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Two whole chicken in a smoked chicken brine.

Smoked Chicken Brine

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Brine Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 brine 1x
  • Category: Brine
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American


Smoked Chicken Brine – a simple, easy recipe for a smoked chicken brine that is easily customizable. Results in such juicy smoked chicken!


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 23 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Combine the water and salt in a medium mixing bowl; Whisk to combine.
  2. Add in orange, peppercorns and rosemary. 
  3. Place chicken in a food grade container and pour brine over top.
  4. Place in the refrigerator. 
  5. Let chicken brine for 30 minutes – 3 hours for breasts and thighs or 12-24 hours for a whole chicken. 
  6. Remove from brine and pat dry with clean paper towel. Then smoke however you wish (we love these Smoked Chicken Thigh and Smoked Chicken Breast recipes).


  • Smoked Chicken Recipes: We love using this brine on our smoked whole chicken, smoked chicken breasts and smoked chicken thighs
  • Brine Time: the actual brine time varies; see notes below. 
  • Container: make sure you are using a food-grade container. 
  • Additions: feel free to add in other aromatics or even some coconut sugar for a touch of sweetness. 
  • Whole Chicken: for a single whole chicken you will most like need to double this recipe. I recommend brining a whole chicken for 12-24 hours.
  • Chicken Thighs + Breasts: I recommend brining chicken thighs and breasts for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 3-4 hours. 
  • Pat Dry: there is no need to rinse your chicken after brining, simply pat dry with a clean paper towel. 
  • Refrigerate: feel free to refrigerate your chicken after brining, uncovered, for about an hour or so to get even crispier skin after cooking. 

Keywords: smoked chicken brine