Smoking Chicken is not easy and takes a combination of patience and skill. To master the art while you have all your hungry friends standing around waiting for their meals is a whole other ball game.
Let me say from the start that I have had many years smoking all kinds of wonderful foods, but I would have to say that a whole chicken is at the top of my list. Yes, I know there is rubs, pulled pork, brisket and many others, but a whole chicken just can't be beaten. When you do this type of cooking you will find that juice of the bird will merge with the tender muscles to make a simply delicious dish. Further to this, there is not much maintenance to smoking a chicken as opposed to the other meats.
The first thing to make sure of is that when you're in the grocery store is that you choose a newly placed fresh chicken. The optimal weight would be around the three pound mark, as this would be considered a good size for around 4-5 people in the one meal. When you differ this size for cooking, you will also differ the time it will take you to cook the bird.
The next item on your agenda is to decide how you would like the chicken to cook, as a whole, or cut into pieces. Cutting the chicken does obviously reduce your smoking time, but this reduction is only minimal. In terms of how to cut the chicken, make sure that you cut it down the middle lengthwise of the chicken in between the two breasts. This cut will be along the spine of the chicken and into the cavity area. When you place the chicken into the smoker, be sure that the skin side is facing outwards.
The last main concern before the smoker is what seasoning you will be layering on your bird. The purpose of the seasoning is to enrich it with flavors that make sure smoked chicken recipe distinctive to the rest. When you are adding the seasoning, be sure to rub it on thoroughly and evenly all over the bird and right into the skin. If you want the seasoning to stick onto the skin, it's advisable to rub on some oil or melted butter first.
Hope these tips help you make a wonderful smoked chicken for this summer, good luck masterchefs!