If you like beer can chicken then you will absolutely love this beer brined smoked chicken. I recommend cutting the chicken into pieces to enhance the flavor and to help it to cook more evenly.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 275°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Step 1: Make the Brine

Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1/2 gallon of cold water..

2015-IMG_7540 2015-IMG_7542

Stir in the salt until it dissolves and the water becomes clear.

Add ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) and 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)

Stir to combine. It may get a little foamy..

2015-IMG_7546 2015-IMG_7549

The brine is ready to use

Step 2: Brine the Chicken

Rinse chicken pieces under cold water

2015-IMG_7551

Place chicken into a plastic or glass container

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Pour the brine over the chicken to cover.

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Add some ice on top to make sure it is nice and cold and place the bowl in the fridge for about 4 hours.

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When the brining is finished, rinse the chicken really good to remove any extra salt residue from the surface.

Step 3: Apply the Rub

Place the chicken pieces into a large ziptop bag and pour ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) into the bag.

Zip the bag closed and roll or massage the bag to coat all of the chicken with the rub.

2015-IMG_7576

Once the chicken is well coated, place the chicken pieces onto a Bradley rack or pan. It is now ready to cook in the smoker.

2015-IMG_7577

Step 4: Smoke the Chicken

Set up your smoker for cooking at 275°F if possible.  If your smoker will not heat to that temperature, then normal smoking temperatures (225-240°F) will work fine.

Use indirect heat (most smokers are designed for this by default).

Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken on the smoker grate and let it smoke cook until it reaches 165°F  in the the thickest part of each piece. This should take about 1 hour but watch the temperature carefully as the times will vary from smoker to smoker and depending on how often you open the lid, how cold the chicken entered the smoker and even weather.

2015-IMG_7585

About 15 minutes before the chicken is finished, brush on the beer barbecue glaze (recipe below)

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Beer Barbecue Glaze

Stir well to combine. You can make it more thick or thin by changing the ratio of sauce to beer.

2015-IMG_7583

Step 5: Serve It Up

Check each piece using a quick reading thermometer such as a Thermapen to make sure a safe temperature of 165°F has been obtained.

2015-IMG_7591

Serve with extra beer barbecue sauce for dipping if you like.

Notes/Comments:
  1. This chicken was extremely juicy, even the white breast meat and you could distinctively taste the beer flavor all the way through the meat.
  2. Use any kind of beer you like.. the cheap stuff will work perfectly. I always use Shiner Bock when I use beer in recipes and it works great.
  3. Yes, you can use something besides beer if you like and it will still be super juicy and flavorful. Some things that work well are:
  • Cherry Dr. Pepper
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Root Beer
  • Peach, Apple, Apricot nectar
  • Apple Cider or Juice
  • Sparkling Grape Juice
  • Buttermilk

If you are not able to smoke at the higher temperature I recommended, it will take longer for the chicken to get done. At normal smoking temperatures of 225-240°F, the chicken pieces will take around 2 hours to reach 165°F.

Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Purchase the Formulas for Jeff's Rub and Sauce
**Instant Download!**
Jeff's Original Rub Recipe
Jeff's Barbecue Sauce

***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:

I recently purchased both recipes. The files did not come thru right but Jeff was prompt to get it fixed. I tried them both last weekend and they were a huge hit. I followed his burnt ends recipe to the letter and my neighbors thought I was some master chef! Thanks Jeff!  -Susan T.

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Thank you for the great advice. Followed your rib recipe and everyone loved them. Used your rub and sauce. On point!  -Charles W.

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.

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.

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.

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

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Printable Recipe

Print Recipe
4 from 4 votes

Delicious Beer Brined Smoked Chicken

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Servings: 3 -6
Author: Jeff Phillips

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Chickens (cut into pieces)
  • 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)
  • 1 cup coarse kosher salt
  • ½ gallon water
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe
  • Beer/BBQ Glaze (recipe below)

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Brine

  • Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1/2 gallon of cold water..
  • Stir in the salt until it dissolves and the water becomes clear.
  • Add ¼ cup of Jeff's rub and 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)
  • Stir to combine. It may get a little foamy..
  • The brine is ready to use

Step 2: Brine the Chicken

  • Rinse chicken pieces under cold water
  • Place chicken into a plastic or glass container
  • Pour the brine over the chicken to cover.
  • Add some ice on top to make sure it is nice and cold and place the bowl in the fridge for about 4 hours.
  • When the brining is finished, rinse the chicken really good to remove any extra salt residue from the surface.

Step 3: Apply the Rub

  • Place the chicken pieces into a large ziptop bag and pour ¼ cup of Jeff's rub into the bag.
  • Zip the bag closed and roll or massage the bag to coat all of the chicken with the rub.
  • Once the chicken is well coated, place the chicken pieces onto a Bradley rack or pan. It is now ready to cook in the smoker.

Step 4: Smoke the Chicken

  • Set up your smoker for cooking at 275°F if possible. If your smoker will not heat to that temperature, then normal smoking temperatures (225-240°F) will work fine.
  • Use indirect heat (most smokers are designed for this by default).
  • Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken on the smoker grate and let it smoke cook until it reaches 165°F in the the thickest part of each piece. This should take about 1 hour but watch the temperature carefully as the times will vary from smoker to smoker and depending on how often you open the lid, how cold the chicken entered the smoker and even weather.
  • About 15 minutes before the chicken is finished, brush on the beer barbecue glaze (recipe below)

Beer Barbecue Glaze

  • 2 TBS Jeff's barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • Stir well to combine. You can make it more thick or thin by changing the ratio of sauce to beer.

Step 5: Serve It Up

  • Check each piece using a quick reading thermometer such as a Thermapen to make sure a safe temperature of 165°F has been obtained.
  • Serve with extra beer barbecue sauce for dipping if you like.

Notes/Comments:

  • This chicken was extremely juicy, even the white breast meat and you could distinctively taste the beer flavor all the way through the meat.
  • Use any kind of beer you like.. the cheap stuff will work perfectly. I usually use Shiner Bock when I use beer in recipes and it works great.
  • Yes, you can use something besides beer if you like and it will still be super juicy and flavorful. Some things that work well are:
  • Cherry Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper, Root beer, fruit nectar, apple cider, sparkling grape juice, buttermilk, etc.
  • If you are not able to smoke at the higher temperature I recommended, it will take longer for the chicken to get done. At normal smoking temperatures of 225-240°F, the chicken pieces will take around 2 hours to reach 165°F.
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