In this smoked and grilled chicken quarters recipe, I demonstrate how to get some smoke flavor on the chicken then finish it off to perfection on a really hot grill.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Feed
Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan or Cherry
What You'll Need

Get the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce


recipe-ad-rubIf there is anything that my rub and sauce both shine on, it's chicken. These smoked and grilled chicken quarters use both my rub and sauce to end up with an amazingly tasty finished product.

promise you'll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don't pay!

Reasons to buy: Support the newsletter and the website | Own “the recipes” | Get the email newsletter 100% AD FREE from now on | Includes the Texas style rub recipe

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

Brine for Great Flavor and Juiciness

This step is optional but highly recommended.

Without getting technical, when you soak poultry in a brine solution it:

  • Draws slightly salty water into the chicken causing it to end up more juicy
  • The saltiness of the water makes the inside of the chicken taste as if it was perfectly seasoned

Basic Brine Recipe

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar (optional but recommended)

Add the salt to the water and stir until dissolved.

Add the brown sugar (if desired) and stir once again until it is dissolved.

This will give you a wonderful, all purpose brine that is great on almost any poultry.

I like to put the chicken quarters down into a large zip top bag and then pour the brine into the bag over the chicken to cover.

Brine in the refrigerator or in temperature of 33 to 39°F.

About 4 hours in the fridge is all you need.

When it's done brining, give the chicken quarters a good rinse and you are ready to proceed.

2015-IMG_6481

Season the Chicken Quarters

My rub (purchase recipes here) works really well with brined chicken quarters since it is low on salt. Most rubs are very high in salt and that is not only unnecessary, it means you have to be really careful and use it very lightly in order to not make it end up too salty.

To help the rub to stick, I like to brush on some olive oil.

2015-IMG_6483

Make sure to get oil and rub (purchase recipes here) up under the skin a little as well. I usually do this first then the outside.

2015-IMG_6484

Apply a tablespoon or two of my rub (purchase recipes here) to the top of the chicken and spread it all over with your hands so that it mixes with the oil and creates a nice paste.

2015-IMG_6487

Move the seasoned chicken quarters to a Bradley rack or similar device and it's ready to go into the smoker.

Get the Smoker Ready

Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F. I prefer to keep it on the low side when I plan to finish them on the grill. This gives me a little more time in the smoke.

Once the smoker is ready, place the Bradley rack containing the chicken on the smoker grate. If you do not have these special racks or anything that will work in a similar fashion, just place the chicken directly on the grate. Leave about 1 inch between them to allow the smoke full access to the meat.

Smoke the Chicken

Leave the chicken quarters in the smoker using indirect heat for about 1 hour during which time it will reach about 140°F internally. This depends on  the temperature of the meat when it goes into the smoker, how often you open the door, the actual temperature you maintain, etc.

Use dry pecan, cherry or another favorite wood for smoke the entire time it is in the smoker.

Here is a picture of the chicken quarters after 1 hour in the smoker:

2015-IMG_6510

Be sure to use a thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 to monitor the temperature of the chicken while it cooks in the smoker and grill.

Finish the Chicken on the Grill

Heat the grill to very high heat just before the chicken is finished smoking.

Once an hour of smoking has passed, place the chicken on the grill over direct heat. Brush on a little of my sauce (purchase recipes here) while it finishes cooking.

Watch it carefully to make sure it does not burn.

When the chicken quarters reach 165-170°F, they are finished cooking and are ready to eat. If you are cooking multiple pieces, do a final temperature check on every piece of chicken using a Thermapen to make sure it is at least 165°F in the thickest part and safe to serve to your guests.

2015-IMG_6516

Serve the Chicken

Serve the chicken quarters immediately when they are finished cooking.

Questions

How can I prevent rubbery chicken skin?

This is the bane of most people who love smoked chicken and there is no easy answer. Here's a few things that will get you chicken with pretty good bite through. Crispy chicken skin is very difficult to acquire unless it spends some time submerged in hot grease.

  • Finishing on the grill.
  • Smoking at much higher temperatures (250-275°F).
  • Allowing the chicken to air dry in the fridge for several hours prior to seasoning.

Will brining make the chicken taste too salty?

I have never had this happen using my ratio of 1 gallon water and 1 cup of kosher salt (Morton). Be sure to rinse the chicken when it is done brining so that any residual salt on the outside is removed.

Could I use this recipe for thighs and/or chicken legs?

Absolutely! The chicken quarter is simply a leg and thigh still attached.

Can I cook the chicken on the grill with smoke?

You could definitely add some smoke chips to your grill and just cook it the entire time on the grill. Depending on your heat setting, it would probably finish a lot quicker and may not be as smoky as true smoked chicken but it would still be very good.

Don't be afraid to color outside of the lines when it comes to cooking outdoors.

Get the Digital Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce
**Instant Download!**

Limited Time Website Deal!

