How long to let the chicken rest after smoking?

Last Updated on: 20th May 2023, 03:08 pm

One of the most crucial elements that might change the texture of the smoked chicken is resting.

But because there isn’t much information on the internet on this subject, there is a lot of uncertainty.

How long the chicken should rest after smoking is one of them.

As a general rule, you should let your chicken 15 to 30 minutes to rest before serving.

You will also need to be really careful about resting it for too long.

because it started to cool down and become hardened.

You should give the chicken enough time to rest so that the meat juices are redistributed thoroughly while avoiding letting it rest for too long.

Based on our experience, 15–30 minutes is a good range to rest chicken effectively.

How long can you rest a chicken

Depending on the size of the chicken, as was previously indicated, chicken can rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

Smaller chickens can be smoked for as little as 15 minutes, while bigger chickens require at least 30 minutes of resting time.

The length of rest is mostly determined by the size of the chicken.

When an animal is slaughtered, the size of the chicken depends on the size of the cow or any other animal.

Therefore, a smaller chicken will be softer and take less time to rest.

When the chicken’s internal temperature hits boiling during smoking, the moisture begins to evaporate.

The stall phase is another name for it.

As a result, the moisture in the chicken is attracted to its surface through evaporation.

As a result, the skin of the chicken accumulates moisture, while the deeper part of the chicken gets dry.

The meat fluids will flow out and change the look of the chicken if you slice it right away after smoking.

in addition to the meat juices , rub and spritz can also be present on the surface of meat. in addition to resting chicken after smoking , you also need to give it some time to sink in the rub.

We rest the chicken for this reason.

so that the moisture on the chicken’s surface will seep through and be reabsorbed by the meat’s fibers.

Before picking a choice, it’s crucial to consider the size of the chicken because this method differs based on its size.

What does “carryover cooking” mean while resting a chicken?

Carryover cooking means a continuous increase in the temperature of chicken after it has been removed from the smoker.

During the resting stage, carryover cooking typically happens.

The temperature might increase by 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the size and texture of the chicken.

Therefore, it’s crucial to remember that even after you take the chicken out of the smoker, the cooking will continue.

The chicken should be removed 5–10°F before it reaches the desired temperature.

For instance, it is a good idea to remove a chicken at 185°F and set it aside for resting if you want to cook it at 190°F.

Otherwise, residual cooking will cause the temperature to rise and the chicken to be overcooked.

Really, smoking requires a lot of rest.

The chicken’s resting range must be within both its minimum and maximum limits.

The meat fluids will leak if you slice the chicken too soon.

The chicken will continue to cook or cool down if you leave it to rest for a long period. Therefore, it’s crucial to establish a certain window for the chicken to rest.

Chicken should be rested for a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes, depending on its size. The chicken has to be able to relax inside this area.

Every bird cannot be rested separately for 15 or 30 minutes.

Consider the chicken’s size while choosing amongst the above-mentioned ranges.

However, you shouldn’t let decision-making overwhelm you because it’s the only way to effectively master smoking.

Why should the chicken be rested?

For chickens, taking a break from activity is crucial.

Every chicken must rest before being sliced, thus it is not an optional step.

Resting chickens has several advantages.

Below are a few of them.

Redistribution of meat fluids

Chicken may redistribute its meat fluids while resting.

The meat fluids sink in and are reabsorbed by the meat fibers when chicken is given time to rest.

As a result, when the meat is cut, the fluids won’t leak out.

One of the most crucial components of smoked chicken is the meat fluids.

This is typically the chicken’s moisture content.

When smoking chicken, the bird is pierced to examine the color of the meat fluids and determine when it is done.

You now know that when chicken is poked, the flesh fluids existing on its surface pour out.

Do you know where these fluids originate, though?

The moisture from the chicken itself is what is attracted to the surface during evaporation, is the correct response.

In the stall phase, it is attracted to the surface.

However, the taste is still there on the chicken’s exterior after it has finished smoking.

Therefore, the meat fluids will leak out and change the texture of the chicken if the chicken is cut into slices right away after smoking.

chicken becomes more soft

Resting also contributes to the redistribution of meat liquids, which softens and tenderizes chicken.

Carryover cooking and moisture retention when covered are the two main causes of chicken’s softness.

