Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken

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Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken is tenderized and slow-cooked in a Dutch Oven. The meat becomes extra-tender and stays that way beneath a skin that is crisped and browned in the final step of the cooking process. Read on for the mouthwatering recipe.

Dutch Oven Smoke House Chicken

Serve this with a heaping helping of Alabama White Barbecue Sauce and you might feel as if you’ve gone to Glory.

In order to make the smokehouse chicken I grew up with, you’d need a pit building that has been smoking chicken since the 1950’s and pit masters who work on it all day to get it just right. But on the off chance that you, like me, don’t have your own barbecue smokehouse, this is how I do it and it comes in as a very close kissin’ cousin — awfully good in it’s own right.

Ingredients smoke house chicken

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Cider Vinegar (more about that under the next photo)
  • Kosher salt (or regular)
  • Smoked Paprika (or regular)
  • Hot sauce (the red kind)
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Brown Sugar (light or dark)
  • Smoked or Regular Black Pepper

Helpful Kitchen Tools

  • Dutch Oven

Oh yeah, you’re gonna need some chicken. Bone in, skin on. No exceptions if you want this to be just right.

Seriously, if you don’t have the exact ingredients I am using (other than the type of chicken), it will be ok — what you have on hand will do just fine. But the chicken must be bone in, skin on.

*If you really want to give it a smokehouse taste, add in a little bit of liquid smoke. I don’t use that on here because I get too many emails when I use it that are actually worse than the emails I get when I use food coloring — and that is sayin’ something — believe me!

How To Make Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken

Pour vinegar into a dutch oven or deep pain

 Pour your vinegar into a dutch oven or deep baking dish.

A 9×13 would work for this as long as you are careful not to spill the liquid when putting it in and out of the oven.

Why Add Vinegar?

The chicken doesn’t taste like vinegar — don’t worry. The vinegar is a base that tenderizes it and infuses it with all of the other flavors. Once you add everything else to the vinegar in the next step, it becomes just a base. However, your kitchen will smell like cider vinegar and it WILL clean your sinuses out when you open the lid. If you can’t deal with that then you should have someone make this chicken for you :). However, if you like my slow cooked pulled pork, you’ll love this dutch oven smokehouse chicken. I used that recipe as a starting point to come up with this one.

add in all other ingredients except chicken

 Now add in all of your other stuff, everything except the chicken.

all ingredients except the chicken

Stir that up good and well until the sugar is dissolved. The vinegar helps this happen pretty fast.

after stiring that up add the chicken

Now put your chicken in, skin side down.

Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken - Slow cooked in a tenderizing sauce with a skin that crisps in the final steps, this chicken is amazing and made in your oven at home!

Put a lid on your dutch oven or cover your baking dish with foil.

Bake this at 300 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove lid (watch for the steam). Flip chicken over and put lid back on. Return to oven for another 45 minutes.

After that time, remove lid and keep pot in oven. Place oven on broil for 15-20 minutes to brown and crisp skin, watching carefully so chicken doesn’t burn.

after cooking leave in oven and broil for 20 mins

This is what mine looked like after 20 minutes under the broiler. I removed some of the liquid to get more parts of the chicken browning (the parts under the liquid won’t brown).

smoked house chicken on the plate

 And this is what you have on your plate.

bit of smoke house chicken

Now go ahead…Dig in to this crispy moist meal of goodness. Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken might just be your new favorite way to eat chicken.

smoked house chicken on the plate

Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken

Dutch Oven Smokehouse Chicken is slow-cooked in a tenderizing sauce that causes the meat to become fork tender beneath a skin that is crisped and browned.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 409kcal


  • Bone-in skin-on chicken however much will fit in a single layer of a baking dish or Dutch oven
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked black pepper can use regular
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar dark or light
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce the red kind in the glass bottle
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 +1/2 cups cider vinegar


  • Combine all ingredients except for chicken in enamel Dutch Oven, or other baking dish. Stir well until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place chicken in pot, skin side down. Cover and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove pot from oven and flip chicken. Cover again and return to oven for another 45 minutes.
  • Remove lid and place oven on broil. Broil for 20 minutes, or until skin is nicely browned and somewhat crispy on top, watching carefully so that it does not burn (this may take significantly less time in your oven as they vary).
  • Spoon additional pan juices over to serve.


Calories: 409kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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~Albert Einstein

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you! I found this recipe by googling, out of desperation, the few ingredients I had at my house! I had chicken leg quarters that we usually use for bait in crab pots but I had extra that I did not want to waste. I am 100% a vinegar and hot sauce person. My husband is not! He loved it! I am making it for the third time tonight! FYI, I have only used regular black
    Pepper. I can’t imagine how good it will be if I ever remember to but smoke black pepper! I just wanted to thank you!

  2. My husband is adamant that he does not like chicken thighs – would the breast meat work okay in this or would it be too dry?

  3. 4 stars
    Like eating a whole bag of salt & vinegar potato chips. I like salt & vinegar potato chips. Didn’t have any smoked paprika or black pepper so I used regular. My gas oven has a pathetic “broiler” underneath, wholly unsuited for this recipe, so I removed the lid after 90 minutes, increased the oven temp to 450, removed about half of the accumulated liquid and returned the pot to the oven for another 20 minutes. Took out the chicken pieces, added a pat of butter to the remaining liquid and reduced it a bit for the final sauce. Chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender as advertised. Will make again, perhaps with a few cloves of garlic.

  4. 5 stars
    I used this recipe for the 1st time and the flavor was absolutely delicious. I’ll admit I had a roasting chicken that I cut in quarters so my cook time was different. It was too big for my dutch oven so I had to improvise… I will definitely make this again!

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