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Whole chicken

by Neil Rankin from Low and Slow

Whole chicken from Low and Slow by Neil Rankin. Make the juiciest, most succulent whole chicken with this recipe. Use a smoker to get the best flavour.


To do this, you follow exactly the same method as given for my roast Slutty chicken (page 96 of Low and Slow), except instead of a slow-cook in the oven we are doing a slow-cook in the smoker. A 1.6–2kg bird will feed 2–4 people.

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1.6-2kg chicken

Essential kit

You will need a smoker and a probe thermometer.


smoker cooking temperature: 120–130°C

cooking time: 1–1½ hours

end internal breast temperature: 68–70°C (leg temp will naturally be higher)

1. Give your chicken your favourite rub and set your smoker to 120°C.

2. As the smoker temperature will not be as accurate as the oven, you need to be more flexible with the cooking time than with a roast chicken. Use a probe thermometer to check that the breasts hit 68°C; with touch, this is the point where the breasts just begin to firm up. Don’t cook the chicken longer than this to be safe because it will self-cook a little further once it’s out of the smoker, and you can always give it more time after it’s jointed. That way you avoid cooking the whole thing dry.

3. You can either eat the chicken straight away, or leave it to cool at room temperature for an hour, then roast in the oven at 240°C for 15 minutes to get a crispier skin.Try served with Gochujang mayo (recipe on page 232 of Low and Slow).

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