These Smoked Chicken Quarters are tender and juicy, smoked to perfection with a simple homemade dry rub. An optional wet brine is included in this recipe!
What's your favorite cut of chicken? We all have different favorites in my house. My son loves drumsticks, I love skin-on chicken breast and my husband is all about the dark meat; backs and thighs! Recently, I brought home a huge tray of chicken quarters. They were on MEGA sale! My husband was thrilled because chicken leg quarters have drumsticks, thighs and a piece of the chicken back. All of his favorite cuts! We put our heads together for this smoked chicken quarters recipe.
Amazing!!! I made these for my family of 12 and smoked them all by myself! Usually my husband does the smoking, but I gave it a whirl, and EVERYONE ranted and raved about how delicious these were! I did brine them for a few hours, which was super easy and worth the extra effort. Thank you for sharing such an easy, DELICIOUS recipe! My oldest boys also have smokers and told me this was the best chicken they've had!"
This smoked chicken quarters recipe yields tender, juicy chicken with a well-seasoned skin. When it comes to smoking chicken quarters, I believe in "keeping it simple!' Cooking chicken in the smoker gives it so much flavor. Your job is just to make sure you enhance that flavor, and cook it to the right temperature. No need to over complicate it!
Smoked Chicken Quarters Brine
Please note that I did NOT brine the chicken for this recipe. I tend to only do wet brine on pieces of meat that have low fat content, like turkey breasts. But, doing a quick brine never hurts, if you have the time!
If you'd like to brine your chicken quarters, I'd recommend using the following brine solution for up to 5 pounds of cut chicken pieces.
- 8 cups warm water
- ¼ cup salt
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup olive oil
Add salt, sugar, soy sauce and oil to the slightly warmed water. Stir vigorously to dissolve, then pour over chicken pieces. Store in refrigerator for a minimum of one hour, up to overnight if time allows.
How long to smoke chicken quarters
The length of time needed to smoke chicken quarters will vary depending on the temperature of your smoker and how large your chicken pieces are. Since those items vary, here are two suggestions:
- At 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect to smoke your chicken quarters for about 2.5 to 3 hours.
- At 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect to smoke your chicken quarters for 1.5-2 hours.
We like to smoke our meat at higher temperatures if it has skin, as this often renders a crispier, less rubbery skin.
Most importantly, your chicken will be done when you hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit using an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the leg.
No matter what anybody tells you, these are the facts! 🙂
If you need a side dish to serve with your juicy, delicious chicken thighs, might I recommend:
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Grilled Corn On the Cob in Foil
- Kale, Mango and Quinoa Salad with Cashews
- 3-4 pounds chicken quarters
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup Perfect Chicken Seasoning
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- Brine the chicken quarters if desired using the instructions in the body of this post, above.
- Rinse the chicken and pat the chicken skin until completely dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the chicken seasoning and brown sugar.
- Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil, then apply the rub to the chicken, rubbing into the nooks and crannies and underneath the skin wherever possible.
- Allow chicken to rest on the counter for a minimum of 30 minutes, to bring up to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, prepare your smoker to cook at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the smoker is prepared, place the chicken quarters on the grate, leaving about 1 inch between pieces.
- Smoke the chicken quarters for about 3 hours, or until they reach 165 degrees in the Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the leg using an instant read thermometer.
- (Optional) If you'd like to crisp the skin up, grill quickly over a hot fire, or place under your oven broiler for 1-2 minutes. Your smoker does not get to high enough temperatures to give you that "super crispy" skin!
We use pecan wood for most any chicken, fish or pork that we smoke. Use your favorite wood!