Smoking half chickens for first time, need guidance


Active member
Jul 18, 2019
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Statesville NC
Pro 34
Hi guys, newbie here. Just got my first Traeger on Monday and I am already in love. Cooked some Mahi first time out, came out swimmingly. Smoked burgers last night to rave reviews, and I am going to drop a couple thick NY Strips on it tomorrow. No worries with any of that.

I am planning on cooking about a dozen 1/2 chickens on Saturday. They are currently brining, and I have my rub picked out. I found a recipe online where you set it to ‘smoke’ for 3 hours, then bump the heat up to 225 and cook until you reach an internal temp of 160. Just trying to get a general idea of how long that will take, so I can plan my start times accordingly.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks guys!
Situation Report: came out ok. Researched and talked it over with a friend, started them at 275. Ended up backing them down to 180 after a couple hours when I started getting instant read temps of 150 in the breast meat. They got done much faster than I had planned, so I started pulling them off and sauced them and held them in the oven at 200 with a pan of water until time to serve.

Lots of good reviews from the folks in attendance.

Personally, I was fairly pleased. I did not get the ‘easy release’ thigh joint that I like to see in smoked chicken. Next time I will start the temp lower at the start, then bring it up later to get the crisp skin.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.