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close-up of smoked pulled chicken stacked on white plate

Smoked Pulled Chicken

This smoked pulled chicken just melts in your mouth and is loaded with flavor. Oh and it's great on its own or added to other dishes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 344kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce

Apple Cider Injection

  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Sweet Rub

  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Remove the giblets, heart and neck from the chicken and pat dry.
  • Combine the apple cider, melted butter, garlic powder and salt in a jar. Inject the mixture 3 times in each breast, twice in each thigh and once in each leg.
  • Mix rub ingredients in bowl and rub outside the chicken.
  • Preheat smoker to 225°F. Place the chicken in the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. It should take about 45 minutes per lb, so 2.5-3.5 hours depending on the size of the chicken.
  • Once done, remove and let rest for 15 minutes. Shred and drizzle some BBQ sauce over it.


  • Use apple, cherry or maple wood for smoking. They all complement the chicken perfectly.
  • You can skip the injection if you want. It just keeps the chicken super juicy.
  • If you don't want to make your own spice rub, just use store-bought.
  • When the chicken reaches the correct temperature, cover loosely in aluminum foil for 15-20 minutes before shredding. Letting it rest keeps the juices in the chicken.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 18g