
  • To make sure it is fully smoked, the leg and chicken thigh should easily twist and almost come off.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes and cover with foil.
  • When you’re ready to eat, remove it from the grill and start serving!

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. We also love the flavor possibilities that come with smoking a fresh home-cooked whole chicken. 

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

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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