One thing that my family loves is BBQ Chicken. This recipe creates am easy BBQ chicken that is juicy and packs tons of flavor. This recipe would work on a whole chicken, but the about of time changes from two hours to three hours. Please remember to only cook to the proper temperature and not time. The time I have added is just a guidance.
When I make Easy BBQ Chicken for my family, I tend to go with two different cooks. I either use chicken breast, or I go with a legs and thighs combo. Both versions come out great, and the only real difference is how long it takes to cook the chicken thoroughly. I tend to do breast on my Yoder YS640s, and I go with either one of my charcoal grills, Kamodo Joe Classic, or my Gateway Drum Smoker. The chicken breast can take on more charcoal flavor and is less forgiving than the dark meat cuts.
For this Easy BBQ Chicken, I used my Gateway Drum Smoker with Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal. Eventually, I will be reviewing both products here on What I Ate. I tend only to use Fogo when I use my Drum Smoker because it has huge chunks of charcoal, and it can do 20 hours+ of smoking with one fill of the charcoal bucket. Also, I like using Peach Wood Chunks when doing this recipe. I only use one chunk of peach wood, placed in the center of the charcoal bucket. For short smokes, it can make your meats bitter if you use to much smoking wood. A lot of times, less is more when using wood for smoke.
After setting up my smoker and getting the charcoal to start ashing over, I add my chunk of peach wood. I place the heat deflector on the lowest part of my smoker and place my cooking grate on the top. I put the lid on and leave one of my air intakes wholly open and the other one shut. My goal for this cook is 275°; after Setting up the grill, its time to get the chicken prepped.
With chicken, I don’t tend to use a binder, however, I like to double season the chicken. In this recipe, I used Kosmos Q Killer Honey Bee. I put the legs and thighs into a large bowl (Just like in my Short Rib Recipe). Next, I liberally add seasoning and use my gloved hand to make sure all the chicken is well coated. I let it rest in the bowl for 10-15 minutes and then apply more seasoning. Once it is well covered, the Smoker should be at the desired 275°. It’s time to go out and get your chicken onto the grill.
After I get the chicken set on the smoker and close the lid, its time to get that grill temperature dialed in. With a drum smoker, it is very particular on how much airflow will keep the temperature steady. Usually, with 275° in the Florida heat and humidity, you only keep each stack open the width of a thumbnail.
One thing I dislike about the drum smoker is how much it needs to be babysat—any little changes to the weather; you will need to make minor adjustments to the smoker. Adjusting a little too much, your temp could spike or drop quickly. For this cook, I needed to sit outside and babysit the grill while the chicken was cooking. Remember, if you don’t have time to babysit your meal, you can always use your pellet grill or kamado grill if you have one. They stay more consistent with your temps without a lot of adjusting.
When cooking chicken on the drum smoker, it is vital not to peek and check your chicken often; removing your lid for even a minute (literally 60 seconds) can cause a vast temp swing. When you are at the end of your cook, it’s not a bad thing for the grill to shoot past 400°. If you are frequently checking your chicken, you can quickly burn the outside of your chicken and have raw chicken inside. I will let my chicken hang out on the grill for 45 minutes and quickly check the most massive piece with my Thermapen to see where we are with an internal temp. When the chicken hits 145°, its time to glaze them.
With glazing, I will post in detail an easy, nice glaze with making Easy BBQ Chicken or use on ribs. If you were using a pellet grill or another grill that does not spike temperature when the lid is open, you can add your glaze right on the grill. If you are using a drum smoker like me, I recommend placing the chicken on a cooling rack, close the smoker and apply the glaze. To make a basic glaze is one part BBQ Sauce and 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar. Combine them entirely and then apply them to your chicken with a brush. I recommend using a Silicone Basting Brush to apply the glaze. Nobody likes having brush bristles stuck to their food.
After glazing the chicken, I like to let my grill get to 400°. Doing this will give the chicken a little char and allow the chicken to get your perfect internal temperature of 175° quickly. If you set your grill at 400°, I would check your chicken’s internal temperature every 4-5 minutes. It will very quickly get to 175°. After your chicken gets to the proper temp, pull your chicken off the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. After the rest, dig in and enjoy it!