People normally roast chicken in the oven, but you can also roast it on the pellet grill for an extra layer of smoky flavor.
This recipe is a great way to incorporate the flavors of classic roast chicken with a touch of barbecue flair and nice crispy skin.
Orange and Herb Roasted Chicken on the Smoker
This smoke-roasted chicken takes a bit longer than some of our other chicken recipes because the whole chicken is left intact. If you want to save a little time, be sure to check out our Whole Spatchcock Chicken on a Pellet Grill recipe.
The key is to season the chicken and infuse flavor from inside the bird’s cavity.
The herb and orange flavor make this chicken perfect for any holiday meal.
You can use a combination of various fruits, citrus, and herbs to stuff the chicken and add flavor from both outside and inside the chicken.
How to make Smoked Orange and Herb Roasted Chicken
1. Prepping the chicken
Depending on where you buy your chicken, the giblets may or may not be included in the bird’s cavity. Before you start prepping, be sure to clean out any giblets left inside the chicken.
The first step is to season your chicken. I used a homemade blend of Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder for this recipe, but you can also use a store-bought SPG blend as well if you have one on hand.
Combine the seasonings in a small bowl, then season the chicken generously. Be sure to lift up the wings and legs to season underneath, and sprinkle a little seasoning inside the cavity as well.
Once your chicken is seasoned, you are ready to stuff the cavity. Slice the orange in half and stuff it inside. Depending on the size of your chicken and your orange, it may be too small to fit a whole orange inside. In this case, just simply use half of an orange. Then add the sprigs of rosemary and thyme inside as well.
Now grab a couple of toothpicks and pin the bird’s wings to the breast. This will help prevent the wings from overcooking and also make for a prettier presentation once the chicken is finished cooking.
With a small piece of butcher’s twine, tie the legs together tightly.
2. Fire up the smoker
Preheat your smoker to 275°F and place your chicken directly on the grates.
This recipe can be made on any style of smoker or grill that is able to hold a consistent temperature of around 275°F to 300°F.
I smoked this chicken on my Camp Chef Woodwind Pro at 275°F with a smoke level of 5.
For fuel, I used the Bear Mountain Gourmet BBQ pellets. They are a blend of oak, hickory, maple, and cherry so they have a variety of flavor profiles that pair wonderfully with chicken.
As I mentioned before, smoking a whole chicken that is still intact (as opposed to a spatchcock chicken or chicken halves) takes a bit longer, but the result is well worth the wait.
Toward the end of the cooking process, I like to baste the chicken with a mixture of butter, garlic, and herbs.
Grab a small pot – I like to use this Lodge small cast iron pot for this application. It even comes with a small basting brush, making it perfect for basting while cooking.
Add your butter, garlic, and rosemary to the pot and just place it on the grates of the smoker next to your chicken after about an hour of cooking.
From then on, you will baste the chicken in butter every 30 minutes or so until it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast.
Timing is dependent on the size of your chicken.
This chicken took 2 hours and 40 minutes to reach 165°F in the thickest part of the breast, but I have had chickens take both longer and shorter depending on size.
That is why I recommend using an instant read thermometer when you are smoking chicken.
I like the ThermoPro Lightning probe. It’s the newest thermometer that ThermoPro has, and it reads the temperature in less than 1 second, and it’s waterproof and very durable.
Once your chicken reads 165°F internally, you can pull it off and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
You don’t need to rest for very long, but it is important to let the chicken cool slightly and let the juices in the meat redistribute prior to carving. This will yield the most tender and juicy chicken.
Slice the chicken up and serve on a platter so everyone can grab their favorite bit.
What to serve with a smoked roast chicken
There are not many side dishes that don’t pair well with chicken. Here are a few of my favorites to serve alongside Smoked Roast Chicken:
- Easy Smoked Mac & Cheese
- Bacon-wrapped Smoked Carrots
- The Best Pasta Salad for BBQ
- Ultra-Crispy Potato Wedges
- Smoked Green Bean Casserole
Another great thing about this chicken recipe is that you can easily spice it up with the addition of a sauce.
I like to serve the chicken without sauce but offer the sauce on the side for my guests to use if they want to.
Here are some great sauces to pair with this Smoked Roast Chicken:
- 5 lb whole chicken
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- ½ tbsp black pepper course grind
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 navel orage cut in half
- 6 sprigs Rosemary fresh
- 4 sprigs Thyme fresh
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- 6 cloves garlic
- Preheat your smoker to 275°F.
- Open your chicken and remove any giblets from inside the cavity. Pat dry with paper to towels.
- Combine the Kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl and season the chicken generously on all sides. Be sure to season under the wings and legs and sprinkle the remaining seasoning inside of the cavity.
- Stuff the chicken with the orange, 4 sprigs of rosemary, and 4 sprigs of thyme (note: reserve 2 sprigs of rosemary for the herb butter baste).
- Pin the wings to the breast of the chicken with two toothpicks, then tie the legs together with a small piece of butcher's twine.
- Once your grill is preheated, place the chicken directly on the grates.
- After it has smoked for about an hour, grab a small pot and add the butter, garlic cloves, and remaining rosemary. Place the pot on the smoker next to the chicken and let the butter melt.
- Baste the chicken in butter every 30 minutes until it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast (about 1-1½ more hours).
- Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.