whole chicken

Started by mesmoked, March 22, 2011, 08:11:15 AM

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Thinking of trying a whole chicken, is it needed (and why) to brine.  If so any recipes for the brine.  Thinking of the beer can idea vs. just laying it on the rack, any suggestions?  Also what about a rub, and should it sit in this rub overnight?

thanks in advance


mesmoked - there are so many ways to do a bird. I have never done the brine thing, but those who do swear by it. My go-to method is to spatchcock or butterfly the bird by cutting the spine out of it and then flattening out the body. This gives it maximum surface area to be exposed to the smoke. I generally just use olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic just before I put it in. I have used some rubs and even gone so far as to work it under the skin. You can definitely do this the night before and let it rest in the fridge. I preheat to about 225 and look for an IT of 165 in the breast. If you want a crisp skin, you can pull it early and throw it in the oven or on the grill for the last bit.

Always leave the vent wide open!!!

Enjoy and let us know how it came out (with pics please) ;D


Brine will keep the chicken from getting dry. Really no need to rub overnight, just rub and smoke.

The beer can way will also keep it moist by releasing moisture into the cavity. Rub the inside down to. This is good cuz you dont need to wait days for the brine to penetrate.


Try Jan's Dry Rub on your chicken.  We developed the rub especially for poultry.  You can find the ingredients list on the recipe website www.susanminor.org Look under the Rubs heading for Jan's Dry Rub.

No need to let it sit overnight.  Rub and smoke.


When I do a beer can chicken I like to pour the beer into a sauce pan. Then add seasonings like thyme or rosemary and bring to a boil. Then immediately pour it back into the can to 3/4 full. This hot steaming can does not rob the internal part of the chicken of heat and allows for a better, faster cook. Also I do not brine normally. Most chickens now come in a brine solution. I rub under and over the skin right before cooking. If I smoke it then I will finish in TBE to crisp up the skin.
Natural Gas 4 burner stainless RED with auto-clean
2 TBEs(1 natural gas & 1 LP gas)
OBS(Auberins dual probe PID, 900w finned element & convection fan mods)
2011 Memphis Select Pellet Smoker
BBQ Grillware vertical smoker(oven thermostat installed & converted to natural gas)


I've done beercan chicken twice, the 1st time i brined it 6-7 hrs before and the 2nd I didn't. Both were very good but I thiink the brined was a bit more moist and a bit more flavor(the chickens I used weren't already brined when I bought them). I wouldn't brine for longer than 6 hours because i think had i done it overnight it would get too salty. I also shoved an onion in the neck to try and trap the moisture in the cavity. I too added spices and warmed the beer up too because it doesn't heat up like a grill I like to give it a head start. And I also put hot water in water bowl, and after the smoke i put in more hot water. And Jan's Rub is a good too


Whole chickens are pretty easy, I've got 2 in the smoker right now. I brine over night, 3/4 c sugar and 3/4 cup kosher salt per 4 quarts of water. I did a bird brined only 2 weeks ago, no rub, no EVOO, and cherry pucks. It was incredible. Today, I have one brined only, the other is rubbed heavily with a blackening rub. Dinner can't get here fast enough!