Recipe courtesy of Susie Bulloch

Smoked Whole Chicken with Honey BBQ Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings


BBQ Seasoning:

Honey BBQ Sauce:


Special equipment:
heavy-duty aluminum foil; apple, cherry, maple or pecan wood chips; butcher's twine
  1. For the BBQ seasoning: Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat your smoker or grill to 275 degrees F.
  3. If using a charcoal or gas grill, prepare for two-zone cooking with heat or coals on one side of the grill and none on the other. If using a gas grill, prepare your smoking pouches by tearing off 2 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and layering them flat on your work surface. Place two cups of dry wood chips on the center of your foil. Fold up each long side and crimp to secure. Then roll up the ends to make a sealed wood chip pouch. Poke holes in the top of your pouch to allow the heat from the fire to singe the wood chips inside the pouch and make some gorgeous smoke that will be released through the holes and add a delicious smoke flavor to your food. Repeat this process so you have a total of 3 pouches.
  4. Combine the softened butter and the BBQ seasoning in a small bowl. Use your fingers to loosen the skin of the chicken and spread the seasoned butter up under the skin. Spread any remaining butter on top of the chicken skin.
  5. Use butcher twine to tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulder joint. Place your chicken directly on the grill grates over indirect heat on your smoker or grill. Add the wood of your choice; I recommend apple, cherry, maple, or pecan. If using a grill, place the smoking pouch on the direct heat. Close the lid and smoke for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, replacing the smoking pouch as necessary. Breasts should be about 160 to 165 degrees F. The thighs should be about 170 to 175 degrees F. If needed, rotate the chicken once during smoking.
  6. While your chicken is smoking, prepare your BBQ sauce. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, honey, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool.
  7. Baste the chicken with the honey BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking (this is optional). Once the chicken has reached the correct internal temperature, remove it from the grill, rest for 10 minutes, slice, and serve.