This is by far the best barbecue chicken recipe that we have ever tasted. It is fairly easy to do and most of all, it is fun. And the taste it gives off is a nice smoky woodsy chicken taste.. very satisfying. Now, a lot of traditional meat smokers will prefer to use whole chickens and you can certainly do that if you want. Be sure to increase your cooking times though. I have found that using a cut up chicken works much better for me because I like a stronger smoked meat taste, and the smoke can sink into the cut up chicken more thoroughly than it can with a whole chicken.
A note about using barbecue sauce on your smoked chicken--> Guys, this one is a toss-up. Yes, I love the seared on barbecue taste but I also love that great pure grill flavor; so it is truly up to you. If you do use barbecue sauce with your grilled chicken, be sure to let it blacken a bit on both sides (not too much, just in spots) because you don't want runny sauce ruining your whole barbecue chicken recipe.
Here is the barbecue chicken recipe basic version:
SMOKED BARBECUE CHICKEN RECIPE
PREP TIME WITH MARINATING: ABOUT 2 TO 4 HOURS, OR YOU CAN MARINATE THE CHICKEN OVERNIGHT
2 CUT UP CHICKENS
1 BOTTLE OF ITALIAN DRESSING
SALT, PEPPER, AND GARLIC POWDER
DRIED RED PEPPER FLAKES
3 TBSP LIME JUICE
YOUR FAVORITE BBQ SAUCE
SMOKING WOOD CHIPS OR CHUNKS (I PREFER OAK BUT USE WHAT YOU CAN)
In a large mixing bowl, pour the Italian dressing in along with the lime juice. Add 3 teaspoons of pepper, 2 teaspoons of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of garlic powder. Add in 1 tablespoon of the red pepper flakes. If you have a large freezer bag to marinate the chicken in then use that; otherwise, you'll just have to use the mixing bowl.
Skin the chicken if you prefer and put it in the marinade mixture. Seal tightly and put in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, start your barbecue charcoal grill with the charcoal just as normal. While you are waiting for the coals to turn gray, go ahead and soak the wood chips in water.
When the coals are ready, spread them out on the bottom of your grill as normal. Put several new briquettes of charcoal on top and also a couple scoops of the wood chips, making sure to shake as much water off as possible before putting them into the fire so that you do not douse your fire. Obviously, don't burn yourself.
Place the grate directly over the fire but not too low. Brush the grate with oil. Do not use cooking spray as this will blow you up, and possibly your neighbor's dog. Immediately put the chicken on and then choke all air off of the fire to stifle the flare ups. You can save the marinade if you wish as it makes a fine barbecue sauce base or a great basting sauce.
Once the fire has died down a bit, open a tiny hole for air to pass in, just enough to keep the fire smoldering without burning too high. Chicken burns real easy, especially if the skin is still on, so be careful here. Better to have a slow fire and have it take longer to cook than to have a ruined barbecue chicken meal.
Barbecued chicken takes longer to cook than a lot of meats so be patient. Also, place the thicker pieces over the hottest part of the fire, and the wings to the outside. Add more wood chips and charcoal as necessary. Turn several times during the cooking process; move the positions of the chicken pieces to help ensure even cooking. Wait until chicken no longer sticks to grill grates before turning the first time.
When barbecuing chicken is nearly done (juices will run clear on piercing), slather a generous amount of barbecue sauce on each side and sear it on both sides until it is not longer runny and it shows several black spots. Serve barbecue chicken recipe warm and with additional barbecue sauce on the side if your prefer.