Take a boring, bland chicken, spice it up a bit, and you'll be amazed at how well it smokes! Our Traeger whole chicken recipe makes it super simple and is one of the easiest ways to cook dinner for your family.

Smoked chicken on the Traeger, from Shelf Cooking

Picture this: you've got a whole chicken that needs to be eaten and not a ton of time to cook it. The slow cooker is out because you don't have enough time. It's way too hot to roast it in the oven, plus it heats up the house. And the Instant Pot doesn't quite give it that smokey flavor that you're going for. What's a shelf cooker to do?

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Throw it in the smoker, of course! Our Traeger whole chicken recipe has easily become a family favorite. You can have it on the table in under two hours, while also cooking multiple chickens at once! Make it for a large group of people or plan on freezing the leftovers for later. Either way, it's going to be a hit!


pellets in a smoker, from Shelf Cooking

There are a lot of different hardwood varieties when it comes to smoking meats. While you can technically use any type of wood, some are better than others for chicken since it has a milder flavor. Here are our favorite wood pellets that we suggest:

  • Pecan
  • Oak
  • Alder
  • Maple
  • Walnut
  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Peach
  • Pear

Pro Tip: Stay away from the strong woods, like hickory and mesquite, since they'll completely overpower your chicken. Those are better for the stronger meats, like beef.


Chicken with seasonings in pans, from Shelf Cooking

You really can't mess this recipe up. However, you can make it ridiculously delicious by using the Hey Grill Hey chicken seasoning! There's something in it that makes the flavor out of this world… Magic fairy dust, maybe??

There are plenty of other chicken seasoning rubs you can use as well and it'll still taste really good. Traeger has its own chicken rub, and Weber Dry Rub is cheap at Walmart and also tastes really good!

Pro Tip: Season both the outside and the inside of the chicken to really get that flavor to come through! Cover it until you can hardly see the skin.


Smoked chicken on a tray, from Shelf Cooking

Obviously, the best way to eat your Traeger whole chicken recipe is to carve it off the bone and serve it with your favorite fixins. You can never go wrong with macaroni and cheese, roasted veggies, scalloped potatoes, or rustic bread!

If you manage to have any leftover, remove whatever is left off the bone. You can save it for leftovers night later that week, or freeze it in a freezer baggie for later. It tastes great reheated just by itself! You could also make pulled chicken nachos, a chicken casserole, BBQ chicken wraps, or chicken quesadillas.


Traeger smoked chicken on the grate, from Shelf Cooking

Are you ready to meet the world's simplest whole chicken recipe? It's definitely the favorite at our house and we love how it doesn't heat up the kitchen. We smoke two whole chickens at a time, and they don't take any longer than a single chicken. Score!

Smoked chicken on the Traeger, from Shelf Cooking

Traeger Whole Chicken Recipe

Reach that smoked chicken perfection with this super easy recipe! Two ingredients, a smoker, and about an hour and a half later, you'll have a delicious meal on the table.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 4-lb whole chicken
  • Chicken rub


  • Set the temperature on your Traeger to 375°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and discard any innards from the chicken. Rinse and pat the entire chicken dry, both inside and out.
  • Season the entire chicken, both inside and out, with chicken rub.
  • Put the chicken on the grate, with wings tucked under and legs tied together, and cook for about an hour and 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 160°F.
  • Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for about 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165°F. (The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests!)
  • Chow down and enjoy!


You can also cook 2 whole chickens for the same amount of time!
Keyword smoked, smoker, whole chicken

Is your mind blown? Ours definitely was when we first tried this. It quickly became our new favorite way to eat a whole chicken and we're sure you can see why!

Alright, well what are you waiting for? Grab your smoker, pellets, meat, and rub and get to it! We hope that you enjoy this Traeger whole chicken recipe as much as our family does. Let us know what your favorite sides are to serve with it below!

Bubba's easy Traeger whole chicken recipe on the smoker from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more great ideas?

Go smoke those chickens!