K I S S Smoked Chicken

READY IN: 4hrs 10mins
ATM 67
Recipe by ATM 67

For those who haven't heard, K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. This recipe calls for chicken leg quarters (yes, the yucky, fatty, dark meat) and a minimum of seasonings. The technique I use is what I have always heard called an indirect, wet smoke. To be an indirect smoker, the heat source must not have a direct "line of sight" to your meat, and to be a wet smoke, the meat needs to have a source of steam underneath it. My smoker is a tube, with the charcoal on the bottom, a water bowl above the charcoal, and two grates for the meat above. The water bowl acts as both a shield to deflect the direct heat from the meat and as a water source from which steam can be generated. When I prepare this, I prepare 10 pounds of meat at a time. You can cut it down or increase it to meet your needs.

Top Review by Grease

I hate to see any recipe get a one star vote unless it's so bad, I wouldn't give it to my neighbor's dog. Your technique for a wet smoker is just right in my opinion. The results with your choice of seasonings are probably too bland for my taste too although I don't care for a lot of salt. My choice is to brine chicken quarters for a few hours, rinse and dry them and then apply a rub. (I have found good recipes for both brine and rubs at Zaar.) Adding juice to the water in the pan adds a little flavor too. Although my smoker is gas fired, your directions work fine. I have found that if I see a whispy stream of smoke (not a solid column) rising from the smoker at a temperature of about 250° F, I'll have smoked chicken in about 3 hours. Great job on technique!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. At least an hour prior to starting your charcoal fire, soak your wood chips/chunks in water. Use any type of wood you would like, hickory, mesquite, apple, peach, pecan, etc --
  2. Once you have established a bed of hot coals, set your water bowl in place and carefully fill it with water (carefully because you don't want your water to splash up over the side of the bowl and put out your fire underneath).
  3. Leave the skin on the chicken. The combination of the steam from underneath the meat and the fat trapped between the skin and meat will make your meat VERY tender.
  4. Set grates in place and place meat on grates. If you are using a smoker similar to the one I described above, set, load and season one grate at a time.
  5. Sprinkle the meat with all three seasonings, according to your tastes. *One word of caution* If you like salt, as I do, too much salt will make your skin impossible to cut and chew.
  6. Set the lid on your smoker. There should be no need to remove it until your are ready to serve your chicken.
  7. Once your meat in set on the grates and the lid is on your smoker, add a handful of soaked wood chips or a couple of wood chunks to your bed of coals.
  8. Check your smoker periodically, making sure that there is smoke coming out. When there is no smoke, stir your coals and add some more of your soaked wood. Repeat this as often as needed. This is the one time it is good to smoke like a chimney.

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