How to smoke a whole chicken on a pellet grill

If you’re looking for a smoky upgrade over store-roasted chicken, this is for you.

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Remove any giblets from the chicken, then wash and pat dry. Optionally, if you have time, place the chicken on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath and allow it to dry in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight. This will further dry the chicken skin and promote browning. Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F.


Brush the chicken skin with olive oil and lightly season the inside of the cavity, reserving the majority of the seasoning for the skin. Stuff the bird with lemon slices, onion, and rosemary sprigs.


Cross the two chicken legs and tie them together using butchers’ twine to secure them in front of the cavity to promote even cooking. You can optionally also tuck the wings under the chicken by pushing the flats down toward the rear of the bird and tucking them underneath.


Season the exterior of the bird with the remaining chicken season so it’s well covered.


Insert a digital meat thermometer or the grill’s thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast without touching any bone. Place the chicken on your pellet grill and smoke for one hour at 225°F. Increase the heat on your grill to 375°F and continue roasting until the white and dark meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 15–20 minutes. Snip and discard the butchers twine and enjoy.

Cooking for 6 people


  • whole chicken
  • olive oil
    1 tablespoon
  • chicken seasoning
    2 tablespoons
  • lemon, sliced
  • small onion, quartered
  • rosemary sprigs

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