Save 20% on Jeff’s Rub Recipes and Sauce Recipe

Use coupon code GIVEJOY during checkout


jeffs-rub-recipe jeffs-sauce-recipe

***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:

  • You decide you don't like the recipes.. you don't pay!
  • The recipes are absolutely amazing!
  • Once you order, there'll be no more recipe ads in the email version of the newsletter

Well.. what are you waiting for.. click on the big orange button below to order the recipes now.

Limited Time Website Deal!

Save 20% on Jeff’s Rub Recipes and Sauce Recipe

Use coupon code GIVEJOY during checkout


Order the Digital Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.

Jeff's Smoking Meat Book

smoking-meat-book-cover-275x289The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that "no smoker should be without this book"!

With more than 800 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended.

It is a Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | German Edition

Digital versions available via Nook | iTunes | Kindle

Get Almost Anything at Amazon

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we'll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon

Printable Recipe

Print

Smoked and Grilled Chicken Quarters

5 from 5 reviews

In this smoked and grilled chicken quarters recipe, I demonstrate how to get some smoke flavor on the chicken then finish it off to perfection on a really hot grill.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 4 hours 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 5 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Hot Smoking

Ingredients

Instructions

Brine for Great Flavor and Juiciness

  1. Make a basic brine from 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of kosher salt and ¾ cup of brown sugar.
  2. Add the salt to the water and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add the brown sugar and stir once again until it is dissolved.
  4. Put the chicken quarters down into a large zip top bag and then pour the brine into the bag over the chicken to cover.
  5. Brine in the refrigerator or in temperature of 33 to 39°F for 4 hours.
  6. When it’s done brining, give the chicken quarters a good rinse and you are ready to proceed.

Season the Chicken Quarters

  1. Brush on some olive oil to help the rub to stick
  2. Apply a tablespoon or two of my rub to the top of the chicken and spread it all over with your hands so that it mixes with the oil and creates a nice paste.
  3. Make sure to get oil and rub up under the skin a little as well.
  4. Move the seasoned chicken quarters to a Bradley rack or similar device and it’s ready to go into the smoker.

Smoke the Chicken

  1. Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F.
  2. Place the chicken directly on the grate leaving about 1 inch between them to allow the smoke full access to the meat.
  3. Leave the chicken quarters in the smoker using indirect heat for about 1 hour during which time it will reach about 140°F internally.
  4. Use dry pecan, cherry or another favorite wood for smoke the entire time it is in the smoker.
  5. Be sure to use a thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 to monitor the temperature of the chicken while it cooks in the smoker and grill.

Finish the Chicken on the Grill

  1. Heat the grill to very high heat just before the chicken is finished smoking.
  2. Once an hour of smoking has passed, place the chicken on the grill over direct heat.
  3. Brush on a little of my sauce while it finishes cooking.
  4. Watch the chicken carefully to make sure it does not burn.
  5. When the chicken quarters reach 165-170 °F, they are finished cooking and are ready to eat.

Serve the Chicken

  1. Serve the chicken quarters immediately when they are finished cooking.

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

8 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Paul B October 22, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Great basic smoking recipe — and great rub! Equally good results freezing extra smoked quarters, for reheating later. But here is my question: Can I smoke the quarters up to 140 degrees, freeze them at that point, then thaw and grill them several weeks down the road?

  2. Brian Ike August 29, 2016 at 12:47 am - Reply

    I’m new to smoking, so am experimenting with different meats and techniques to learn. This was my first attempt at smoking chicken quarters. Came out awesome, and not too difficult, my best smoked meat so far. I used hickory chips, and finished on the gas grill with no sauce. Skin was crisp, but salty due to seasoning. Meat was smoky and perfect. Thank you!

  3. Steve Baldwin September 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Can I use this method as well for boneless, skinless thighs or is there a better one for them?

  4. anthony pardon June 27, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    The wife and i love this recipe. We also love the rub and sauce, your rub and sauce is out of this world!

  5. Fred Larson May 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Just made and ate this wonderful recipe for “Smoked and Grilled Chicken Quarters”.

    My wife and I agree, it is the BEST chicken either of us have ever eaten.

    Jeff you are the MAN!

  6. Bk March 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Cooked this last night with the rub after brining for 3 hrs. Fantastic results!!

  7. Scott January 27, 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Gave this one a try last night and was not disappointed. Chicken smoke taste was subtle and the time on the BBQ rids that rubbery skin situation. This one is a winner!

  8. shawn January 22, 2015 at 6:34 am - Reply

    This technique looks awesome. I use a different two step cooking approach for smoked birds all the time. Brine, smoke, and finish in a covered roasting pan in a 325 oven. This never fails to produce a wonderful smoky and juicy bird. The best part is that I can always produce the finished product on schedule – something that I find difficult with the simple electric smoker that I have. I will have to give this a try.

Leave A Response