Go Back
+ servings

Delicious Beer Brined Smoked Chicken

Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 3 -6
Author Jeff Phillips


  • 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))


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.


  • 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.