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Hot Chicken Halves Recipe on the Outlaw Smoker

December 22, 2022

Hot Chicken Halves Recipe on the Outlaw Smoker

If you like Louisiana-style BBQ, you’ve got to try my Hot Chicken Halves. This mouth-watering recipe is perfect for treating yourself or tailgating with friends. These delicious chicken halves are smoked on the Outlaw Smoker, giving them the smokey heat pitmasters crave. The chicken is topped with a sweet, sticky hot sauce that will leave you smacking your lips. 

This recipe comes together in less than 3 hours but tastes like it spent all day on the pit. Serve this at a party, and people will never forget your name! Don’t just take my word for it; try it for yourself.

Hot Chicken Halves Recipe on the Outlaw Smoker

As far as chicken goes, this recipe is extremely straightforward. Chicken halves are forgiving, with a lot of room for flexibility. Make my Hot Chicken Halves ahead of time for easy meal prep the rest of the week. Eat it on its own or add it to a salad or wrap. The options are endless. 

The Ingredients

Like most of my recipes, these Hot Chicken Halves require less than 10 ingredients. You won’t use all of your rubs, so save leftovers for the next fantastic recipe. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping list. 

  • Chicken halves. You can purchase chicken halves from most well-stocked grocery stores. This cut of meat is split in half from the breast to the back and usually includes dark and white meat. The chicken is tender and juicy, especially with my homemade sauce. 
  • Olive oil. Olive oil is one of my favorite binders for meats that wouldn’t benefit from mustard. It coats the chicken without altering the natural flavors. I use extra-virgin olive oil because it has a mild taste. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Hot RubThis unique blend of spices is like nothing else on the market. I used this rub to help me cinch 1st place in the 2022 Memphis in May Rib Championship. This ingredient adds the perfect kick to pork, chicken, beef, and veggies.
  • Heath Riles BBQ Chicken Rub. This superb blend of herbs and spices takes any chicken cut to the next level. I created this rub because I wanted something that would complement the natural flavors of chicken, not overpower them. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce. Good things take time, including this fantastic BBQ sauce. It took over 10 years to create my dream sauce, and it was well worth the wait. This condiment will be your new go-to if you enjoy BBQ sauces with a ketchup base. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar SauceI constantly wished for a vinegar-based BBQ sauce that wasn’t overly tart. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I made one. This sauce has the best blend of tangy and sweet. If you’re feeling adventurous, use it as a salad dressing. 
  • Killer Hogs Hot SauceI love this hot sauce so much that I sell it in my storefront. It’s that good! It features a blend of aged red peppers that make this sauce, unlike all the rest. 
  • The Smoker Setup

  • Smoker. I cooked these chicken halves over the Outlaw Smoker. This is one of my favorite setups because it’s durable, high-quality, and easy to use. 
  • Charcoal. I stoked the Outlaw with Royal Oak Charcoal. This combination created tasty chicken halves with pure smoke. 
  • The Process for Making Hot Chicken Halves

    You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe in my video and recipe card near the bottom of this post. For now, enjoy this brief overview of how I pulled these Hot Chicken Halves together. 

  • Fire up the smoker. I stoked the Outlaw and fired it up to about 275ºF-300ºF. 
  • Prep the chicken. Before working with my chicken, I removed it from the package and let it sit in the fridge to dry off. Once the meat was dry, I laid my chicken halves on a baking rack and doused them with olive oil. 
  • Season the meat. I added a thick layer of Hot Rub followed by a generous coating of Chicken Rub. I flipped the meat and repeated the process on the other side. I let the meat sweat in for about 15 minutes. 
  • Smoke. I laid the chicken halves directly on the Outlaw’s grates and smoked them for two hours. 
  • Sauce and finish. I created my sauce by whisking the sauce ingredients until well combined. I basted the chicken at the 2-hour mark, then let them cook until I reached an internal temp of 163ºF-164ºF on the breast and 170ºF-175ºF on the thighs and legs. This took about 2 ½ hours in total. I removed the chicken from the grill and let it cool before serving.
  • The Results

    The chicken came off the pit looking picture-perfect. Every bite had the ideal amount of seasoning and glaze. It was juicy, tender, and had a hint of old-school taste from the wood. This chicken won’t leave you gasping for water, but it will leave you with just the right amount of heat on the back end. 

    Serving Suggestions for Hot Chicken Halves

    If serving children, give them a little ranch or blue cheese dressing to dip their chicken in. You can also serve this chicken with a side salad, crusty bread, and a cold one. 

    Storing Leftover Chicken

    You can store leftover chicken in the fridge for up to four days or freeze it for up to 4 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator and cook at 350℉ until heated through. 

    Equipment and Tools

    Outlaw SmokerRoyal Oak Charcoal , paper towels, cutting board, baking rack,  instant-read meat thermometer, and insulated gloves for handling meat

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