Recipe: Bill Valentine’s TownLine BBQ Smoked Chicken

TownLine Smoked Chicken Towline BBQ
TownLine Smoked Chicken
Courtesy TownLine BBQ

Learn to make TownLine smoked chicken, with crispy skin or without, following this delicious recipe from chef Bill Valentine of TownLine BBQ in Sagaponack.

TownLine Smoked Chicken


2 natural whole frying chicken
1 quart hot tap water
1 quart ice water
2 oz salt
4 oz sugar
1 oz chili powder
blended oil (to rub the chickens)
salt and black pepper to taste
TownLine Rub to taste (can purchase at the restaurant) or use you own secret rub.


Spatchcock and brine the chickens:

1. Remove the backbone from the two chickens and clean any excess fat. Splay the chickens. This is called spatchcocking.

2. In a vessel that can hold the chickens, add in the hot tap water, salt, sugar, and chili powder. Stir to dissolve.

3. Pour in the ice water.

4. Add the chickens.

5. Submerge the chickens in the brine.

6. Place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and no longer than two days


1. Remove the chickens from the brine and discard the brine.

2. With a paper towel blot the chickens dry

3. Rub the chickens down with the oil.

4. Season the chickens liberally with the salt and pepper.

5. Season the chickens liberally with the TownLine BBQ rub (contrary to its name, rarely do you ever rub—sprinkling works fine).

6. Over a hickory or white oak wood fire, set the smoker temp to 225°F

7. Place the chickens skin side up in the smoker and smoke for approximately 2–3 hours depending on size, or until a thermometer reaches 165°F internal temp in the thickest part of the breast.

8. Let the chicken’s rest. About 7 minutes.

9. Cut the chickens up, and serve with some coleslaw, pickles and beans.

Optional (for a crispy skin):

Warm a cast-iron skillet on the stove on medium heat with a good film of oil.

Gently place the chicken in the skillet, skin-side down, and pan fry until the chicken is crispy.

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