Smoked Chicken, the Alternative to Thanksgiving Turkey
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This smoked chicken recipe is easy to follow. The chicken comes out full of flavour, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It's perfect as an alternative to Thanksgiving turkey.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 to 12 servings
  • 2 large whole chickens, around 1.9 kg or 4.2 Lbs each
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3½ tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice + 1 whole lemon
  • ¾ cups original Frank's RedHot Sauce
  1. I used the Original Bradley Smoker for this recipe, so I'll be explaining the process for our smoker. For other smokers, just bring the temperature up to 225 ºF and prepare the wood for smoking as per your smoker instructions.
  2. Remove all the trays from the smoker.
  3. Fill the water bowl to half with water.
  4. Load the feeder with enough bisquettes for about 2 hour of smoking (3 bisquettes per hour plus 2 to push the last few). For this recipe we used Bradley's premium sage bisquettes.
  5. Open the damper at the top about ¾ of the way to release smoke.
  6. Turn on the smoke generator and preheat the bisquette burner for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn on the smoker and bring the temperature up to 225 ºF.
  8. Spray one smoker rack with non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Place the rack on a baking sheet with edges.
  10. Remove your chicken from the fridge and remove the giblets from inside.
  11. Place the chickens on the greased smoker rack, side by side.
  12. Using your (clean) hands, rub both chickens inside and out with the olive oil.
  13. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic evenly over and inside the chickens.
  14. Rub the salt, pepper and garlic into the skin and meat, both inside and out.
  15. Slowly pour the lemon juice inside and over the chickens evenly.
  16. Pour the Frank's hot sauce over and inside the chickens and rub it all around to make sure you coat everything, including the wings.
  17. Open the smoker quickly and place the smoker rack with the chickens on the second level from the bottom.
  18. Run the thermometer prong through the top damper and insert the prong into the thickest part of the meat, preferable the middle of the breast meat.
  19. Close the door quickly to avoid loosing a lot of heat.
  20. Let the chicken cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 180 ºF. In our case, this took 4 hours and 15 minutes, but this can vary depending on your smoker and how many times you open the door. You best bet is to rely on the thermometer reading.
  21. Remove the smoker rack with the chickens onto a clean baking sheet (to reduce dripping mess).
  22. Cut the whole lemon in half and squeeze the lemon over the chickens.
  23. Tent the chickens with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes (to help keep the juices inside the chicken).
  24. Carve the chickens and serve with your favourite sides. Enjoy!
As usual, always handle chicken carefully to avoid salmonella bacteria growth on the chicken and kitchen surfaces.

To cook only one chicken, half the remaining ingredients.

You can smoke chicken and other meats without a meat thermometer, but it'll be hard to know when your meat is full cooked. Plus, every time you open the smoker door, you'll loose a lot of heat and increase the cooking time. The thermometer gives you an accurate reading of the meat's internal temperature, so you know exactly when to take it out.
Recipe by Photos & Food at