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Smoked Maple Barbecue Chicken

Many of you raved about the smoked maple barbecue bird from this past November.. now, to wow you again, we are using a similar process on a whole smoked chicken. This smoked maple barbecue chicken is amazing beyond words!
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Author Jeff Phillips


  • Whole chicken (1 chicken per 3 eaters)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe
  • Maple barbecue mop sauce


Step 1: Brine Chicken (optional)

  • Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1 gallon of water and stir until the salt is dissolved and the water returns to clear. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and stir to mix it into the water.
  • Place the chicken into a food safe plastic or glass bowl and pour the brine over the chicken to cover. You can also use a large zip top bag.
  • Close or cover the container and place it in the fridge for about 4 hours.
  • After the brining has finished, rinse the outside of the chicken with cold water to remove any residual salt.

Step 2: Maple Syrup and Rub

  • Pour maple syrup onto the chicken and use a brush to coat the chicken all over.
  • Sprinkle Jeff’s original rub all over the top, sides and bottom of the chicken making sure to get the rub down in all of the hard to reach spots. It is also a good idea to get some of the maple syrup and rub down under the skin wherever you can.

Step 3: Smoke the Chicken

  • Set up your smoker for cooking at 250°F if possible. Some smokers will not cook this hot so a lower temperature will work but it will require a longer cook time for the chicken to get done.
  • Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken on the grate breast side down.
  • In gas, electric, charcoal and non-conventional cookers, apply smoke (I recommend pecan for this recipe) for the entire time the chicken is cooking. The skin does a great job of protecting the meat from the smoke and just enough gets through to make it deliciously smoky.
  • My 4 lb chicken took about 2 hours and 10 minutes to reach 165°F. Times will vary from cooker to cooker so be sure to let the internal temperature of the chicken decide when it’s done.
  • Use a digital probe meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh or breast to monitor the meat temperature while it cooks. You can also check the temperature with a super fast Thermapan when you baste. With the Thermapen, you can get an accurate reading in around 2-3 seconds.
  • Make the Maple Barbecue Mop Sauce by mixing 4 oz of maple syrup with 2 heaping tablespoons of Jeff's original rub.
  • After the first hour, begin to apply the maple barbecue mop sauce every 20 minutes.

Step 4: Finished

  • Once the chicken reaches 165°F it is done cooking and should be removed from the smoker. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes or so before carving to allow the juices to cool down a little and redistribute throughout the meat.