3 Best Chicken For Smoking: What Type Of Chicken Is Best For Smoking?

chicken for smoking

When it comes to smoking meat, there are many options, including chicken.

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So what cut of chicken is easiest to prepare and ends up with the most delicious taste when smoked? If you want the best tasting smoked chicken, then this post is what you need.

How to choose chicken for smoking?

Smoking is a great way to experiment with different flavors and create delicious meals at home without sacrificing your health like a deep-frying recipe.

Before you cook your chicken, it is important to know how to choose the right cut.

So let’s refer to our following tips to have the best chicken for smoking:

1.     A whole chicken is best for smoking rather than cut-up chicken

The reason why a whole chicken is best for smoking is that when cooking in the smoker, the flavor and moisture will be kept inside the chicken and make the resulting dish more flavorful and juicier.

A cut of chicken will be just fine, but if improperly cooked, chances are it will be dry and chewy.

2.     Fresh, young, and free-range chicken is a better choice

Another tip to pick the best chicken for smoking is that a fresh, young, and free-range chicken works best in this case.

When choosing a whole chicken, you should look for a young bird so that it has a smaller size and more tender texture compared to a matured chicken.

Moreover, keep in mind that fresh meat is always a better choice and is superior to frozen chicken.

The texture of the meat is tender but firmer instead of watery or plumpy, while the taste is sweeter and more fragrant.

If possible, buy free-range chicken so you can ensure that your smoked chicken dish is not only delicious but also healthy without any antibiotics and hormones.

3.     It is better to remove the skin before smoking if you use cut-up chicken

If a roasting or baking recipe is great with the skin on the chicken cut, for smoking, you should opt for a skinless version.

However, when working with the whole chicken, it will be fine to leave the skin intact, otherwise, your chicken might look messy.

3 best chicken cuts for smoking

Chicken doesn’t have many cuts like pork or beef, however, there are still some cuts that are more suitable for smoking than others.

Below are the three best cuts of chicken that you should try in your next smoking batch:

1.     A whole chicken

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As already mentioned, a whole chicken is best for smoking, especially if you can buy young chicken.

When smoking the whole chicken, the resulting dish will be tender, juicy, and packed with a lot of flavors.

Moreover, buying a whole chicken will even help you save some money because it is cheaper per pound indeed.

2.     Chicken breast

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Another option for smoking is skinless chicken breast.

You can use either the bone-in or boneless version per your preference.

Chicken breast is the leanest part of chicken with very little fat.

Therefore, it is perfect to add to your diet if you want to reduce your fat intake, build muscle, and lose some weight.

Chicken breast has a milder taste due to the low-fat content, therefore, it should be well-marinated with a dry rub mixture for at least 30 minutes to an hour before cooking to make sure that all the flavors can penetrate into the meat.

3.     Chicken thighs

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If you want a cut with more flavors, chicken thighs will be a great choice.

This cut is dark meat chicken that contains more fat, which is equivalent to a more flavorful taste and juicier texture.

Chicken thighs are also more affordable than chicken breast.

Either a skin-on, skinless, or bone-in, boneless type of chicken thighs can work for smoking.

Don’t forget to rub these little pieces of meat with a flavorful rub from spices and herbs to enhance the flavor of your dish.

The bottom line

There are not many cuts of chicken out there, but the best one for smoking is a whole young chicken.

You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs in this recipe.

Hopefully, our article has helped you make an informed decision about which cut of chicken is right for your needs, or you can try it all to find out which is best for your taste buds.

Happy cooking!