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Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Cook Time:
45 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

I love using my charcoal grill as a smoker. Most people will find that it is easy to manage, and the results are always worth it! A white-style sauce for chicken gives you the perfect blend of creamy and tangy. You get a nice kick from lots of black pepper and horseradish, too.

Technique tip: Spritzing the chicken during the smoking process adds flavor and allows the smoke to cling to the meat. Always use hard wood lump charcoal as opposed to briquettes for a more even cooking temperature. Keep the sauce consistency on the thinner side to get the perfect coating on the smoked chicken.

Swap option: You can substitute most cuts of pork or even tofu using the same smoking method. You can substitute prepared horseradish if you can't find fresh.

Special equipment: Charcoal grill, lump charcoal and spray bottle


Alabama White Barbecue Sauce (makes about 2½ cup)
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Smoked Chicken
  • 1 (4- to 6-pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • apple or cherry wood chips, for smoking


For the Alabama white barbecue sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together or blend in a blender. Refrigerate until ready to use. The flavors in the sauce will come out more as it sits.

For the smoked chicken:


Set up a charcoal grill for indirect heat by building the hot coals on one side only. (This creates a hot side and a cool side.)


Set up a cooling rack on top of a half sheet tray and set aside. Place a handful of wood chips on the hot charcoal.


Drizzle the chicken pieces with olive oil and rub to evenly coat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.


Place the chicken on the indirect side of the grill and cover the grill with a lid.


Smoke at 300 to 325 F for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 F.


Pour the apple cider and cider vinegar into a spray bottle. After about 15 minutes, begin spritzing the chicken every 10 minutes until it is done cooking.

To serve:

Using a pair of tongs, dip each piece of chicken into the white sauce, letting excess drip off.