Chicken Brine Recipe for Smoking a Gluten Free Bird


Whole, natural chicken is wonderful leading up to the holidays. It’s warm, succulent, and so easy to make. Here’s a simple chicken brine recipe that you can use for smoking your bird!

This recipe is quite easy and can be prepped a day in advance. All you need is a big pot, a big chicken, and a few other ingredients. A Big Green Egg or smoker helps too. However, you can roast this baby in a hot oven just the same.

Leading up to Christmas can be stressful for some. But it doesn’t have to be! Instead of grabbing a rotisserie chicken, you can literally make your own gluten-free smoked rosemary chicken with no work at all! And at home!

How To Make A Chicken Brine Recipe for Smoking?

Flavoring it by brining leads to juicy, moist meat that will please any hungry belly during a busy holiday season. The best part about it is you know exactly what’s going into your bird. Everything from the salt content to the amount of herbs to the fat. You are in control.

Brining usually requires setting and soaking in a type of liquid over a period of time. During the brining process, liquid penetrates and moistens the meat overtime. This leads to an impeccable, juicy bird.

Now, there are certain meats that are excellent for brining. Chicken is definitely one of them. It’s bland and for the most part, doesn’t contain much fat. So, it’s perfect for brining.

Meats with lots of fat content, such as goose or duck, are not great for brining. Enough moisture comes from the fat layers of a goose where brining, might actually ruin the bird. Dry brining is another option for meats, which requires no liquid. You simply season with plenty of salt then let your meat rest in the fridge over a period of time.

This gluten-free smoked rosemary chicken is basic. Its brine is basic. Here you have a combination of fresh rosemary and lemons. Lots of kosher salt and crushed peppercorn are added to the mix. For the most part, the chicken sits in a tub of water for about 24 hours.

The brine is what makes this meat absolutely moist and fantastic. Lots of herbal flavor make it perfect during the holidays. This time of year, rosemary is used in abundance for dishes. The lemon just adds a wonderful taste to it all.

A Few Tips For Making This Gluten Free Roasted Chicken

  • You’ll want a deep stock pot to store the chicken in while brining. Clean your bird well, then add your ingredients and water to the pot. Stick it in the fridge then go get your holiday shopping on and season parties on. You can get to your bird the next day.
  • We smoked this guy and let me tell you, it was fantastic. There was enough smoke flavor to add some punch to the chicken, yet still left it with a subtle, moist flavor that just reminded me so much of the holidays. You’ll want to put your bird back in the fridge after you’ve dumped out the water, cleaned and patted it dry. This way, the skin will dry up a bit before smoking.
  • I added a paste to the skin before smoking and it made everything just come together. It was simple: a freshly squeezed half a lemon, two tablespoons of sugar cane, one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix that all up in a tiny bowl until a paste forms. To make it even thicker, you can heat a larger amount over a stove top.

When you’re bird has been sitting in the fridge for a bit, take it out and plaster this paste all over the skin on both sides. Then put your bird back on the rack over a pan, and place it back in the fridge for awhile. This will dry up the seasoning you’ve just smothered all over the chicken. And when you’re smoking, this is exactly what you want. You can also take the paste and smother it between the skin and meat of your whole chicken. Simply separate the skin from the meat of the breast, and carefully slide the paste in the formed layer.

We smoked it when the weather was just right and a bit warm…..

Just kidding. It was actually so cold outside, it took awhile to get the big green guy up to the temperature we needed.

In the end, we finished with an amazing piece of whole chicken. It was fantastic. And seeing as these guys are on sale everywhere now, why not grab one and just whip one up this week? It’s healthy, you can use any type of brine to your liking, and it’s easy. Not to mention, perfect for the holidays.

I hope you get a chance to try this gluten-free chicken brine recipe for smoking! I promise you won’t regret it.

From my classy brined chicken to yours……Happy Holidays everyone. May your Days be Merry, and………Brined! HA! HA!

Gluten Free Brined & Smoked Rosemary Chicken

An amazing smoked chicken with lemon and natural herbs.

1 day 30 minutes
2 hours
1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
4 servings

Author: Albana Bennett

Cuisine: American

Diet Gluten Free


  • 6-7 lbs One whole natural chicken
  • 2 Large lemons
  • Rosemary sprigs – about two bundles
  • Kosher salt – about ½ cup
  • Crushed peppercorn – about ¼ cup
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar cane
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder Be sure it’s gluten-free


  1. Remove innards of chicken, then rinse and pat bird dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut one lemon into fourths, then insert pieces into chicken cavities.
  3. Insert most of a bundle of rosemary into each cavity of chicken as well.
  4. Place chicken, breast side up, into a deep stock pot.
  5. Squeeze a half a lemon into pot, then throw lemon half into pot.
  6. Throw remaining rosemary bundle into pot as well.
  7. Add crushed peppercorn and kosher salt.
  8. Add cold water and fill just until water covers chicken.
  9. Cover pot and place brine in fridge for 24 hours.
  10. After allotted time, pour out all water from post and discard.
  11. Remove chicken from pot and discard all rosemary, lemons.
  12. Carefully rinse bird in cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
  13. Place bird on a rack over a pan, then place in fridge for about 30 mins.
  14. Remove bird from fridge.
  15. Mix sugar, honey, garlic powder and lemon juice from half a lemon.
  16. Place juiced lemon wedge into cavity along with rosemary sprigs.
  17. Tie up legs and close up cavity.
  18. Baste chicken with the marinade on both sides.
  19. Sprinkle crushed peppercorn on chicken, breast side up.
  20. Place back onto rack over a pan and put back in fridge.
  21. Let chicken sit in fridge for thirty more minutes to dry up paste.
  22. Place several rosemary sprigs on top of coals/wood in smoker.
  23. Smoke whole chicken at 300 degrees (we used a green egg).
  24. Smoke until internal temperature reads 170 in the breast (about 1 ½ to 2 hrs.)
  25. When finished, remove from smoker and rest on plate covered with foil.
  26. Let rest for 20 to 25 minutes.
  27. Remove lemon and rosemary from cavity, then cut and serve.

About Albana Bennett

I am a baking nerd and resident pastry magician dubbed one of America’s Greatest New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. I am always trying to keep it easy in the kitchen. I actually likes making doughs of each type. Spirit meals: Whipped cream.

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