Smoked chicken quarters are a thing of beauty. Since they contain a bit of fat, they won’t dry out like chicken breasts, which means they are perfect for smoking.
Nevertheless, to have the perfect smoke chicken quarters, you must know how long to smoke them. Smoked chicken quarters at 225°F for 2 1/2-3 hours.
Tips For Smoking Chicken Quarters
If you are using frozen chicken quarters, thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Yes, you can smoke frozen chicken quarters. However, it takes 50% longer to smoke the chicken.
It’s better to start with thawed chicken so you don’t have to wait forever for the meat to finish cooking.
Moreover, you can’t season frozen chicken. The seasoning will not stick to the meat since it’s frozen. You will have to wait until it starts to thaw to season it.
Remove the chicken quarters from the package and set them on a butcher block. Pat the quarters dry with paper towels. Make sure the quarters are dried completely before you proceed to the next step.
You can sear the chicken quarters in a skillet with butter and oil before you smoke them. It will give the chicken quarters a richer flavor and color.
Once you remove the chicken quarters from your smoker, let them rest for 5 minutes. As they cook, the meat’s juices are drawn to the surface.
If you cut the chicken, all those juices will seep out of the meat. Letting the chicken quarters rest gives the juices time to go back into the meat.
Remove the chicken quarters when they have an internal temperature of 162°F. Yes, 165°F is the official safe temperature for chicken quarters. However, the chicken quarter’s internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests. So it will have a temperature of 165°F when you are ready to serve it.
To test the chicken quarters for doneness, place the thermometer into the densest portion of the chicken quarter. Ensure the probe does not touch the bone. If it does, it could give you a false reading.
Once the chicken has a temperature of 162°F, remove it from the smoker and let it rest. Perform another temperature check before you serve the chicken quarters. They should have an internal temperature of 165°F.
Alternatively, you can let the chicken quarters cook until they have an internal temperature between 180°F and 190°F. I know what you’re thinking; won’t the chicken quarters dry out?
No, the chicken quarters will not dry out. Unlike other cuts of chicken, chicken thighs and legs have higher amounts of fat.
This fat prevents the chicken from drying out. So, you will be left with chicken quarters that literally fall off the bone.
What’s The Best Wood For Smoking Chicken Quarters
Wood chips play an important role in the smoking process. They infuse the chicken quarters with flavor. Therefore, you must carefully consider the wood chips you use to smoke your chicken quarters.
Fruitwood such as peach, apple, and cherry give the chicken quarters a mild sweet flavor. In contrast, hickory provides the chicken with a traditional BBQ flavor. Maple wood gives the meat a subtly sweet flavor that compliments the savoriness of the BBQ rub perfectly.
Technically, you can smoke chicken quarters with mesquite. However, mesquite is one of the most concentrated woods on the planet.
Smoking the chicken quarters too long using mesquite wood could overpower the chicken’s flavor. So proceed with caution if you are going to smoke chicken with mesquite.
You can also use another wood along with mesquite to dilute its strong flavor.
How Many Chicken Quarters Per Person
The number of people you feed determines how many chicken quarters you need. Most people usually smoke a pound of chicken quarters.
Even if you are feeding 1-2 people, you should still smoke 1 pound of chicken quarters. It takes work to set up your smoker and prepare the chicken.
So it’s best to get more bang for your buck. Plus, you’ll have delicious leftover chicken quarters you can use in other dishes like sandwiches and mac and cheese.
If you do not use the leftover chicken quarters, you can use a vacuum sealer for packaging the leftover chicken. Then you can store it in the freezer for a few months. When you are craving smoked chicken, you can defrost the meat in the fridge overnight and reheat the chicken in the microwave or oven.
Do You Flip Chicken Quarters When Smoking
Flipping chicken quarters is optional. It depends on whether you want to flip it or not. Some people flip chicken about halfway through the cooking process to ensure it cooks evenly.
Nevertheless, flipping the chicken quarters is optional. The smoker will ensure the chicken is cooked evenly. So, there’s really no need to flip the chicken quarters.
If you flip the chicken quarters, flip them once or twice. Do not flip the chicken too many times.
Every time you open your smoker, the temperature drops. It can take up to 10-15 minutes for the smoker to come back to the correct temperature.
Opening the smoker too much will cause the chicken to take longer to cook.
How Long To Smoke Chicken Quarters At 225
The exact time it takes to smoke chicken quarters depends on how big the quarters are. It can also depend on the type of smoker you use. Some smokers can take longer to cook food.
Generally, it takes about 2 1/2-3 hours to smoke chicken quarters at 225°F.
However, you should pay attention to the internal temperature of the chicken quarters. The chicken quarters are cooked when they have a temperature of 165°F.
How Long To Smoke Frozen Chicken Quarters At 225
As I mentioned above, it’s better to smoke thawed chicken quarters. However, if you end up in a pinch and have to smoke the chicken frozen, you need to know how long to smoke it at 225°F.
It takes 50% longer to smoke frozen chicken quarters. So, it will take about 5-6 hours to smoke frozen chicken quarters at 225°F.
Knowing how long to smoke chicken quarters creates juicy, delicious meat every time.
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.