Temperature Control: Timing Guide for Smoked Chicken

Temperature Control: Timing Guide for Smoked Chicken

One of the most convenient luxuries of cooking with a digital electric smoker is that there is little to no fuss when preparing food like smoked chicken. All you really need to do is check the internal temperature to be sure it reaches the target temperature of 165°F.

It may be tempting to just cook the smoked chicken by setting a timer and assuming that the chicken is done when it goes off, but the only way to know if the chicken is safe to eat is by referring to the internal temperature.

How to Check the Temperature

1

Use a digital meat thermometer.

2

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, taking care to not touch any bones, as this will throw off the temperature reading.

3

Read the temperature. If the temperature has reached 165°F or higher, the smoked chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Smoked Chicken Temperature and Times Chart

1

Whole Chicken:

Smoker temperature - 250°F

Smoking time - 30 to 45 minutes/pound

Finished temperature - 165°F

2

Chicken Breast:

Smoker temperature - 250°F

Smoking time - 30 to 45 minutes/pound

Finished temperature - 165°F

3

Chicken Quarters:

Smoker temperature - 250°F

Smoking time - 4 hours

Finished temperature - 165°F

4

Chicken Thighs/Legs:

Smoker temperature - 250°F

Smoking time - 2 hours

Finished temperature: 165°F

5

Chicken Wings:

Smoker temperature - 250°F

Smoking time - 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Finished temperature - 165°F

Quick Tips

1

Some smokers come with thermometers that will automatically stop cooking and switch to warming mode once the meat has reached the desired temperature.

2

Smoked chicken will continue to cook once you take it out of the smoker. To prevent chicken from overcooking, take it out at 160°F so that it will reach the perfect target temp of 165°F by the time you are ready to eat.

3

If you set your smoker to 250°F, estimate the cook time to be about 30 to 45 minutes per pound.

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