One of the most underappreciated occurrences in the realm of smoking is carryover cooking.

The chicken will continue to heat up for a while after being removed from the smoker.

The flesh will become more soft and the fibers will be broken down by the rise in temperature.

Second, if the chicken is covered while it is resting, the moisture will be retained and the chicken will be cooked by steaming for a while.

The chicken will become even more moist and tender as a result.

The chicken will be soft enough to be easily peeled off after resting for a while.

increases flavor

The taste of chicken is also improved by resting it.

It’s like giving the rub and other ingredients one last chance to fully penetrate the chicken.

Along with the meat fluids, the rubbed particles will penetrate the chicken more deeply.

Additionally, resting can enhance taste even further if you brushed sauce on the chicken while it was being smoked.

The chicken will combine with the sauce and rub that have been applied, enhancing its taste.

Should the chicken be wrapped while it is resting?

Another contentious issue in the barbecue community is whether to wrap or cover chicken while it is resting.

On this subject, there are countless schools of opinion.

The chicken is either covered or left exposed depending on preference.

And it appears that they are both correct.

Regarding whether or not to wrap your chicken while it is resting, there is no set rule.

You are free to choose.

Both strategies offer advantages, so you must choose which one you prefer based on your preferences.

Because it facilitates better redistribution of meat liquids, covering chicken as it rests makes it more soft and moist.

Additionally, it cooks chicken by steaming it for a time, which boosts the chicken’s softness and softens it.

On the other hand, resting chicken uncovered allows us to preserve a crispier and better bark.

As was already noted, when wrapping, the moisture contained within the foil might alter the chicken’s bark and cause it to seem untidy.

So, whether you want to cover chicken or not is a matter of personal preference.

Cover the chicken if you want a delicate and soft chicken.

You don’t need to cover the chicken while it rests if you want a crispy and flavorful bark.

Is it harmful to let hens relax too much?

The answer to this question will always be yes, plain and simple.

Natural law dictates that everything in excess is dangerous, and resting chicken is no exception.

For the chicken that is resting, you must establish a certain range.

Generally speaking, chicken shouldn’t be let to rest for longer than 30 minutes.

The chicken will start to cool down and solidify after 30 minutes.

Therefore, you should think about serving your chicken after it has rested for no more than 30 minutes.

As was already said, there are numerous advantages to resting, from the redistribution of meat liquids to the tenderization of chicken.

These advantages, however, might become drawbacks if overused.

Consider setting a limit of no more than 30 minutes for chicken to rest.

The most typical result of over-resting a chicken is that it will begin to chill down and stiffen.

If your chicken hasn’t cooled off, feeding it to visitors won’t be very attractive.

By resting chicken in an oven or using the faux-cambro technique, you may bypass the chilling process.

But if you leave the chicken to rest for too long, you risk overcooking it.

While the chicken is resting in the oven, you need to be extremely vigilant about its internal temperature.

By wrapping chicken in foil and placing it in a cooler, we basically minimize the chances of heat loss and increase insolation. by the you can also check our article on How long can a turkey rest after smoking? for more information

Is there a difference between resting and holding while smoking meat?

In most cases, the terms “holding chickens” and “resting chickens” are interchangeable.

Due to the lack of information on these subjects, you can even find professional pitmasters using these names interchangeably.

The interior temperature of the chicken determines whether it should be held or rested.

While holding requires keeping the chicken’s internal temperature constant for a longer period of time than resting, we chill the chicken slightly to facilitate the redistribution of meat fluids.

To enable the meat fluids that are on the surface of the chicken to soak back into the flesh, we usually rest chicken at room temperature.

In addition, we only do it for a maximum of 30 minutes to prevent overcooling.

While holding, we are more concerned with keeping the chicken’s temperature close to 160°F to ensure that it is presented fresh.

In other words, we are more focused on storing than on relaxing.

In order to facilitate the return of the meat fluids, resting can be done at room temperature.

To ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken remains consistent while holding, it should be done using a fake cambro or an oven.


Depending on the size, chicken should be rested for 15-30 minutes.

It will allow the chicken enough time to reabsorb the meat juices and enhance the flavor.

You should be really careful about resting chicken for too long because it can result in the hardening of the chicken. if you interested in learning more then check out our article on How long to let the ribs rest after smoking?

Jakob miller