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Dry Brine Smoked Chicken with a Carolina Glaze

How to dry brine a chicken for amazing flavor. The chicken starts with a dry brine, and is then smoked slow and finished with a Carolina style BBQ sauce as a glaze.
Course Entree
Cuisine BBQ, Barbecue, Chicken, smoked chicken
Keyword BBQ Chicken, Carolina Style BBQ Sauce, Carolina Style Glaze, Dry Brine Smoked Chicken, Whole Smoked Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 roaster or fryer chicken halved (about 4 - 5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper freshly cracked is the best
  • 1 cup of glaze

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups Carolina style BBQ sauce see notes for our recipe
  • cup agave nectar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • (Mix ingredients together in a bowl)


  • Assuming you bought a chicken half, rinse and pat dry your pieces. Then place on a cookie sheet that will fit in your fridge. Salt and pepper the bird up to six hours prior to cooking and put into fridge. This is important to get the full flavor and moisture. * Food safety tip - make sure it's not touching anything and then clean area you were using well after removing the chicken!!!
  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees with your favorite cooking wood. We used apple wood. Remove the chicken from the fridge. You'll likely notice that the skin has pulled back some from the salting and dehydration in the fridge and the color may be darker. That is normal.
  • Place chicken on the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature (IT) is 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. When it hits the IT of 150 - 155 take your favorite glaze and brush all sides of the chicken with it. Then continue cooking.
  • When IT then reaches 165 degrees, pull the chicken from the smoker and glaze once more. Place a sheet of foil over the chicken for up to 15 minutes, letting the juices redistribute.
  • Serve and enjoy with your favorite side.


For the glaze: we used 2 cups of the Carolina Style sauce from this recipe. Then mixed in about ¾ cup of agave nectar (or honey) and a couple tablespoons of Dijon mustard for some kick.
Cooking time: The average cooking time will vary based on a number of factors, but plan on roughly 2 hours for the total cook.