Easy Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill Recipe: (Tender & Tasty)


Introduction of Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill

Whole chicken on pellet grill are succulent and flavorful, bringing out the juiciest and most bursting flavors. You will be guided through every step of the process in this comprehensive guide, from choosing the chicken to carving it for serving. You can impress your friends and family with mouthwatering smoked chicken dishes when you elevate your grilling game!

Understanding the Pellet Grill

Discover how pellet grills work, what makes them unique, and why they provide that delicious smoky flavor.

Pellet Grill Basics: Know the basics of a pellet grill, which typically includes a hopper for wood pellets, an auger for feeding pellets to the firepot, and a digital temperature controller.

How it Works: The pellet grill works by igniting pellets with a heating element, producing smoke and heat. Using an electronic controller, the temperature can be controlled precisely and consistently.

Advantages of Pellet Grills: With pellet grills, you can enjoy the advantages of versatility, convenience, and the ability to add wood-fired flavors to your food.

Selecting the Perfect Whole Chicken

Learn how to choose the perfect whole chicken, including factors such as size, freshness, and source.

Check for Freshness: Make sure the chicken is plump, firm, and moist, without discoloration or unpleasant odor. Skin that is slimy or sticky should be avoided.

Size Matters: You should choose a whole chicken that suits your cooking needs and the number of servings you require. Depending on how many people you’ll be serving, consider the size of your pellet grill.

Inspect the Skin: Choosing chicken with smooth, unbroken skin, and avoiding any with blemishes or tears, will improve the cooking process and appearance.

Preparing the Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill for Smoking

Learn how to enhance the flavor and tenderness of the chicken by brining and seasoning it.

  • After rinsing with cold water, pat the chicken dry.
  • Brining the chicken for 4-12 hours is also an option.
  • After seasoning the chicken, let it rest before smoking.
Brining the Chicken:

Understand the benefits of brining and follow a simple brine recipe for the best results. Brining is one of the most important steps in preparing your whole chicken for smoking on a pellet grill.

A saltwater solution is used to soak the chicken, which adds moisture and imparts delicious flavors. A tender and flavorful smoked chicken can be achieved by following these simple steps.

  • Mix water and kosher salt (1/4 to 1/2 cup per gallon).
  • Let the chicken soak in the brine for 4-12 hours, then refrigerate.
  • It is important to rinse the chicken before seasoning and smoking it on a pellet grill.
Seasoning the Chicken:

Learn about different seasoning options and techniques to infuse the chicken with a burst of flavor.

  • Paprika: The red spice gives the chicken a mild, smoky taste and vibrant color, enhancing its appearance and flavor.
  • Black Pepper: The pungency and heat of black pepper complement the other flavors of the seasoning.
  • Garlic Powder: With its rich, savory flavor, garlic powder infuses the chicken with a garlic aroma without the need for fresh garlic.
  • Onion Powder: A mild onion flavor without the texture of fresh onions, onion powder enhances the taste of chicken.
  • Dried Thyme: The dried thyme gives the chicken a mild herbal flavor with earthy and minty notes.
  • Dried Rosemary: It pairs well with other herbs and enhances the chicken’s taste with its aromatic piney flavor.
  • Dried Oregano: Adding a zesty and slightly bitter taste to the overall seasoning blend, dried oregano enhances the taste.
  • Ground Cumin: Cumin contributes warm and earthy flavors, adding a hint of spice to the chicken.
  • Chili Powder (optional): Chili powder adds spiciness to the seasoning blend for those who prefer some heat.
  • Melted Butter or Olive Oil: Applied to the chicken’s skin and meat for basting, melted butter or olive oil adds moisture and richness.
  • Barbecue Sauce: This sauce is used for basting and infuse the chicken with tangy, sweet, or savory flavors.
  • Wood Pellets: Wood pellets give the chicken a distinct smoky flavor during cooking on a pellet grill.

Preparing the Pellet Grill

Prepare your pellet grill for smoking by selecting the right wood pellets and setting it up correctly.

Setting up the Grill: Ensure that the grill grates and interior are clean to remove any residue left over from previous use.

A drip tray or aluminum foil can be placed under the grates to catch drippings and ease cleanup. Ensure the firepot is empty and ash-free.

Load the Hopper: Choose the wood pellets you wish to use and fill the hopper with them. Be sure to check the pellet feeder’s instructions for the proper fill level, as overfilling may cause problems.

Ignite the Grill: Set the pellet grill to the desired smoking temperature, typically 180°F to 275°F (82°C to 135°C) for smoking chicken.

Preheat the Grill: Make sure that the pellet grill reaches the set temperature after 10-15 minutes of preheating.

As a result, you’ll be able to cook at a stable temperature and generate a sufficient amount of smoke for flavor.

Choosing the Right Wood Pellets:

Find the perfect wood pellet flavor and pairing for your smoked chicken by exploring various wood pellet flavors.

Select high-quality wood pellets that complement the flavor of the food you’re smoking. Popular options include hickory, apple, cherry, and mesquite.

Make sure the pellets are compatible with your pellet grill’s brand and model.

Setting up the Grill:

Follow step-by-step instructions to properly set up and preheat your pellet grill.

Location and Safety: For your pellet grill, choose a safe and well-ventilated outdoor area away from flammable materials. Make sure there is enough space for airflow and easy access to electricity.

Assembly (if applicable): Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when assembling your pellet grill. All parts should be securely attached, so double check.

Power Source: Plug the grill into a grounded electrical outlet or a compatible power source. Battery-powered pellet grills may also be available.

Pellet Hopper: You can use any type of wood pellets you prefer in the hopper. Make sure you use pellets that are the right size and type for your grill.

Firepot and Drip Tray: Make sure the firepot is clean and free of ash or debris. To make cleanup easier, place a drip tray or aluminum foil under the grill grates.

