Smokey Chicken – Traeger, Grill or Oven {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

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This Smokey Chicken recipe comes with a simple rub you can make on your own and a variety of ways to cook it up, from a Traeger Grill, to a regular grill, oven or even the stove top. The best part about this recipe is the long list of ways you can serve it up, it is so versatile.

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

I love a smokey rub with a little sweetness. We have been going a little crazy with using our Traegar Grill and have wanted to create a rub that is versatile and will provide great flavor whether you use a smoker, cooked in the oven, a gas or charcoal grill, or stove top. One of the necessities was that for this recipe that I didn’t want it to have was added sugar. Not because sugar is good or bad, I was challenging myself to really get creative and figure out how to create a subtle sweetness with adding in any type of sugar. Hint, cinnamon is the secret ingredient to giving the sweet flavor to this smokey recipe. You will be able to use this rub on any protein or even potatoes!

We tried this rub on brisket, chicken, shrimp, salmon, and potatoes. It is fantastic on every single dish we used it with! We also love bbq sauce and if you have someone in the fam that loves a good wet sauce on their smoked chicken, check out our easy to make homemade BBQ sauce here  It is also great for dipping the chicken in after with and extra kick of flavor. 

There are tons of recipes for seasonings or rubs out there but our favorite part about this one is the kick of smoke and hint of subtle sweetness. Our recipe makes enough for about 2 full chickens or around 8 chicken breasts and depending on the size of your chicken thighs about a dozen and a half. If you aren’t cooking for a crowd this is a perfect rub recipe to store in a jar for the next time you want a smokey slightly sweet seasoning for a protein. 

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

You do not need a Traegar to cook this chicken or use this rub, so do not worry we have alternative cooking versions for the oven. The flavor that gives it the smokiness is SMOKED PAPRIKA. Opening a fresh jar of smoked paprika is literally one of my favorite things to do, it just reminds me of summer. This spice crucial to this recipe and we are really sorry but we do not have a substitution for it right now. If you use regular paprika it will still turn out tasty, but it will be missing that hint of smokey flavor especially if cooking in the oven or stove top. 

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

Smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, chipotle powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, cracked black pepper is the makeup of the rub. We know this may seems like a lot, but if you have them in your pantry it’ll be easy to measure out. If you are missing the chipotle powder you can sub ¼ teaspoon chili powder. If you are missing one or two of the other ingredients it will work, but please make sure you have the smoked paprika. 

The best way to mix this rub together is to us a bowl that you can easily stir in and measure out each ingredient, adding to the bowl as you work your way through the list. Then use a fork or whisk to combine. Believe it or not this rub will stay good up to around 9 months if using organic ingredients. If it starts to clump just either shake or stir it around. Make sure it is an airtight container that you are using and do not leave it opened for too long if you are planning to store it for a while. 

At this point you either want to start your Traegar, grill, oven, or get your pan ready for the stove top. 

After you’ve got your rub together now you prep your protein. We went with a whole roasted chicken because from experience we used the leftovers to make a smokey chicken salad using this recipe and let me tell you….try our chicken salad recipe with this smokey chicken and some gluten free crackers and tell me it is not amazing! I added in a little diced apple to the chicken salad recipe, and it knocked my socks off. For real. If you have extra chicken a quick homemade chicken salad is a MUST.

I am generous with my rub. I like to get the chicken fully covered. I found that it takes about 4-5 tablespoons on average to cover my entire chicken. I also suggest being generous if using this rub on chicken breast, thighs, shrimp, or steak, the more rub the more flavor in our opinion. 

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

First, we pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Then we use 2 tablespoons of olive oil to spread over the entire chicken to get that skin crispy. Since we are using a whole chicken, I like to get under the skin with some of the rub. I find that it helps to tenderize the chicken as well as enhance the flavor even more. Once that is done, you’re ready to put it on whichever cooking device you are using. Whichever method of cooking you choose, remember that you want the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken to be at least 165 degrees.

In the oven this is going to take around an hour and half or longer depending on the size of your bird. This is where a thermometer comes in handy. 

For the smoker we followed the Traegar instructions by priming, getting that smoke going then turning the heat to max. We cooked it for 90 minutes and it turned out perfect juicy and fall off the bone tender. We paired it with a side of our Chimichurri Sauce and potatoes that we smoked in a pan next to the chicken seasoned with the same rub. 

We removed it from the grill and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before breaking it down. This allows the chicken to reabsorb all those juices and also helps you save those fingers from getting burned up.

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

Slice it up and serve, with some roasted potatoes or our goat cheese garlic smashed potatoes would be fantastic also our grilled potato and arugula salad is another fantastic option  We also used our arepa recipe and our chimichurri recipe and created a smokey chicken chimi arepa sandwich which was ahhhhmazing. 

Smokey Chicken {Gluten Free, Whole30, Keto, Paleo}

We hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we did and don’t forget to let us know what you think of our smokey chicken recipe!


5 from 1 reviews
Smokey Chicken – Traeger, Grill or Oven
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, dairy-free, Whole30, keto
Smokey Rub Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons smoke paprika
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder or granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Ingredients for Smokey Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of smokey rub
  • 1 whole chicken
  1. Add the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork or whisk to combine. Believe it or not this rub will stay good up to around 9 months if using organic ingredients. If it starts to clump just either shake or stir it around. Make sure it is an airtight container that you are using and do not leave it opened for too long if you are planning to store it for a while.
Start the Chicken:
  1. Prep your cooking method. If using the oven, preheat to 350ºF. If using a Traegar, set to smoke.
  2. Remove the next and gizzards from inside the chicken carcass.
  3. Using paper towels, pat your chicken dry.
  4. Rub the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the entire chicken.
  5. Next take 4 tablespoons of the rub and liberally press it over the entire chicken as well as under the skin.
  6. Using the Traeger we turned the heat to max and cooked for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken read 165 degrees when testing with the probe thermometer. Using the oven set to 350ºF we also used a thermometer, and it took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  7. Once the chicken was removed, we let them rest for 10 minutes.
  8. We broke down the chicken by cutting the legs, thighs, wings first then slicing the breasts.
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives? I get crazy excited when you guys make my recipes & I always love to see how they turn out!

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