Quick-Smoked Chicken

July/August 2014

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Traditional smoking is a slow process, but this quick method does a great job with just a few handfuls of woodchips in this flavorful grilled chicken recipe.

Quick-Smoked Chicken

Makes: 8 servings

Serving Size: 3-4 oz. chicken

Active Time:

Total Time:

Equipment: Hickory woodchips


  • 4 to 4 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts), skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Place 2 large handfuls of hickory woodchips in a large bowl, cover with water and let soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat a gas grill to medium or build a two-zone fire (coals on one side of the grill) in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400°F).
  3. If using a gas grill, turn off one or two burners (depending on your grill) so one part is no longer lit. Add one handful of soaked woodchips directly onto the charcoal or into a stainless-steel smoker box. (To improvise a smoker box, see Tips.)
  4. When the wood begins to smoke, oil the grill rack (see Tips) and place the chicken on the rack above the unlit portion of the grill. Close the lid and cook, adding the second handful of soaked woodchips after 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, 32 to 36 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • If using a gas grill without a smoker box, you can improvise one: Fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Place all of the soaked woodchips in the center, fold the short ends over the woodchips and seal the open ends. Make several holes in the top of the packet. Place the packet, pierced side up, under the grill rack on the burners.
  • Once the grill is heated, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the hot rack right before placing the chicken on the grill.


Per serving: 214 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 117 mg cholesterol; 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 0 g total sugars; 29 g protein; 0 g fiber; 376 mg sodium; 285 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

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Recipe Categories

Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Ease of Preparation
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

July/August 2014
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