Pulled Chicken




Introduction: Pulled Chicken

Pulled Chicken. It's delicious and very easy to make. I usually make this on my charcoal smoker or grill but I wanted to demonstrate how to make it on a gas grill since that's what most people have.

What you will need.

1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
1 "beer can chicken" holder
Seasoning salt
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Black pepper
Your favorite bbq sauce
Wood chips

Step 1: Set Up Your Grill for Indirect Smoking

For this Instructable I used my 2 burner Broil Master gas grill. I placed a cast iron smoker box on the hot side and lined the cold side with foil to catch the drippings.

I layered cherry and mesquite chips in the smoker box.

I started the grill out on Medium so it would heat up quickly and then lowered it to low once the chicken was on.

Step 2: Prep and Season the Bird

While the grill heats up remove chicken from the wrapper and rise in cold water. Dry with paper towels. Remove any excess fat usually found around the body cavity opening.

Combine equal parts seasoning salt, garlic and onion powder with a pinch of black pepper. I start with 2 tsp each. Sprinkle some of the mix in the cavity.

Place the chicken on the holder. If you do not have a holder you can insert a soda or soup can into the body cavity. I did not use a beer can in the holder for this recipe as an experiment. I really don't think it makes a difference. The chicken wsa just as moist as when I have used a beer can in the past.

Separate the skin from the breast on each side and sprinkle seasoning directly onto meat. You don't have to work it down because the juices will do that for you.

Lightly coat exterior of bird with cooking oil or butter. Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning evenly on the exterior of the chicken. The oil or butter help the seasoning to stick to the skin.

Place wing tips behind the bird as shown in the picture below. I like to cut the wing skin before doing this. I think it helps keep the wings in this position as it cooks.

Step 3: Smoke That Chicken

Place the chicken on the holder or can on the cool side of your grill. By this time the chips should be smoking nicely. Close the lid. The temp of the grill should be around 300 degrees F.

Do not open the lid for 1 hour.

After 1 hour rotate the chicken so it's back is facing the fire. Add more wood chips at this time if you like. Close the lid.

After 30 minutes you can start to check the internal temps. You want an internal temp of 180 F or above in both the thigh and breast.

Step 4: Pull the Chicken

Once the chicken has reached the desired internal temp remove it from the grill and let it rest for 10-20 minutes. I do not tent the bird in foil because I want the skin to stay crisp.

Now that the chicken has cooled down start tearing it apart with your hands. I start with the leg quarters first and then remove the breasts.

Remove the skin from the breast of the bird and reserve. Cut the skin into small pieces or run it through a food processor and add back into the pulled chicken.

Now you can add your favorite bbq sauce. I only add enough to lightly coat and moisten the chicken. I used a traditional bottled red sauce along with some of my homemade mustard sauce.

Step 5: Eat and Enjoy

Try not to eat it all in one sitting because the leftovers are killer.

Pulled chicken is an awesome alternative to pulled pork and I'm sure you'll be able to impress the heck out of family and friends with it.

One variation of this recipe I make for Christmas parties is to run the pulled chicken through a food processor to make bbq'd chicken salad. I then spoon the meat onto soft rolls for sandwiches. It's amazing.

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    11 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 5

    That sounds rite tasty. If you put some of those herbs and flavorings under the skin it will stay on or should I say in the chicken so they will be there when you pull the skin back. I love some smoked chicken that is for sure.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks so delicious! I'd love to try your recipe. I have a similar one to yours that I make.

    spark master
    spark master

    10 years ago on Step 5

    I put mine on a spit or right on the grill on a rack (then it must be rotated every 20 mins), mine comes out crispy skin and wonderfully moist. I put chips/herbs in a piece of foil and put them on the fire side. I have a webber with 3 gas jets and turn off the middle one . You can add smoking stuff a few times during the cooking (I use very little)..But I would love to come by and sample your bird she looks yummy to me!! nice instructable.


    10 years ago on Step 3

    "What's up, chicken?"

    "Just 'hangin"


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Just tried this yesterday, turned out excellent! Used Hickory, might try something a little sweeter smoke wise next time (applewood?).


    11 years ago on Step 5

    Nice cook and wish I had a sammich right now. lol I would suggest the reason you are not seeing much difference between the beer canned and no beer can chicken is that you need the heat source right below the to get it hot enough to steam. I agree with you that it will still be good. Also try grape, coke, or root beer in the can for and special treat. Good job!!