Smoked Chicken Quarters

  • Recipe Type


  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time

    1-2 hrs

  • Method


  • Servings

    Serves 6

Don’t you just love the smell of a good BBQ going down?  The smell of the charcoal burning, the beautiful aroma of smoking wood floating in the air, it’s enough to make my mouth water and my belly start rumbling.  Well we decided to take advantage of a beautiful, HOT Florida day and smoke some chicken quarters in a Pit Barrel smoker.

This type of cooker is very easy to use and creates some incredibly tasty and juicy meats.  There are a number of different ways to cook in these barrels and we opted to hang our meat so the smoke and heat would completely surround it and fully develop the flavor.  It was something a bit different for me and I was very impressed with the results.

The chicken was treated to an overnight dry brine using The Grill Dads new rubs from Spiceology.  The dry brine process allows the meat to really absorb the flavors of the rubs and dry out the skin for a crispier bite when it is cooked.  If you’ve never tried it, I’d highly recommend you do, it will really up your chicken game!  I also used Barrel Proof Bourbon Smoking Chips for this for a nice sweet flavor.  You could use any number of smoking woods for this but I’d recommend a more mellow smoking wood for any poultry.  Some good examples to use to smoke chicken are citrus woods, maple, cherry or pecan.  You can use whatever you’d like but these are some of my favorites.

Video Recipe


  1. Prepare chicken by patting it dry and setting it on the rack.  Coat the chicken with your dry brine.  Make sure to slide your finger in between the skin and the meat and get some of that brine in there.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least a few hours and overnight if possible.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out for 20 minutes or so to allow it to warm up a little bit.  In the meantime, light the charcoal in the barrel (or other grill) and allow it to come to temperature.  Just before putting the chicken in, place your smoking wood on the hot coals.  Hang the chicken on the bars in the barrel or place them on the grate in your grill.  Cook the chicken until it hits the desired temperature. 165° for white meat and 185° for dark meat.
  3. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to cool for five minutes before diving in.  This will give the chicken a chance to reabsorb all of those tasty juices and give you a moist flavorful bite.  Careful, it will run down your chin!

If your house is like mine, you will have plenty of hungry mouths come running once this tasty chicken is ready.  Lynn and my daughter Kaitlyn graciously showed up at just the right time to help enjoy these delicious quarters.  I hope that you enjoy making these as much as I did.  It was a really hot day and that dunk in the pool was perfect!

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