July Recipes

Brined and Smoked Whole Chicken

Whole brined smoked chicken ready to carve
Hands On:
60 minutes
Total Time:
240 minutes


  • 4 cups water plus 12 cups ice water, divided
  • 1 cup Hy-Vee brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup Hy-Vee kosher sea salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 (4-½-lb.) Hy-Vee True whole chicken, giblets removed
  • Hickory wood chips
  • ¾ cup Big Moe Cason chicken rub
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For brine: Combine 4 cups water, brown sugar, salt, and black peppercorns in a 16-quart stockpot. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer just until sugar and salt dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir 12 cups ice water into brine to cool.
Rinse chicken cavity. Add chicken to brine in stockpot; cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
Soak wood chips in water at least 1 hour. Preheat smoker according to manufacturer's directions to maintain a temperature of 270°. Use wood chips and water pan as directed.
Remove chicken from brine; discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Spray chicken with cooking spray. Sprinkle inside and outside of chicken with chicken rub. Tie legs together with 100% cotton kitchen string.
Place chicken on a greased rack in smoker directly over water pan; close smoker. Smoke for 3 hours or until thermometer inserted into the breast reaches 165°, adding wood chips as needed to maintain smoke. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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