Whole chicken BBQ

Whole Chicken BBQ – What is the Safest Serving Temp?

Have you ever tried barbecuing a whole chicken? It is possible to smoke an entire chicken if you know the best technique and have the correct tools. The recommended internal cooking temperature for a whole chicken is higher. The FDA-approved temperature is 165 degrees F at the chunkiest portion of the chicken meat.

Chicken meat can be unsafe to eat if cooked at a lower internal cooking temp than recommended. It contains Salmonella, a fatal bacterium that can cause food poisoning. When preparing a whole BBQ chicken, use a probe thermometer to spot-check it.

Although chicken meat is lean, you can smoke it whole. Roasting is more prevalent than barbecuing, but it misses some benefits. When you BBQ a whole chicken, the smoke can improve its flavor. Since the heat is low, the wood smoke cannot make your meat have a bitter taste. You might think that prolonged cooking can make the meat dry and tough. That can only happen if you choose the wrong food thermometer.

With a good meat thermometer, you can spot-check the whole chicken to ensure it is cooking at the correct internal cooking temperature. Also, you can pull the chicken from the BBQ grill at the perfect pull temperature. With our advanced digital thermometer, you cannot risk overcooking your bird past its pull and doneness temp. If such a thing happens, the meat will be dry.

If you smoke your chicken, its texture will be tender and silky. When collagen receives low heat at a slow pace, it dissolves into gelatin. The role of gelatin is to help the meat maintain its moisture. Again, maintain the internal cooking temperature with our thermometer to cook tender and silky chicken.

What’s the right internal cooking temp per chicken part?

When smoking your chicken in parts, you can adjust the pull temperature of 165 degrees F. Doing so can help you reach varying degrees of doneness. Experts believe that the following are the correct internal cooking temperatures for various chicken body parts.

  • When cooking a chicken thigh, maintain a temperature of 170 degrees F.
  • A chicken breast requires an internal cooking temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Prepare ground chicken at a temperature of 175 degrees.
  • Chicken wings will be cooked best at a temperature of 175 degrees F.
  • The best internal cooking temperature for a stuffed chicken is the same as that of a whole chicken.
  • For chicken legs, use our ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 to cook them at an internal cooking temp of 175 degrees F. It has a 270-degree rotation probe and generates a reading in 1 second.
internal cooking temp

How much time should you smoke your chicken?

ChefsTemp Quad XPro

Having a perfect meat thermometer is imperative. However, you need to estimate the period to BBQ a whole chicken. You need to cook your chicken for one hour and twenty-five minutes. If your chicken has a larger body size, you might have to smoke it for two hours.

When barbecuing separate chicken parts, you need seven to ten minutes on average. Use a thermometer that can give you correct temp readings because they matter more than overall cooking time. We can also recommend our ChefsTemp Quad XPro Long-Range Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer for accurate readings.

It is the best choice when you must do other chores while barbecuing your chicken. The alarm will ring when you need to check or correct the temperature setting.

A whole BBQ chicken recipe


  • One whole chicken
  • Salt and pepper (alternatively use dry rub)
  • One or two melted butter sticks
  • Mop sauce
  • Two to four ounces woodchucks



  • Cut the whole chicken in half. When you cook it in two halves, the heat can reach it more evenly than if you prepare it whole. Cut along either side of the backbone with a sharp meat knife to remove it. Once you do, cut it in half via the center of the breastbone.
  • Apply your salt and pepper (or dry rub) on all sides of the chicken halves. Rub the mixture in using your fingers. Once you finish, your chicken is ready for smoking. Place the seasoned chicken in the fridge the entire night or cook it immediately. If preserving it in the fridge, do not cover it. In the morning, the proteins in the seasoned meat will have broken down. The process will allow the meat to retain its moisture.
  • Prepare your smoker to maintain the cooking temperature within it at 275 degrees F. If using a charcoal or gas grill, turn it to a two-zone fire. Use your wood chips to generate smoke. Add more wood to increase smoke.
  • Place your heavy cooking pan over the coals and right beneath the grill plate. It will collect juices as they drip from the meat and moisturize the surroundings so that smoke can flavor your chicken. It will also avoid fire flare-ups.
  • You should now place your probe thermometer in the thickest part of your chicken breast. Make sure you place it away from the bone. Note that this area will take longer to absorb the internal cooking temp you are targeting. This is called pull temperature. To ensure you make no mistakes, choose our sophisticated ChefsTemp FinalTouch IR. It is an infrared thermometer with a quality thermocouple probe. It is easy to use when setting the pull temperature and tracking out throughout the cooking process.
  • Place the two chicken halves on top of the grill grate surface. Next, baste with melted butter and shut the lid. Reap this last step two more times every twenty minutes.
  • Brush the chicken meat with your mop sauce and do it again after twenty minutes. Leave the chicken to cook. You may spot-check the internal temperature with ChefsTemp FinalTouch IR device. Make sure the temps for various chicken parts readings are correct. We listed these temps above.
  • You can now pull the chicken halves from the smoker. Let them rest and continue to carryover cook for ten to fifteen minutes. If you read the final temperature of your chicken meat, it will be 160 to 165 degrees F. It is the recommended internal cooking temp of chicken. Again, using our ChefsTemp gadgets can get the guesswork out of the way.
  • Cut your yummy chicken meat and serve with whatever you desire.


Now you can see how easy it is to BBQ a whole chicken. The most important thing to remember is that checking the internal cooking temperature of your chicken is crucial. It is necessary to set the pull temperature properly with the best meat thermometers. If you spot-check the entire meat and verify it has been cooked well, safely pull it out of the grill. Always let chicken meat be cooked well to avoid food poisoning.

One Comment

  1. […] point, such as grape seed oil. For chicken and turkey, the best chicken internal temp, or cooked chicken temp is 165°F […]

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Final touch X10
chefstemp wireless meat thermometer
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