Smoked BBQ Chicken on the Weber Kettle
The original charcoal kettle grill meets a classic BBQ recipe. We want to show you how to smoke a whole BBQ chicken on the Original Weber Kettle charcoal grill, with the added help of a BBQ Dragon heat deflector for indirect smoking. A homemade BBQ dry rub and some applewood chunks add all the flavor you need, proving just how delicious Weber charcoal cooking can be.
PREP 30 min COOK 2.5-3 hrs READY IN 3-3.5 hrs Serves 4-6 people
- 5–6-lb whole chicken
- ½ stick unsalted butter (for basting)
- 4 applewood chunks
- For BBQ Chicken Dry Rub:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp salt
- For Butter Paste:
- ½ stick softened, unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp BBQ chicken rub
- Special Equipment:
- Heat deflector
- Blend together all ingredients for the BBQ chicken dry rub in a mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix melted butter, olive oil, and a portion of the BBQ chicken rub together to form a seasoning paste, then set aside. This will help the seasoning spread across the bird and keep it moist while it cooks.
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. This will allow the chicken to lie flat while it smokes, helping it cook quicker and more evenly.
- Make a small incision between the top of the breast bone, from the bone side of the chicken, to allow the chicken to lie as flat as possible.
- Liberally season chicken with the butter paste, both outside the skin and underneath the skin of the chicken, to ensure the meat absorbs plenty of flavor.
- Once coated in butter paste, add extra dry rub as desired wherever needed.
- Place chicken in the fridge while you preheat your grill.
- Light a chimney starter, about a quarter full of charcoal.
- Lay a bed of unlit coal in the base of your grill, spreading it across the whole bottom layer. Your heat deflector will create indirect heat on its own, so you don’t have to worry about banking the coals to only one side. This setup also allows you to start with enough charcoal to last the entire cook without refueling.
- Pour lit coals in the chimney over the unlit coals in your grill, forming a small pile in the center of the coal bed.
- Add your applewood chunks in various spots on top of coals to provide consistent smoke.
- Place your heat deflector (we used the BBQ Dragon brand) in your kettle grill, beneath the pegs that hold the cooking grate in place.
- Place the cooking grate inside the grill, and shut the lid to begin preheating. For smoking temperatures, vent settings on the Weber Kettle are as follows: about a quarter of the way open on the bottom damper, and about halfway open on the top damper.
- Allow the grill to preheat for 10 minutes. Shoot for a temperature between 250 degrees and 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place chicken on the grill grates above the heat deflector so it can smoke with indirect heat. Stick a temperature probe in the thickest part of the breast to monitor its progress and the ambient temperature of the grill.
- Close the lid, being sure to position its vent above the chicken so heat and smoke draft over it before exiting the grill.
- After 1 hour of smoking, baste the chicken with melted butter and rotate it 180 degrees so the opposite breast side is closest to the opening of the deflector stone. This slight adjustment will ensure even cooking.
- About 2 hours into the cook, open the top vent completely to allow the chicken to finish cooking around 315 degrees. By this point, the fat should be rendered and pack plenty of smoke flavor. Increasing the finishing temperature will save you time and deepen the browning on the outside of the chicken, but be sure to keep the grill under 350 degrees to ensure the brown sugar in the dry rub doesn’t burn.
- Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees on your thermometer readout, remove it from the grill.
- Tent the chicken with foil, and allow it to rest at least 10 minutes.
- Carve your chicken, and enjoy!