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smoked chicken half texas bbq style

Citrus & Soy Brined Smoked Chicken Halves

  • Author: Jess Pryles


Units Scale


3/4 cup kosher salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 lemon, sliced

3 quarts water


3 tablespoons Hardcore Carnivore Red

12 tablespoon Hardcore Carnivore Amplify


  1. Start by making the brine. Combine salt, brown sugar, soy and 1-2 cups of the water in a small pan. Stir over low heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow mixture to cool. Add the cooled mixture to the remaining water, then add lemon juice and slices.
  2. Prepare the chicken by discarding any neck/giblets. Use a pair of shears to cut along the breastbone, then cut on either side of the spine to create two halves. Discard spine.
  3. Place the brine solution in a large sealable bag or container, add the chicken then cover or seal. Place into the fridge and brine overnight or at least 8 hours.
  4. Preheat a smoker to 250f.
  5. Remove chicken from brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry.
  6. Season chicken halves well on both sides using the HC Red, concentrating most of the seasoning on the top side. Sprinkle Amplify over the top/breast side. Let halves sit so the seasoning can form a paste and adhere, around 15-20 minutes.
  7. Place the chicken in the smoker breast side up and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 163f at the thickest part of the thigh. This will take around 2.5-3 hours.
  8. Remove from smoker, rest for 10 minutes under loosely tented foil, then serve.