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a smoked chicken on a pit boss pellet grill

Pit Boss Smoked Whole Chicken

Our Pit Boss Smoked Whole Chicken is first dry brined and seasoned overnight to get the most flavor and crispiest skin possible.
We then review step by step how to set up your Pit Boss pellet grill to perfectly smoke this whole chicken to perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Dry Brine Time 12 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Smoked
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • Pit Boss Pellet Grill
  • Wood Pellets Hickory, Oak, or Fruitwood
  • Large Cutting Board
  • Paper Towels
  • Large Baking Sheet with Wire Rack
  • Internal Meat Thermometers
  • Carving Knife
  • Insulated BBQ Gloves


  • 2 Whole Chickens
  • Your Favorite BBQ rub or our "In a Pinch BBQ Rub" below

Dry Brine

  • 4 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Course Ground Black Pepper

In a Pinch BBQ Rub

  • 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ Tbsp Course Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper optional


Clean the Chicken

  • Clean, rinse, and pat dry the whole chickens well with paper towels.
    2 Whole Chickens
  • Trim any excess pieces of skin or fat off of the chickens.
    trimming a raw whole chicken

Dry Brine the Chicken Overnight

  • Place the chickens on a wire rack placed on top of a baking sheet.
    a raw whole chicken
  • Mix together the 4 Tbsp Kosher salt and 1 Tbsp pepper, or use your favorite BBQ rub, and sprinkle generously over the tops and bottoms of each chicken. DO NOT use cooking oil to adhere or skin will not get crispy.
    4 Tbsp Kosher Salt, 1 Tbsp Fresh Course Ground Black Pepper
    seasoning a whole chicken
  • Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.
    a brined and seasoned whole chicken

Remove the Next Day

  • Take the chickens out of the refrigerator and wipe off any excess salt still remaining on the outside with a damp paper towel.
  • If you only used Salt and Pepper to Dry Brine, mix the In a Pinch BBQ Rub ingredients together and apply some to all sides of the chickens. Or add a little more of your favorite BBQ rub for chicken
    2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar, 2 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt, ½ Tbsp Course Ground Black Pepper, ½ Tbsp Chili Powder, ½ Tbsp Garlic Powder, 1 Tsp Onion Powder

Start the Pit Boss Pellet Grill

  • Remove the fire pot from the bottom of the Pit Boss and clean out any ashes left over from the last cook. Replace it and make sure it is secured in place with the clips on either side. Also, wrap the drip tray in aluminum foil to limit cleanup needed later.
    a dirty ash pot
  • Add your chosen pellets to the hopper, start the Pit Boss pellet grill and put it on the "Smoke" setting.
    pellets in a pit boss hopper
  • If there are no pellets in the auger, hold the "Prime" button until you hear pellets begin falling in the fire pot. This will speed up the auger to prime it full of pellets before you start preheating.
    the prime button on a pit boss pellet grill
  • Once the Pit boss begins to produce thick white smoke, let it run for about 5-7 minutes until the smoke turns more of a clearish blue color. This means the fire rod has fully heated up to burn the pellets more cleanly.
    a pit boss pellet grill making smoke
  • Next, set the temperature to preheat the Pit Boss pellet grill to 350°F. We will drop this temperature before we start cooking.
  • Fill an aluminum pan with water pan if you want to add extra moisture, and place it on the far left side of the Pit Boss pellet grill. Place a disposable bucket liner in the grease bucket as well if you want to limit cleanup later.
  • Once the Pit Boss has come up to 350°F, drop the temperature on the control panel to 325° and clean the grill grates with a good grill brush and close the lid.

Smoking the Whole Chicken on the Pit Boss Pellet Grill

  • Position your seasoned whole chickens on the grates breasts up and the legs pointing to the hotter RIGHT side of the grill.
    a temperature probe in a whole chicken smoking on a pit boss pellet grill
  • Place an internal temperature probe if you have one into the center of one of the breasts, and another one, if you have one, into the middle of one of the thighs.
  • Close the lid. Rotate occasionally for even cooking.
  • When the internal temperature of the breasts has reached 165°F, and the internal temperature of the thighs hits 175°F, carefully remove the chickens from the Pit Boss.
    an internal temperature probe showing 165 degrees on a pit boss smoked whole chicken

Rest and Carve

  • Let the chickens rest for 15-20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to distribute.
    a pit boss smoked whole chicken
  • Carve, plate, and serve immediately.


Calories: 350kcal
Keyword barbecue chicken, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Smoked Chicken, Dry Brine, pellet grill, Pellet Grill Chicken, Pit Boss Chicken, Pit Boss Smoked Chicken, Pit Boss Whole Chicken, Smoked Chicken, smoked whole chicken
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