Should I baste chicken while smoking? Yes, you should definitely baste your chicken while smoking! Not only does it keep the chicken moist, but it also adds an extra layer of flavor to your dish. Here are some tips on how to properly baste your chicken while smoking:

  • Use a mop sauce: As mentioned, your chicken is already smothered in a mop sauce while smoking. Use this sauce to baste your chicken every 30 minutes or so. This will ensure that the chicken stays moist and flavorful throughout the smoking process.
  • Don’t overdo it: While basting is important, you don’t want to overdo it. Too much basting can actually wash away the rub and seasoning on your chicken, leaving it bland. Stick to basting every 30 minutes or so, and use a light hand.
  • Use a basting brush: A basting brush is the best tool for the job. It allows you to evenly distribute the mop sauce over your chicken without making a mess.
  • Be patient: Smoking is a slow process, and basting takes time. Be patient and don’t rush the process. Your chicken will be worth the wait!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to baste your chicken while smoking like a pro. Your chicken will be moist, flavorful, and absolutely delicious!


Smoking chicken is a popular cooking method that infuses the meat with a delicious smoky flavor. However, smoking chicken can also dry it out, leaving it tough and unappetizing. To combat this, many people choose to baste their chicken while smoking. But is basting really necessary? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of basting chicken while smoking, as well as some alternatives to consider.

What is basting?

Basting is the process of brushing or pouring liquid over meat while it cooks. This liquid can be a marinade, a sauce, or even just water. When it comes to smoking chicken, basting is often done with a mop sauce, which is a thin, vinegar-based sauce that helps keep the meat moist and adds flavor. Basting can be done with a brush, a baster, or even just a spoon.

Benefits of basting chicken while smoking

– Keeps the meat moist: Basting chicken while smoking helps keep the meat from drying out, which can be a common problem when smoking poultry.
– Adds flavor: Mop sauces used for basting can add a delicious tangy flavor to the chicken, enhancing its overall taste.
– Creates a crispy skin: Basting can also help create a crispy skin on the chicken, which is a desirable texture for many people.

Drawbacks of basting chicken while smoking

– Can extend cooking time: Basting chicken while smoking can extend the cooking time, as you’ll need to open the smoker to apply the sauce. This can cause the temperature inside the smoker to drop, which can slow down the cooking process.
– Can cause flare-ups: If the mop sauce used for basting contains sugar or other sweeteners, it can cause flare-ups in the smoker, which can be dangerous.
– Can dilute the flavor: Basting too frequently or with too much liquid can dilute the flavor of the chicken, making it less flavorful overall.

Alternatives to basting chicken while smoking

If you’re not a fan of basting chicken while smoking, there are a few alternatives you can try:

– Brine the chicken: Brining the chicken before smoking can help keep it moist and flavorful without the need for basting.
– Use a dry rub: A dry rub can add flavor to the chicken without the need for a mop sauce.
– Use a spray bottle: Instead of basting with a brush or spoon, you can use a spray bottle to mist the chicken with liquid. This can help keep the meat moist without extending the cooking time or causing flare-ups.


In the end, whether or not you choose to baste your chicken while smoking is up to you. Basting can help keep the meat moist and add flavor, but it can also extend the cooking time and cause flare-ups. If you’re not a fan of basting, there are alternatives you can try, such as brining or using a dry rub. Whatever method you choose, the most important thing is to cook the chicken to a safe internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it’s safe to eat.

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