Homemade smoked chicken is delicious. You can avoid some of the pitfalls of commercially smoked chicken, like dry meat or too much salt, by smoking your bird at home using a smoked chicken recipe.
People tend to be confused about the difference between smoked foods and barbequed foods. Both cooking methods can involve smoke, and both methods use heat. The difference lies with the temperature at which foods are cooked and how far the foods are cooked away from the flames.
When you barbeque, your food is placed close to your source of heat and the food cooks relatively quickly. When you smoke food, the food is removed from direct heat and is cooked slowly.
You do not necessarily have to buy a smoker to start smoking chicken. You can use your regular charcoal grill to smoke meats. Your fire will have to be concentrated on one side of the grill while your chicken cooks on the other side, as far away from the heat as possible. You may also have to add charcoal occasionally during the cooking process. This works better with larger grills and will produce a chicken that is halfway between a barbequed and a smoked bird.
However, if you really want to enjoy smoked chicken at its best, buy a smoker. There are models available at reasonable prices for you to try smoking birds and other meats.
If you enjoy tending your barbeque, you will love working with a smoker. Tending a smoker fire is not a matter of hovering over flames for half an hour to an hour like on a barbeque. Smoking entails watching flames, heat and moisture for hours.
Chicken is a perfect meat to smoke. Chicken, properly cooked, is naturally succulent. Smoking chicken will take its flavors to the next level. The tastes of smoked chicken will burst in your mouth.
How to Smoke a Whole Chicken
Total cooking time will be about four hours. Use a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast to test temperature. If the temperature is about 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken is done. Don't forget to let your chicken sit for about 10 minutes before you dig in.
You might like to baste your bird with olive oil mixed with your favorite chicken spices during the cooking process.