How Long to Smoke Chicken Quarters: A Quick Guide to Smoking

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Making smoked chicken quarters is always a recommended thing, especially during special events, gatherings, and holidays. I just love to prepare this delicacy every time my folks are around or when my little kid is celebrating her birthday. 

Smoked chicken quarters are extremely flavorful. They are crowd-pleasers and does not lack the punch that can make anyone satisfied. But before you can enjoy such eating delight, you must know how to prepare this recipe properly. And of course, you should also pay attention to the ideal time that you should allocate for the smoking process.

So how long to smoke chicken quarters? It is a prevalent question that bothers many amateur grillers and smokers out there. Even seasoned food connoisseurs and gourmets have different takes about this. 

Deriving an exact answer to this curious query is difficult. Different factors can affect the duration of the cooking. But of course, I can still provide accurate figures here. Therefore, just pay attention to the details that I am about to divulge!

Factors that Can Affect the Smoking Time for Chicken Quarters


As I mentioned, various factors can either inhibit or catalyze the smoking of foods. One of this is the temperature. If the temperature is high, it is pretty obvious that the smoking will be completed at a faster rate. On the flipside, cooking on low temperatures will consume your time.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can freely crank your electric smoker or gas smoker to their highest heating output. That’s a big no when it comes to smoking food. You are not going to grill or fry your chicken quarters here. You are going to smoke them. That’s why there is a limit to the temperature that you can set. 

Ideally, you should preheat your heating device to around 220 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat can produce the optimal amount of smoke that is needed for smoking. Once the device reaches this temperature, you can already put the smoking rack laden with the chicken quarters. 

You can know if the smoked chicken quarters are ready for consumption once their internal temperature reaches around 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, you can’t indicate the temperature by just guessing, right? Therefore, you have to get a meat thermometer and nudge it to one of the chicken quarters. Make sure that you are wearing a pair of BBQ gloves when operating with devices like smokers and grills. 

Meat Volume

I cannot exactly tell the time that it takes to smoke chicken quarters even if the temperature is given. If I don’t know the amount or the total weight of the meat that you are going to prepare, it is still hard to deduce things. 

Temperature and volume are quite a corollary to each other. Specifically, ingredients that are small in quantity have fast cooking time compared to large servings. This is a logical concept that applies to every cooking method out there. You can expect that smoking will be an ordeal if you are going to smoke 10 to 15 pounds of meat. Of course, the otherwise happens when you have little servings to prepare. 

I have a little ratio for these intersecting factors. For every 1 pound of meat, you are required to smoke it for one hour and thirty minutes. Double the amount and the smoking process will take 3 hours. The time lengthens every time you increase the quantity of meat that you are going to smoke. 

Therefore, if you are planning to make a lot of smoked chicken quarters, you must prepare extra fuel for your smokers. You must have an adequate amount of wood chips and lump charcoals if you are going to use grill smokers. You must not allow the device to lose its heat. 

How Long to Smoke Chicken Quarters

Based on what I have discussed, it is pretty evident that there is no exact time for smoking chicken quarters or any other meat. The temperature and volume of ingredients will dictate the pace and duration. Most of the time, medium-sized families prepare around 3 pounds of chicken quarters whenever they will do weekend outdoor parties. 

Therefore, it is safe to say that the ideal smoking time to this meat will be around 4 hours and 30 minutes. It could further extend if you have cranked the smoker on a lower heat setting.

Now, let me add some further things that you should remember when smoking any meat. Smoking will become an ordeal if the meat that you are going to use is still frozen. Take note that you are not going to subject the meat to direct heat. As a result, thawing the ice might become difficult. Of course, it will also add to the overall smoking time. 

Furthermore, you should already tenderize the chicken quarters before you place them on the smoker. Doing this optimizes the entire smoking process. Not only it can save you time, but it also allows the meat to fully the marinade and other flavorings that you included. Tenderizing can make the meat tasty and delectable. One of the best ways to do soften the chicken is through the use of a meat tenderizer tool.

Of course, never forget that fresh meat products are more convenient to cook than those are not. That’s one of the golden rules in cooking. Fresh ingredients are easy to deal with in the kitchen. A fresh chicken is already tender. Therefore, you don’t have to spend too much time to tenderize it even further!


Again, let me tell you that there is no exact time for smoking food. The duration is dependent on multiple factors, after all. Despite this, learning how long to smoke chicken quarters is still essential. In this way, you can get a properly cooked smoked chicken quarters that are oozing with taste and aroma. I have given certain rules that you should keep in mind when doing this recipe so that you won’t get lost of your track. Just follow them, and you can get things right for your appetite!

Did you learn from this article? Kindly share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. Also, I will be forever grateful if you are going to hit the like and share buttons, too! 

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