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Traeger Grilled Chicken Recipe

The Traeger Chicken Challenge is the first thing that they recommend you make after buying your first Traeger, and after tasting it, I can totally see why. I’ve never had a whole chicken that retained so much moisture or had so much flavor. It is easy, consistent, doesn’t take forever to make, and can be used for so many different dishes.

Traeger Grilled Chicken

Just when I thought I’d acquired enough kitchen gadgets to last a lifetime, my husband bought a Traeger Grill.

These are like a gas grill, but without the inconsistent temperatures, and you know – the GAS. It is an easy-to-use smoker that takes all of the mystery and learning curves out of smoking meat. It isn’t just for meat either. Over the last few years we’ve made hundreds of recipes on the pellet grill, including appetizers, desserts, vegetables, and so much more.

You can see my whole collection of Trager Recipes here, and don’t miss out on our new Pellet Grill Hub! Most of these recipes could work on a gas grill too, you just won’t have as much of the smoky flavor and you’ll need to keep a closer eye on cook times and temps.

Get our 75 ESSENTIAL Traeger Recipes here!

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How does a Traeger pellet grill work?

Traeger Grills run on wood pellets and plug into an electrical outlet. There is a hopper that stores the pellets, and an auger under the grill that moves them slowly over to the fire pot, that’s in the middle of the grill underneath a heat shield. You can set the temp and grill to your heart’s content over consistent temperatures without hot spots, and you get that awesome wood-smoked flavor that you just can’t get on a gas grill.

There are quite a few different brands if you are in the market for a pellet smoker, and we’ve tried a lot of them. Camp Chef, Louisiana, Rec Tec, and ZGrills have all been on my deck. No matter what brand you end up with, you’re going to love the pellet grill life!

Try our Traeger Spatchcock Chicken too!

Traeger Grilled Chicken

Benefits of a Traeger Wood Smoker

  • No hot spots or flare-ups
  • Great smoke flavor
  • Runs on electric + wood pellets
  • Easier to cook things at lower temperatures

This chicken was SO moist and juicy. I would take these a million times over the grocery store rotisserie chicken. Like, alll day every day.

Rotisserie chicken has its place, especially when you need to throw together a quick meal, but if you want an experience and not just something to fill a belly – this is definitely the way to go.

Speaking of the way to go – you’ll want to make this loaded baked potato salad, coleslaw, and our Smoked Chicken and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad to go along with this!

By the way – like my Instant Pot posts (which aren’t sponsored), Traeger isn’t sponsoring these ones either.

More Easy Traeger Chicken Recipes here!

Traeger Grilled Chicken

Traeger Chicken shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • whole chicken
  • chicken rub
  • avocado oil

Make a Traeger Smoked Turkey too!

How to make Grilled Chicken on the Traeger

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



This bird gets cooked at a high temp. We’re shooting for anywhere between 400°-450°. Some fluctuation is normal and not an issue.



Tie the legs together with baker’s twine. Make sure the chicken is dry (use paper towels if you need to). Rub the bird with oil and coat generously with your chicken rub.



Put the bird on the grill breast-side up. Put a wireless thermometer (like the Thermoworks Smoke) in the thickest part of the breast. Grill for 70 minutes WITHOUT OPENING THE GRILL. Unless, of course, the chicken reaches 165° before the 70 minutes. 😉 Temperature is more important than time.



Remove the bird once it reaches 165° internal temp. Let it rest for 15 minutes.



Slice up that bird and enjoy!

Make this into our Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich!

Some of my favorites on the Traeger

Smoked Beef Roast – This one was a game-changer with my relationship with the Traeger. It takes a LONG time, but it is seriously worth every single second. Every one. And then some. Make thissssss.

Traeger Smoked Salmon – If you are a salmon fan this maple glazed smoked salmon is going to be your new favorite thing in life. Make this for someone you love, or someone that you would like to love you.

Traeger Grilled Shrimp Scampi – Like whoa. I love all of the Traeger shrimp I’ve ever had, but this one is near and dear to my heart. Make it. MAAAAAKKKKKEEEEE IT.

Traeger Grilled Scallops – Seafood on the grill is delicious, and these scallops are no exception. Simple, and totally delicious, with JUST enough smoke to make it interesting.

More recipes to enjoy!

Yield: 6 people

Traeger Grilled Chicken

Traeger Grilled Chicken

This chicken lives up to ALLLLLL of the hype. Traeger Grilled Chicken is going to be the best roasted and grilled chicken you've ever had. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 5 pound whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Traeger Chicken Rub


  1. Preheat your grill according to factory instructions to 400-450 degrees
  2. Tie the legs together on your chicken with baker's twine. Rub the chicken with oil, and coat generously with the chicken rub. Place your chicken on the grill, breast side up.
  3. Grill for 70 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE GRILL for 70 minutes. (If you have a thermometer, place it right away so you can monitor internal temp for doneness! If it reaches 165° before the 70 minutes, open the grill.) 
  4. Check the internal temperature of the chicken, to ensure it is at least 165°. If it is not yet VERY close to 165°, leave it on the grill a little while longer.
  5. Carefully remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut and serve!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 935Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 346mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 107g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Do you put this on a half sheet, or directly on the grill? The recipe doesn't mention that but all your photos look like it's been done on the sheet.

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Good catch! We've actually done it both ways, directly on the grill and on a sheet pan. Both work equally well, so it is really just a matter of personal preference.


Tuesday 4th of May 2021

I made this tonight [two whole 5 1/2 lb chickens] on my Eastwood and they turned out great. I used a blended oil (I think it is the oil that makes the skin dark) and they were very moist smoky and delicious. They fed 6 adults, two great granddaughters (8 and 5) and two twins aged 1 1/2. We had part of the carcass of one bird left. I had to put them back on for 10 more minutes before they were fully up to temperature. I then let them stand for about 10 minutes before carving and serving. I will definitely make this again.


Tuesday 8th of October 2019


I may have missed it somewhere, but what type of pellets?

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 9th of October 2019

Any type of pellets will do here. <3 The best pellet is whatever one is in your hopper, I tend to say. ;)


Tuesday 17th of September 2019

It don't know why, but I have never been successful cooking a whole chicken on my Traeger without turning most of the skin black and inedible. That's said I used this method of cooking a chicken instead of the one from the Traeger website and the skin was not as black. Still black, but not as black. It of course tasted amazing, but I mourn the loss of all that amazing crispy skin.

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

That is so strange! I've never had a chicken turn black like that. You might try tending it with foil during the last bit of cooking? Have you temped your grill with a stand-alone thermometer? Maybe your temp gauge is off?

Mike D'Andrea

Thursday 29th of August 2019

Hi Nicole

Thanks for the recipe, I'm doing my first cook on my new Traeger this weekend and am quite excited!

I see comments about brining the chicken first. Does this make a difference? Do you have a recipe for the chicken brine?

Thank you.

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 29th of August 2019

Hey Mike! Welcome! Personally, I think most brining is a big old waste of time, especially if we are talking turkey that is commercially bought. With chicken, the same is usually true. Most chicken you buy in the store is pre-brined and/or injected. That being said, I'm hearing some buzz about a dill pickle brine that I'm definitely going to do some experimenting with!

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