Smoked BBQ Chicken Recipes

The following recipes for BBQ  smoked chicken cover the range of whole chicken down to drumsticks. What is great on a barbecue? Why chicken of course, but when you smoke it, with one of many barbecue  smoke woods, the results are amazing! Keep in mind that smoking a chicken or pieces or a chicken should be done at no more than 225°. This may also depend upon whether it is a whole chicken or part of one which would mean you can increase the temp to 275°.

What Type of Chicken?

Another thing to keep in mind, what type of chicken or chicken parts to buy? We recommend free range chickens, if you can buy them. They are generally more flavorful and are less likely to be treated with hormones, etc.  If you have any questions, please click on this link for more information.

Citrus Smoked Chicken

Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe

Easy Smoked Chicken Breasts

Smoked Mojo Chicken Legs


Citrus BBQ Smoked Chicken

Prep 5 min Cook time 4-10 h

  • 1 (6 pound) whole chicken
  • 4 cups lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 chunks smoke wood
  • Any fruit wood will work, try orange, Black Jack oak, tangerine or lemon wood
  1. Place the whole chicken into a large resealable plastic bag. Sprinkle in garlic powder, then pour in enough lemon-lime soda to cover the bird. Seal the bag, and place in the refrigerator overnight to marinate.
  2. Light charcoal in an outdoor smoker, and wait until the temperature is at 225° F (110 degrees C).
  3. Remove chicken from the bag, and place on the grill grate. Discard marinade. Cover, and cook for 4-10 hours, depending upon the size of your chicken.

If you are cooking chicken breasts, then smoke time comes way down 2-2.5 hrs. Remove the chicken or chicken breasts when the internal temperature reaches 160°.


BBQ Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe

Smoked Chicken Breast Ingredients

  • 10 individual chicken breasts or a 5 pound bag of chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce

Other Smoking Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 bag of charcoal or not (if using a gas grill
  • 1-2 chunks of smoke wood orange, tangerine Black Jack oak or wild Florida cherry.

Smoked Chicken Breasts Recipe Directions

  1. Light your grill in advance of prepping your chicken. This is especially important if you are using a charcoal grill, because your charcoal will take about 30 minutes to turn glowing white before it is ready for cooking. Once your charcoal is lit, put your wood chunks in the smoker box.
  2. Mix all of the chicken seasonings together in a mixing bowl along with enough barbecue sauce to coat all of your chicken breasts coat all of the chicken breasts.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on your smoker and shut your grill lid. Cook for an hour and 15 minutes.
  4. Check your smoked chicken breasts (every 30 minutes or so) to make sure the temperature is still holding at about 225°. Flip the chicken breasts and close the lid again. After 30 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. You are looking for a temperature of 160 degrees before you can pull them off the smoker.
  5. Serve your smoked chicken breasts with a side of barbecue sauce for dipping.

Smoked Chicken Breasts Smoking Time
This recipe typically takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours when the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit. This may seem like a lot of time to cook dinner, but this is relatively short compared to cooking a whole chicken. Also, this recipe might cook faster depending on the temperature of your smoker.


Easy BBQ Smoked Chicken Breasts

But in this recipe, to smoke chicken breasts, it’s better to smoke ’em low and slow. And trust me, there’s a reason for this. The reason it’s better to smoke them at 225 ° rather than 275°  is that the white meat of the breast is fragile and temperamental. If it’s smoked too hot and long, it can go dry and tasteless on you in a hurry!

The chicken breasts are smoked with the bone in and the skin off. Leaving the bone in helps the meat remain moist and adds a bit of flavor. Taking the skin off allows the breast to capture a nice looking burnt-orange color from the wood smoke. So you get good looks and good taste.

This can be done is a few easy steps.


  • Buy a family pack of bone in chicken breast halves.
  • Remove the skin, rinse in cold water, and pat dry.
  • Season with a mild dry rub seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sugar


    • Preheat the smoker to 225° and add some black Jack oak, orange, tangerine wood or  apple wood for smoke.
    • Place the chicken breasts in the smoker, bone side down.
    • Remove the chicken breasts when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. No more, no less. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.


 Mojo BBQ  Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters

…A Cuban Favorite

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon loosely packed orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon loosely packed lime zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 2 red jalapeño peppers (seeded, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 chicken leg quarters (about 5 1/2 lb.)
  • 2 Chunks of Black Jack Oak or Apple wood (Substitute orange or tangerine wood)
How to Make It

Step 1

Pulse first 12 ingredients in a food processor 20 seconds or until finely chopped. Reserve and chill 1/2 cup of mixture for later use. Place chicken in a large bowl; add remaining mixture, and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. I rarely ever do this, but if you have the time, do it. Your patience will pay off!

Step 2

Place smoke wood or smoke wood box on center of fire

Step 3

Light grill, heating to 225° . Wait until white smoke subsides and a light bluish color is wafting upward. This is the ideal smoke!

Step 4

Pat excess moisture from chicken with paper towels, leaving marinade on skin. Sprinkle chicken with desired amount of salt and pepper. Carefully place chicken over grill centered on the smoke box Grill, covered with grill lid and turning pieces occasionally, 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until skin is golden brown and meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes; serve with reserved sauce.