Brined & Herb Smoked Chicken
Smoked chicken is great when it is juicy and flavorful. That is why I decided to brine this chicken before I smoked it! It made all the difference in the world! Soooo much flavor, and so juicy, even after 2 hours of smoking with NO water in the smoker! I now herebey swear that I will never NOT brine a chicken before smoking it again!
This recipe is real simple. First, you BRINE the chicken for at least a day.. then when ready to cook, you fire up your smoker (or oven if you’re lacking in the smoker dept).. and smoke it on high heat for as long as it takes to come to safe temperature, which for chicken is at least 165 degrees. PRO TIP: You’ll want to measure this with a thermometer to be exact, so you don’t over or under cook the bird! Be sure to dust on a liberal amount of seasonings before placing into the smoker. No sprays are needed for this smoke, and no water pan either! The bird should remain moist and flavorful due to the brine! Try to get your smoker up to 250+ degrees. I ran mine at it’s max, 275 degrees, for about 1hr 45min until the deepest part of the thigh was registering a little over 174, I wanted to be sure it was cooked. It came out juicy and cooked perfectly all over.
If you’re looking for a good smoker, I have been using a Masterbuilt electric smoker just like this one, for the last 5 years and it’s still going strong! Highly recommended for a first time smoker.. very easy to work with, much easier than a traditional non-electric smoker. I get amazing results with this smoker, and all of my smoked recipes were made in here unless otherwise noted. I also have a grill that I can use to smoke in, which I’ve made a brisket which actually turned out great, but was harder to maintain the right temperature vs if I would have used the Masterbuilt smoker. I think it just takes time to master the art of air flow and heat, especially when working with new tools! But that’s all in good fun also, practice makes perfect, and practice can also be delicious as well! 🙂
Prep Time 15 M
Cook Time 2 H
Recipe Yield 1 smoked chicken could feed 4-6 people depending on the size of the bird
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The ingredients for the brine are basically everything listed above, in the following order:
Combine all ingredients except the chicken, and the cold water. Mix the hot water together with the ingredients and give them a good stir and muddle! The muddling and the the hot water will open things up and let those oils and nutrients and terpenes out! It’s all flavor!!
Let the hot water and ingredients set for 15-20 min. Then add the remaining cold water. Make sure that it’s cold or at room temp, but not warm or hot, when you put the chicken in! We don’t want to start the cooking process yet! Also, you’ll need to find a fitting container to hold the chicken and the brine solution. Some folks will use a brining bag, which you can buy on Amazon. Personally, I was able to fit this inside of my extra large crock pot, and it was fine for the 1.5 days that it was bathing in the beautiful brine juice.
After one day at least, it’s ready! Fire up your smoker and get the temp up to 250 – 350 degrees. My smoker only goes up to 275, so that’s what I cooked mine at. You don’t need a water pan in the smoker, the bird will stay moist and juicy from the brine! You even sort of want the temp to get high at some point so you can crisp up the skin! Don’t be afraid to do that!
I cooked my bird for about 1hr 45min. You’ll want to cook this TO TEMPERATURE and not to any specific amount of time. It takes as long as it takes to cook to temperature. At minimum you want 165 degrees in the deepest part of the bird where the heat has gotten to the slowest. I personally pulled mine when the chicken thigh was hitting 174, and I think I would probably pull it a couple degrees sooner, but not much, it was near perfect.