Smoked chicken almost always finds its way to most of the meals owing to the degree of its likeness all across the regions. Whether you need a hearty meal or want to take some proteins with you when you hit the gym, smoked chicken always comes to the rescue. That being said, preparing a perfect smoked chicken proves to be a not-so-easy job. The reasons being the inability to understand the minor details and precautions required when it comes to smoking chicken in a balanced way. From setting up your gas grill to the seasoning and the duration of chicken in the grill, everything needs to be on point. If you play your cards right, you can feast upon one of the most delightful delicacies there are to relish. Follow the complete guide about how to smoke a chicken to boost the taste of your meals.
What’s the catch?
Patience is the key. Never be hasty when it comes to smoked chicken.
Steps to prepare perfect smoked chicken wings
- Start and warm up your grill prior to the procedure. Look for the weather forecast of your area to get an estimate about the conditions.
(Pro-tip: To prevent your chicken from sticking to the garters of the grill, oil them before laying the chicken over.)
- Prepare your chicken wings with olive oil and seasoning. Best smoked chicken wings are prepared at HOT temperatures so you might want to set the temperature at around 400°F.
- Put your seasoned and oiled chicken wings over the grill and close the lid.
This is where your expertise comes into play.
You want your chicken wings to be just tender enough and not become overcooked or even dry.
- Keep an eye on the chicken wings to have an estimate about how much they’ve been cooked but don’t open up the lid of your gas grill too often. At a temperature of 400-450°F, the chicken wings might take about 40 minutes to become fully smoked.
- Keep turning the chicken wings to ensure uniform smoking. You surely do not want a side of your chicken wings overcooked with the other side being undercooked.
- It is best to use an electric probe thermometer to continuously monitor the temperature of the chicken wings
- Smoked chicken is usually best eaten when the thermometer registers a temperature of about 165°F.
(Pro-tip: Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to ensure no part remains undercooked)
How long to smoke chicken quarters?
With experience, you’ll get to know the exact time required to perfectly smoke a chicken. This varies depending on different variables including the size of your chicken quarters, the type of grill being used, the temperature of your surroundings (of course it will take longer if you’re trying to smoke your chicken at some snow-covered mountains basecamp).
- For a reference, at a temperature of about 250°F, it takes about 45 minutes to smoke a pound of chicken.
- You can cut short on time if you increase the temperature of your gas grill or use smaller chicken quarters.
- You can also reduce the time by cutting off the extra fat from your chicken quarters but be careful not to trim off excessively as it is going to ruin your chicken quarters.
(Pro-tip: Remember, you can always cook an undercooked piece of chicken but there’s no going back once you have overcooked it. Calculate your risks)
Smoked spatchcock chicken
Spatchcocking is a method of smoking or grilling chicken where you remove the spine of your chicken and after placing it skin side up, you press on it so that it lays flat over the grill. This an incredibly easy and fastest way of preparing a chicken without requiring any trussing.
- Spatchcocking makes your chicken skin be smoked evenly as it lies flat and makes the exposure to heat quite uniform.
- Spatchcocking also significantly reduces smoking time and is the best method whenever you are short on time or your guests are arriving earlier than you had anticipated.
- Grab yourselves a good pair of scissors, lay the chicken on a flat surface with the spine facing upwards.
- Start cutting from the neck end and go all the way to the end of the spine.
(Pro-tip: You need to invest in good cutting items because surely you don’t want to be struggling with a blunt pair of scissors or make a fool of yourselves.)
Worry about packing on some extra lbs?
Want to stay on a healthy diet and yet satisfy your cravings?
Want to make up for your daily protein intake without having to ingest the fatty component?
SMOKED CHICKEN SALAD TO THE RESCUE.
- Prepare boneless chicken pieces with oiling and seasoning. Make sure not to use excess oil if you’re trying to remain on a strict diet plan.
- Smoke your chicken pieces the usual way in a gas grill.
(Pro-tip: Keep an eye on the chicken pieces because smaller pieces mean greater surface area for the heat to play its part resulting in quicker cooking. You surely don’t want to ruin your chicken salad by burning it.)
- Once you have smoked your chicken, add the rest of the elements of your salad depending upon your taste and liking. You can even make it gluten-free.
- Add fruits and vegetables to it, or some whipped cream if you want to, and your healthy, self-made, calorie-rich smoked chicken salad is ready.
A quick review (take-home messages)
- Keep your gas grill in perfect working condition with timely maintenance and cleaning.
- Oil the garters of your grill before you use it.
- Pre-heat and warm up your gas grill before you use it.
- For, remember to check the pieces from time to time to prevent them from burning
- The same goes for smoked chicken salad as smaller chicken pieces are at a higher risk of being burned.
- For smoked spatchcock chicken, remember to remove the spine skilfully and without removing excess meat.
- For smoked chicken quarters, keep a check on their texture to get an estimate of the extent to which they have been cooked.
- Insert the probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of your chicken piece to ensure complete smoking.