One of the very first things we learned to smoke when we bought our first smoker was how to make a Smoked Dr. Pepper Chicken. This is similar to how to smoke a Beer Can Chicken where you place the can directly up into the chicken to prop it up on the smoker and allow maximum smoke exposure and steam to get into your chicken, which makes it delicious, flavorful, and super tender! Today I wanted to walk you through an easy Dr Pepper Smoked Chicken recipe and you can start experimenting with different ways to smoke chicken on your smoker. This is likely one of the easiest ways to jump into smoking meat, so if you’re new at using a smoker, this is a wonderful introductory smoking recipe!
How to Smoke a Dr Pepper Chicken
To start off, you’ll need your whole chicken, completely dethawed and rubbed down with your favorite rubs. I have a great Smoked Chicken Rub recipe if you want to have a little fun or you can simply season with your favorite store bought chicken rub or even just olive oil and salt and pepper. For the chicken above, we used a store bought rub that is good for chicken grilling. We started by rubbing the outside of the chickens down with olive oil and then generously applying the rub.
Next up, prepare your smoker and add your desired pellets or wood chunks. We actually are doing a post next about the difference between smoking on a pellet smoker versus smoking on a Weber Bullet. There are pros and cons to each, which you can read about HERE.
You will open a can of Dr Pepper or you can even use another darker soda if desired, pour or drink about 1/4 to 1/2 of the can and then place the chicken directly on top of the can. It may take a little maneuvering to prop it up safely. At one point, our chicken actually toppled over during the smoking process, but you can just prop it back up as is–no harm done.
Keep the temperature on the smoker steady in the smoke range around 225-250 degrees and place on the smoker for about 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. We use a digital thermometer like this one to accurately track the internal temp of the chicken. You will want to place the thermometer in the deepest part of the chicken breast, careful not to touch the bone. Once you’re at 165, pull the chicken off and let rest, covered in foil, for about 15-30 minutes.
On a traditional Weber Bullet Smoker, the chicken will look very dark on the outside, but you’ll find the meat is deliciously most and tender on the inside…so don’t fret! On a Pellet Smoker/Grill the look will be a little lighter…here’s what the Camp Chef Pellet Grill Dr Pepper Chicken looked like….
So you’ll see that the Camp Chef Smoker gives it a much more golden color and it in general has less smoke flavor, whereas the Weber Bullet Smoker gives it a ton of smokey flavor. It just depends on which you prefer.
Both chickens are off the grill…the one on the left is made with the Weber Bullet Smoker and the one on the right is made with the Camp Chef Smoker. Let rest and then slice and serve!
We like to use this chicken for a variety of options including just eating as is, making BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with it, or serving over nachos or salads. The nice thing about these small chickens is that they are not expensive and you can get a good amount of meat off for your family…so if you’re into meal planning, this smoked chicken can be used for multiple meals throughout the week ahead. It would even be super delicious in our Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe too!!
Hope you enjoyed another delicious smoked chicken recipe! Leave your questions or comments below and we’ll be happy to respond.
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