See post for more recipe details. We definitely prefer to use lump charcoal instead of briquettes. Lump charcoal alone will provide a nice smokey flavor, however briquettes, even competition smoking briquettes seem a little flat on the smoke flavor. If using briquettes we highly recommend to also use smoking wood chips. Either harvest your own from fruit or other good smoking wood (ie. apple or stone fruit trimmings, hickory, pecan wood) or buy smoking chips.
Light charcoal. If using a side smoker box, place the lit charcoal next to the side vent door (furthest from the grill), then stack the unlit charcoal going towards the grill (not on top of the already lit charcoal). Allow the smoker temperature to get between 275°F-300°F.
Place the chicken in the smoker and close door.
While smoking occasionally adjust the vents to keep the cooking temperature between 275°F-300°F (less air to cool the temperature, more to increase the heat). If using briquettes *see head note, two or three times during the smoking, add a handful of wood cuttings or chips on top of the lit charcoal. (Don't do this too much or else the meat will be overly smoky. Once every hour - hour and half is usually perfect).
Cook until the thickest part of the breast meat measures around 160-170°F, usually about 3 1/2 hours but will vary greatly depending on your temperatures and the size of the chicken.
After the chicken is cooked, remove from the smoker and allow to rest for 20 minutes. After rested, carve and serve.