How to Smoke a Chicken in the Oven

by Jackie Lohrey ; Updated August 14, 2017

A whole smoked chicken sits on a square white serving dish surronded by roasted vegetables.

ManuHK/iStock/Getty Images

Although smoking may not be a method you commonly associate with cooking chicken in your oven, it is a tasty possibility. Smoking improves flavor without the need for additional seasonings, and if those you eliminate are high in fat or sodium, can increase the nutritional value of your meal. Smoking a chicken in your oven is not difficult but does require cooking via moist heat and the use of ingredients specifically for smoking meat and poultry.

Pour the water or chicken broth and 2 tbsp. of liquid smoke into a 3-inch-deep roasting pan.

Add the hickory salt and stir until the salt dissolves in the liquid.

Set a roasting rack over the liquid.

Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on the rack, leaving space between each piece for heat to circulate evenly. A roasting rack allows the chicken to sit above, rather than in the cooking liquid, preventing high sodium smoking ingredients from reducing the nutritional value of your meal.

Baste the tops of chicken pieces with 1/2 tbsp. of the remaining liquid smoke.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the roasting pan and bake the chicken for two hours, basting again with the remaining liquid smoke after one hour of cooking.

Check the pan liquids every 30 to 45 minutes. Pour in additional hot water or broth as necessary.

Insert a meat thermometer into a thick part of one or two chicken pieces. Remove the chicken from your oven when the temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • For extra seasoning, rub chicken pieces with a low-sodium dry rub. Combine 1 tbsp. smoked paprika, 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. lemon pepper 1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. black pepper and rub the mixture into the chicken before basting with liquid smoke.

Photo Credits

  • ManuHK/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.