Master this recipe and you'll be king or queen of the cookout. This recipe makes two chickens, and with a little luck, you'll have leftovers for making the best-ever smoked chicken sandwiches the next day.
Servings and Ingredients
|8 sprig(s) fresh thyme, divided|
|8 sprig(s) fresh rosemary, divided|
|17 c. water, divided|
|2 c. Hy-Vee kosher sea salt, divided|
|2 c. Hy-Vee brown sugar, packed|
|2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered, divided|
|4 clove(s) garlic, peeled, divided|
|2 (5 lb each) while broiler fryer chickens|
|¼ c. onion salt|
|¼ c. smoked paprika|
|2 c. apple wood chips|
|2 tbsp. Hy-Vee black pepper|
|6 tbsp. Hy-Vee canola oil|
|1 c. Hy-Vee apple juice|
Things To Grab
- 2 extra large bowls
- Large bowl
- Small bowl
- Paper towels
- Food-grade 100% cotton twine
- Charcoal grill
- Meat thermometer
- Aluminum foil
- Hold each herb sprig at its top. Slide your fingers down to the bottom to strip off the leaves or needles. Discard woody stems. Set herbs aside.
- Add 1 cup water and half each of each, brown sugar, onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Transfer to an extra large bowl. Repeat with 1 cup water and remaining salt, brown sugar, onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Transfer to another extra large bowl. Add 7-1/2 cups of remaining water to each bowl. Stir to combine well. Add a chicken to each bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
- Soak wood chips in a large bowl with enough water to cover for at least 6 hours before smoke-cooking. Drain before using.
- Combine onion salt, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Remove chickens from brine. Rinse body cavities; pat dry with paper towels. Rub chickens with oil. Rub onion salt mixture over chickens, using your fingers. Tie drumsticks to tail. Twist wing tips under back.
- Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling over medium-low heat. Add apple juice to the drip pan. Add 1/2 cup drained wood chips to hot coals. (For gas grill, refer to manufacturer's directions for smoke-cooking.) Place chickens, breasts sides up, on grill grate over drip pan. Cover and smoke at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees in thigh muscle). Add wood chips as needed to maintain smoke; add more coals or adjust grill as needed to maintain a 350 degree temperature.
- Remove chickens from gill. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Note: Nutrition facts cannot be calculated for this recipe because the amount of salt in chicken varies after brining.