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Smoked Pulled Chicken

You are absolutely gonna love this smoked pulled chicken recipe! It's meant to be piled high on a bun with creamy cole slaw and my barbecue sauce mixed in so do it justice ;-)
Course Chicken
Cuisine Barbecue
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Author Jeff Phillips


  • 5 lbs of chicken thighs (about 24 pieces (I like the boneless, skinless variety))
  • Gallon sized zip top bags
  • Brine (recipe below)
  • Yellow mustard or Olive Oil (optional)
  • Jeff's original rub
  • Large buns (for the sandwich)
  • Creamy coleslaw
  • Jeff's original barbecue sauce (purchase recipe here)
  • A Thermapen or Thermopop (high quality, fast reading handheld thermometers to make sure the chicken is safely and perfectly done.)


Make the brine using:

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 TBS Louisiana hot sauce
  • Add all of the ingredients to the water and stir until everything is dissolved and mixed in well.
  • Using gallon sized zip top bags, put 12 thighs in each bag and pour enough brine into the bag to cover. I used about ½ of the brine in each bag and it was plenty.
  • Seal the bags pressing out all of the air and let them sit in the fridge during the brining process. I recommend sitting the bags down in bowls to prevent the risk of leakage.
  • After 3 hours, remove the bags from the fridge and discard the brine liquid.
  • Place 12 chicken thighs into each bowl and coat well with yellow mustard.
  • Pour ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub into each bowl and stir well to coat chicken.
  • The chicken can now be placed onto Bradley racks, Weber grill pans or cooling racks for east transport to and from the smoker.
  • Setup smoker for cooking at 225-240°F with indirect heat using mesquite, pecan or whatever wood you have available for smoke.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up.
  • Cook the chicken until it reaches 175°F as measured by a digital meat thermometer such as a thermapen or a ThermoPop.
  • When the chicken is finished cooking, de-bone it (unless it's boneless), then pull the meat into pieces.
  • Coat the meat with an ample amount of Jeff's barbecue sauce.
  • Make sandwiches with the pulled chicken topping it with coleslaw, pickles and onions.