Digital Controller: Use the digital controller to set the desired temperature for smoking on the pellet grill. Ensure that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when operating the controller.

Preheat: Preheat the grill for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature. The result is a stable cooking environment and a sufficient amount of smoke to enhance flavor.

Grill Grates and Thermometer:  Make sure the grill grates are clean and ready to use. Monitor the cooking temperature with an additional meat thermometer or the built-in thermometer.

Now that your grill is properly set up and preheated, you’re ready to begin smoking and create delicious dishes.

Smoking whole chicken on pellet grill

Follow these detailed guidelines and tips to smoke a whole chicken perfectly.

Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill temp and Cooking Time Guidelines:

Learn how to cook different sizes of chicken at the ideal temperature and for how long.

  • A pellet grill can be used to smoke whole chicken between 225°F and 250°F (107°C and 121°C).
  • Cooking time should be approximately 20-30 minutes per pound (45-68 minutes per kilogram).
  • To ensure safe and fully cooked meat, the internal temperature of the chicken must reach 165°F (74°C).
Adding Smoke Flavor:

Learn how to enhance the smoke flavor using additional techniques and ingredients for smoked whole chicken on pellet grill.

  • If you want to add smoke flavor to your barbecue, choose wood pellets such as apple, hickory, or cherry.
  • Directly place the seasoned chicken on the grill grates, allowing the smoke to envelop it.
  • The chicken will absorb more smoky goodness if the grill lid is closed during smoking.
Monitoring the Cooking Process:

Discover the importance of using a meat thermometer and how to check for doneness.

  • Make sure the chicken’s internal temperature is monitored with a meat thermometer.
  • Without touching the bone, check the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken.

To maintain the desired cooking temperature during the smoking process, adjust the grill settings as necessary.

Achieving Traeger Whole Chicken Crispy Skin

Find out how to achieve that coveted crispy skin while maintaining the juicy interior of the smoked chicken.

  • For the final minutes of cooking, raise the grill temperature or use the direct heat option (if available).
  • It is important to monitor the chicken closely in order to prevent burning, allowing the skin to crisp to a golden brown.
  • To maintain the crispy texture, rest the chicken briefly after smoking.

Resting and Carving the Smoked Chicken

Learn about the resting period of whole chicken on pellet grill and the best way to carve your smoked chicken for the most appealing presentation.

  • Before carving the smoked chicken, let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  • The resting process helps redistribute juices for a more flavorful, tender result.
  • chicken should be carved carefully and served with an impressive presentation.

Tips for Cleanup and Maintenance

Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean the grill grates, drip tray, and interior to prevent grease and residue buildup. Cleaning your grill with a grill brush and warm soapy water is effective. 

Emptying the Ash: Make sure that the ash is regularly emptied from the firepot in order to maintain proper airflow and prevent clogging. Ash should be disposed of safely in a designated container.

Covering the Grill: Protect your pellet grill from the elements and extend its lifespan by covering it with a waterproof and UV-resistant cover when not in use.

Inspecting Parts: Make sure the auger, igniter, and temperature probes are regularly inspected on the grill. If any parts are damaged or worn, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

Seasonal Maintenance: At the beginning and end of each grilling season, perform thorough inspections and maintenance. Apply lubricants to movable parts to prevent rust or corrosion.

Keeping your pellet grill clean and maintained will ensure you have many more enjoyable and flavorful grilling sessions in the future.


Finally, summarize the guide and encourage readers to try smoked whole chicken on the pellet grill. After reading this comprehensive article, they will be well on their way to becoming grill masters!

Traeger whole chicken is a delicious and easy dish to make on a pellet grill. With this guide, readers can now confidently try their hand at this classic dish. Give it a try and enjoy!

whole chicken on pellet grill

Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill Recipe:

A pellet grill is the perfect way to smoke a whole chicken for a summer barbecue! This whole chicken is smoked to perfection with a simple but flavorful spice rub for succulent, tender and moist meat. You can impress your friends and family with mouthwatering smoked chicken dishes when you elevate your grilling game!
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Servings 4
Calories 190 kcal


  • 1 whole chicken (approximately 4-6 pounds or 1.8-2.7 kg)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. chili powder (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • salt (to taste)
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce


  • Dry the chicken with paper towels first. Remove any excess fat and giblets from the cavity if they're present.
  • Start your pellet grill by preheating it to around 375°F (190°C).
  • You won't have to constantly adjust the heat on pellet grills because they maintain consistent temperatures.
  • Add your choice of wood pellets to the pellet hopper. The most popular options for chicken include apple, cherry, and hickory.
  • To prevent flare-ups, place a disposable aluminum drip pan under the grates.
  • To make the mixture, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, paprika, red chili powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated before mixing.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken in a shallow dish, making sure to coat whole chicken thoroughly.
  • Make sure the chicken is evenly covered with the marinade by massaging it in.
  • Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • The chicken should marinate for at least one hour, but ideally it should marinate for four to eight hours or even overnight.
  • Let the chicken sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking to remove the chill.
  • On the grill grates, place the seasoned whole chicken breast-side up. After the lid has been closed, cook the chicken for about 60 to 90 minutes, depending on its size.
  • For a 165°F (74°C) internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh or breast, you must use a meat thermometer.
  • If you want to add more flavor and moisture to the chicken, baste it with your favorite sauce during cooking.
  • Additionally, some people like to flip the chicken halfway through to ensure even cooking and browning. However, this step is optional.
  • When the chicken reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  • This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier. It is ready for carving and serving after resting.
  • Enjoy! Whole Chicken on Pellet Grill
Keyword smoked whole chicken on pellet grill, smoking whole chicken on pellet grill, whole chicken on pellet grill

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