Prepare – If cooking a whole chicken, remember to remove all the giblets from the cavities at both ends of the chicken. Rinse the bird, inside and out and pat it dry. (now for a secret) We found it best to rub the seasoning directly on the meat of the chicken, not the skin. This means you have to pull the skin away from the chicken where you can. Cooking shears may help with this process. Sprinkle the rub between the skin and meat. The fat from the skin will help keep the meat moist while it cooks, but since some people remove the skin to eat it, the meat will still be seasoned. Of course, keep your uncooked poultry separate from your other uncooked meats when preparing them to prevent cross contamination. This includes cutting boards, knives and trays. Keep your prep area clean at all times.

Smoking – If you have not had smoked chicken, prepare yourself…it’s good stuff. We like apple or hickory chips with chicken. You can even quarter an apple and stick it in the birds cavity for extra moisture and flavor. Definitely use your instant read thermometer to test for doneness. You can mist the bird during smoking with any mop you prefer.

Grilling – You can use direct or indirect heat to cook a chicken on the grill. After seasoning the bird you can opt to use a “chicken stand” (aka beer can chicken) to prop it up. The “can” can be filled with beer, marinade, apple juice or your own secret potion. Rotisseries work well for birds, too. If using direct heat, you will need to turn your chicken occasionally . BBQ sauce can be used during the last 20-30 minutes of grilling if desired.

Experiment using cornish game hens, turkeys or wild birds as well. Remember, if you like to eat it you can probably smoke it or grill it.