Leg Quarters of Smoked Chicken

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Leg Quarters of Smoked Chicken
  1. Combine salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cayenne in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

  2. Three hours before cooking, set an electric smoker to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Keep the top vent closed.

  3. When ready to cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator. Place a chicken leg quarter on each of the four wire racks. Place the racks into the smoker and add water to the water pan. Add two loads of soaked wood chips according to the manufacturer’s instructions and open the vent.

  4. Smoke chicken until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 2 1/2 hours, adding more wood chips after each hour of cooking. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).


Instead of marinating the chicken in the dry rub, you can use a store-bought or homemade brine (with water, apple juice, salt, and sugar), or even an Italian dressing. If you use brine or dressing, don’t marinate the chicken for longer than 8 hours or the vinegar will start to cook the meat.

You can use any wood chips you like, such as cherry or hickory. Add apple juice to the water pan if desired.

If you’re removing the skin before marinating and cooking the chicken, set the smoker to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C).

Editor’s Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of dry marinade ingredients. The actual amount consumed will vary.
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