How Long Smoke Chicken? Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Smoked Chicken

Smoking chicken is a delicious way to add flavor and tenderness to your recipes.

But how long smoke chicken? This is a question that many beginners and even experienced pitmasters struggle with.

The answer depends on various factors, including the type of smoker, the size of your chicken, and the temperature you’re cooking at.

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know to smoke chicken to perfection, including the best smoking times and temperatures, tips for getting the perfect smoke flavor, and more.

How Long Smoke Chicken?

How long smoke chicken will depend on multiple factors. The types of smokers you have, the size of your bird, and the temperature usually range from 3 to 4 hours.

Smaller birds should be done in 1 to 2 hours. However, if you’re using a smoker with a temperature over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it can take as little as 45 minutes to an hour for the chicken to be done.

Why Smoke Chicken?

Smoking chicken is one of the most simple and affordable ways to add flavor, moisture, and tenderness to your poultry. You’re dehydrating your meat by exposing it to smoke.

Smoking meats also allows you and your family to enjoy healthy and delicious meals without worrying about chopping up the meat or adding tons of extra fat.

The process of smoking is relatively easy, too. All you have to do is get a smoker (or buy one) and put it in place of your oven while it’s heating up.

How Long Smoke Chicken
How Long Smoke Chicken

What You Need To Smoke Chicken?

Smoking chicken is relatively easy, but some things will make your smoking experience much smoother (and better tasting).


The first thing you need to smoke is a smoker. There are two basic types of smokers: charcoal and electric.

Smokers with charcoal don’t require electricity, but they can be bulky when compared to electric smokers (which can be the size of a small suitcase), and they’re difficult to transport around.

On the other hand, electric smokers are small, portable, and fairly inexpensive.


Properly smoking chicken requires choosing a whole bird, wings, breasts, or thighs. Smoked legs can also be used, but they’ll take about twice as long to cook as other parts of the bird.

Smokehouse / Smoking Chip

Another important component of smoking chicken is the smokehouse or chips you use to flavor your meat. The correct kind of smoke should be relatively mild but must also impart a tasty and distinct flavor.

How To Prepare Your Chicken For Smoking?

Preparing your chicken for smoking is relatively easy if you’re using a smoker. On the other hand, if you’re smoking the chicken by placing it in the oven, the process is a bit more complicated.

Before you smoke your chicken, prepare it by bringing it or else applying a dry rub. Bringing imparts extra moisture while allowing you to flavor your meat with an extended stay in a saline solution.

Brining also helps retain moisture after you’ve finished smoking the meat by raising its PH level, which causes it to repel water better.

A dry rub is typically made up of spices, herbs, and seasonings applied to the chicken before you begin smoking.

How To Tell When Your Chicken Is Done?

Most smokers come with a Digital Electronic Thermometer or a Remote Thermometer that will tell you whether your chicken is cooked. Your chicken should be done once it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Smoke Frozen Chicken?

No, you should always thaw your chicken before smoking it to ensure even cooking.

What’s The Best Wood To Use For Smoking Chicken?

Fruitwoods like apple and cherry are great for smoking chicken, but you can also experiment with hickory or mesquite for a stronger flavor.

How Often Do You Need To Add Wood Chips?

This will depend on your smoker, but as a general rule, you should add wood chips every 30 minutes to an hour.


Smoking chicken is a delicious way to add flavor and tenderness to your poultry, but getting the timing and temperature right for the best results is important.

You can achieve perfectly smoked chicken every time by following our tips and tricks for smoking chicken, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Experiment with different seasonings and wood chips

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Hello! I'm Naznin Aktar, the food enthusiast and recipe curator at Naznin's Kitchen. Want to turn everyday ingredients into extraordinary dishes? Explore Naznin's Kitchen for a collection of recipes that are sure to inspire your inner chef and delight your loved ones.
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