The flavor of this Smoked Pulled Chicken will literally pull you right in wanting more. This simple chicken recipe is tender and flavorful and a great way to meal prep or create a hearty meal. With just four simple ingredients needed, you're going to crave the simplicity of this recipe.
We tend to eat a lot of chicken in our house and I've decided it's for two main reasons. The first is that it's one of the more affordable types of meat at the store, and the second is that chicken does an amazing job at taking on flavors.
Prepping this easy chicken recipe proves that you don't have to take a ton of time to make a delicious meal. Once you cook this chicken in the smoker once, you'll have plenty of flavorful chicken to enjoy or use in other recipes.
Be sure to check out my Smoked Cornbread which would be a great side dish to pair up with this recipe.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs - This makes for less prep and work and easier to start seasoning and grilling right away.
Olive oil - Olive oil is necessary to help the spices stick and adds moisture.
Kosher salt - Salt is needed to bring out the flavor of the chicken. Without it your chicken will be bland
Black pepper - We also like to season chicken with coarse black pepper.
How To Make Smoked Pulled Chicken
Step One: Preheat the smoker to 225.
Step Two: Drizzle the chicken with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step Three: Place the chicken on the grate of the hot smoker. Cook for one hour.
Step Four: Wrap the par-cooked chicken in aluminum foil and insert the temperature probe. Cook an additional hour until the chicken reaches 165.
Step Five: Let rest for 30 minutes and then shred the chicken with two forks or meat claws.
I like to use meat claws to shred the chicken but if you don't have any, you can use forms or even just pull part the chicken by hand, once it's cooled down enough to touch.
Add different seasonings - This is where you can really have fun with the flavor of this chicken. Some other seasonings that you can add to the rub would be garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar - and the list could go on.
Add liquid smoke - If you are worried that you're not going to have enough smoke flavor, you can always add some.
At what temperature is chicken considered cooked and safe to eat?
The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to verify the correct temperature. Using an instant read thermometer works best.
What are some good ways to use pulled chicken?
There are so many ways to use smoked chicken! We like adding the pulled chicken to the tops of salads or using the meat to make chicken sandwiches as well.
Once you cook the chicken and shred it, there are endless ways to use it.
Can you add heat to cooked chicken breasts?
You bet! All you have to do is add a teaspoon cayenne pepper and let it cook. If you don't want to add any spicy ingredient directly to the meat, you can always have hot sauce nearby to dip the chicken into or pour it right on top.
Will this work with a whole chicken?
Yes, just make sure to check the internal temperature. Check out our post on Smoked Whole Chicken for specific information!
What condiments pair well with pulled chicken?
Everyone has their own flavor cravings when it comes to pairing chicken and taste. Some people like to drizzle it with honey for a bit of sweetness, while others like to pair it with mustard, ketchup, or barbecue sauce.
I tend to use the same dips for my smoked chicken as I do with my pulled pork. I also keep fresh buns handy so that I can make a quick sandwich when the craving hits.
How do you store leftover pulled chicken?
The easiest way to store leftovers is to let the chicken cool down all the way and then store it in the fridge. I use an airtight container so that the chicken doesn't dry out.
You can also freeze smoked chicken so this is a great way to meal prep and save some for later. All you have to do is add the shredded chicken to a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer for later.
To unthaw, just move the frozen chicken to the fridge and let it thaw that way. You can then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
- 4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225.
- Drizzle the chicken with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken on the grate of the hot smoker. Cook for one hour.
- Wrap the par-cooked chicken in foil and insert the temperature probe. Cook an additional hour until the chicken reaches 165.
- Let rest for 30 minutes and then shred the chicken with two forks or meat claws.