Chickens are versatile. You can roast, grill, and fry them.
While all these methods are delicious, none of them compare to smoking a whole chicken. A smoked chicken has a rich smoky flavor and a tender, juicy meat.
However, smoking chicken is more complex than placing it on the smoker and letting it cook. You must know how long to smoke chicken at 225°F to get the best results.
Smoke your chicken at 225°F for 1 ½ hours to 8 hours, depending on its size. You will have the juiciest bird you’ve ever tasted.
- Tips For Smoking A Whole Chicken
- How Long to Smoke a Whole Chicken at 225
- How To Smoke A Whole Chicken
- Final Thoughts
Tips For Smoking A Whole Chicken
Tuck the wings beneath the bird. It will prevent the bird from overcooking. Additionally, it keeps the tips of the wings from burning before the rest of the bird finishes cooking.
Place the chicken into your smoker breast side up. Remember, the breast is the leanest part of the chicken. Placing the bird breast side-down increases the chances that it will overcook.
Most smokers are designed with heating units at the bottom. However, electric smokers are designed with a heating element at the top. So, in this case, you need to place the bird breast side down to prevent it from overcooking.
Test the temperature of the breast and thigh meat halfway through the cooking process.A temperature check allows you to adjust the cooking time if necessary.
For example, if the breast is cooking too fast, you can decrease the smoker’s temperature or tent the chicken with foil.
The breast is usually the last to finish cooking. However, there are instances where the breast cooks faster than the rest of the bird.
In this case, you should remove the chicken from the smoker. Carve the breast meat from the chicken and place it onto a plate. Tent the breast meat loosely with foil and let it rest while the thighs and legs cook.
Chicken is cooked when it has a temperature of 165°F. However, you can remove the bird from the smoker when it has a temperature of 160°F. The chicken’s internal temperature will rise to 165°F as it rests.
How Long to Smoke a Whole Chicken at 225
How long to smoke a whole chicken at 225°F depends on the size of the chicken. A large chicken will take longer to cook than a smaller chicken.
Generally, it takes about 45-60 minutes to cook at 225°F. However, do not depend on the time.
The bird may take 45 minutes to cook, or it may take 60 minutes to cook a bird. This is why you should always go by the temperature, not the cooking time.
How Long To Smoke A 3 Pound Whole Chicken At 225
A 3-pound chicken takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to 3 hours to smoke a whole chicken at 225°F. Check the bird’s temperature after 1 1/2 hours to ensure it does not overcook.
How Long To Smoke A 4 Pound Whole Chicken At 225
A 4-pound chicken takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to 4 hours to cook. Check the bird’s temperature after 2 hours and adjust the cooking time if necessary.
How Long To Smoke A 5 Pound Whole Chicken At 225
A 5-pound chicken takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to 5 hours to cook. However, check the chicken’s temperature after 2 1/2 hours to assess its progress.
How Long To Smoke A 6 Pound Whole Chicken At 225
A 6-pound chicken takes about 4 1/2 to 6 hours to smoke. Check the bird’s temperature after 3 hours. Remove the bird from the smoker when it has a temperature of 160°F.
How Long to Smoke a 7 Pound Whole Chicken at 225
A 7-pound bird takes 5 hours and 15 minutes to 7 hours to cook. Check the chicken’s temperature after 5 hours and 45 minutes, the chicken may be finished cooking, and you do not want the meat to overcook.
How Long To Smoke An 8 Pound Whole Chicken At 225
An 8-pound chicken will take 6-8 hours to cook at 225ºF. However, ensure the chicken has a temperature of 160ºF before removing it from the smoker.
How To Smoke A Whole Chicken
Smoking a whole chicken is relatively easy. Simply set up your smoker. Next, preheat your grill to 225ºF.
Before adding the chicken to the smoker, add wood chips to the smoker box. Chicken has a delicate flavor, so stay away from woods with a concentrated flavor.
Woods such as mesquite will easily overpower the chicken’s flavor. Use woods such as apple or maple. These woods will give the chicken a subtle flavor that contrasts beautifully with the rub. You can also use hickory wood if you want that classic BBQ flavor.
Brush the entire chicken with olive oil and sprinkle your favorite BBQ rub or poultry seasoning over it. Massage it into the chicken with your hands, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.
Next, place the chicken onto the smoker’s cooking grates and close the lid or door. Smoke the chicken for 1 1/2 hours to 8 hours, depending on its size.
Make sure you test the chicken’s temperature before you remove it from the smoker. Insert your thermometer’s probe into the densest part of the breast and thighs to take the bird’s temperature.
Make sure the probe does not come into contact with the bone. It can give you an incorrect reading.
The chicken breasts should have a temperature between 160ºF and 165ºF. The thighs will have a higher temperature between 170ºF and 175ºF since they cook the fastest.
You can baste the chicken with your favorite or homemade BBQ sauce during the last 30-40 minutes of the cooking time. The sugars in the BBQ sauce will start to caramelize and give the chicken a glazed appearance.
On the other hand, you can broil the chicken for 1-2 minutes if you want crispy, crunchy skin.
Once you place it in the broiler, watch it carefully. The chicken skin can burn if you are not careful.
Let your chicken rest for 20-30 minutes once you remove it from the heat. Resting the chicken will let the juices redistribute back into the bird. Next, carve the smoked chicken and serve it.
Smoking is one of the best cooking methods for chicken. Don’t believe me? Pull out your smoker and smoke a whole chicken.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.