I love to use my smoker to smoke meat. I honestly don’t get to do it as much as I want! I’ve been asked by my friends to post my Applewood Smoked Chicken rub recipe, so I’m finally posting! This recipe is specifically for my friend Tyler. It only took me 5 months to post this after he first asked me! Smoked meat is the best. I asked my husband for a smoker last Christmas and he was like…really? You want a smoker for your Christmas present? Not clothes or jewelry? He was a little shocked! Both my dad and I really enjoy cooking and I knew that if I got a smoker we could smoke meat together and compare rub recipes. It’s been so fun spending afternoons with him hovering over the smoker and talking! And…he ended up buying a smoker shortly after I got mine!
Let’s talk about rubs and wood real quick. I use wood chunks for my smoker instead of wood chips. I find chucks produce more smoke and my meat is more flavorful. There are so many different types of wood out there and so many different rubs! I have used several different kinds of wood for chicken, but I’ve found that apple wood chucks give me the best results when it comes to my chicken. It gives the meat a great flavor. As far as rubs…oh man where do I start!?!? Let’s start with brown sugar. It’s just a must when you are making a rub. I’ve tried several rubs, but this one below is my favorite when smoking a whole chicken. Make sure to let your chicken marinate in the rub overnight. It makes a huge difference in the way it tastes. By the way…this rub is Gluten Free.
In regard to time and temperature, I smoke my chicken at around 225 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. It takes about 30 minutes to warm my smoker up to 225 degrees. I always use an internal thermometer to ensure the temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees for both the breast and the leg. I insert the digital thermometer at about the 4th hour to see how much longer it has before reaching 165 degrees. Make sure to watch your smoker temperature and don’t let it go over 250 degrees. You really do need a free afternoon to smoke meat, but the taste is so worth it! This recipe below is for 1 whole chicken.
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon paprika (I use smoked paprika)
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
Take your whole chicken and on a cutting board, cut the chicken with a meat clever down the middle of the breast. I like to do this so I can open up the chicken and get the rub everywhere. Take your chicken and remove all the inside parts that need to be tossed out, like the liver, neck, etc. Run cold water over your chicken and rinse well. Pat dry and place the chicken in a 9×13 Pyrex dish.
In a small bowl, mix all the dry rub ingredients listed above. Generously rub the chicken that is still in the Pyrex dish with the mixture until rub is gone. Place plastic wrap over the Pyrex dish and refrigerate overnight. I like to marinate my chicken for at least 8 to 12 hours.
After the chicken has marinated, turn on your smoker (or light it) and let it pre-heat until the smoker hits 225 degrees. Once preheated, place the whole chicken on the rack and close your smoker. You should expect to see a lot of smoke in the first 2 hours and then it will die down a bit. It will smell wonderful outside!
I smoke my chicken at about 225 degrees for about 4 to 5 hours. Sometimes the smoker temperature will get up to 250, but I never let it go over that. You will need to manage your temperature to ensure the smoker doesn’t get too hot. At the 4th hour, I insert a digital thermometer to see how much longer it has before reaching 165 degrees. When the chicken is done, turn the smoker off and remove the chicken. Note that your juices should run clear. Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes before eating.