Smoked Chicken Quarters Recipe

Being in the back yard, hearing the children having fun, and smoking some good food is one of my favorite activities. My family’s favorite thing that I cook for them is smoked chicken quarters. Because they love it so much, I started a little tradition of preparing this on the last Friday of every month.


smoked chicken quarters

If you’re looking into making this yourself, I will show you what ingredients you need, instructions on how to prepare everything, as well as answer some questions you may have.

What temperature is smoked chicken done at?

There’s actually not one temperature. With some recipes, you have to set it to a certain temperature and leave it there until the food is done cooking. With this, however, you preheat the smoker to 275F and let the chicken sit there until the internal temperature is at 160F.

how long to smoke chicken quarters at 275

Do you flip the chicken when smoking?

Yes and no. It’s really about personal preference. For some people, they decide to flip the chicken while it’s smoking so there will be even cooking to both sides.

However, this isn’t always necessary with chicken. A lot of the time the smoker will do the job for you and make sure there is even cooking throughout. With this recipe no flipping is required as all you have to do is let the chicken sit there and take them out when they’re ready.

It should be noted that if you are going to flip it, don’t do it often. This is because the temperature drops every time you open the lid. You want the temperature to decline at a steady rate and by opening the lid, it will decrease the temperature at a faster rate.

smoked chicken quarters recipe

How do you get crispy skin on smoked chicken?

One of the best ways I get crispy chicken is by doing this. Once the chicken is done smoking, I put some butter on it and place it under the broil for about 2-4 minutes on the bottom rack. This usually gives me that nice crispy texture I am looking for when making chicken.

Another option you can try out is to smoke the meat at a higher heat level. Personally, I prefer to broil the chicken, but this is also a good option.

What makes a good smoked chicken quarters recipe?

The meat plays an important role in all of this. Have you ever had some chicken that was really rubbery? That’s because that was poor quality chicken.

How you prepare everything is obviously important, but if you have poor quality chicken, it can completely ruin the meal.

how to smoked chicken quarters

smoked chicken quarters

Smoked Chicken Quarters

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Delicious smoked chicken quarters ready in under 2 hours!


  • 4 chicken leg quarters, scored
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin


  1. Preheat your smoker to 275F
  2. Grab the spices and combine all of them into a bowl
  3. Brush the chicken with some canola oil
  4. Use the spice mixture to season the chicken. Remember to season under the skin as well
  5. Once everything is seasoned, place the chicken on the rack and smoke the chicken for around 1 1/2 hours
  6. When the internal temperature reaches 160F remove the chicken and let it stand for 10 minutes to let it reach 165F

I know this seems like a lot but honestly, once you’ve made this enough times it becomes pretty easy. I like to do something productive like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, or even playing with the kids while the chicken is smoking.

Don’t completely forget about the chicken though. The smoker is doing all of the work but be mindful and make sure to check up on the chicken to make sure everything is going okay. You don’t have to do this often, only one to two times is sufficient. Other than that, enjoy the food!

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