clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Alabama white sauce chicken

BBQ Chicken With Alabama White Sauce Recipe


Alabama white sauce chicken recipe from Master of the Grill, by America’s Test Kitchen.


For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Chicken, shears, spices

For the Alabama white sauce

  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

For spritzing

  • 8 oz apple juice


Split and dry brine the chicken

  • Remove the backbone of the chicken by cutting on either side of it with kitchen shears.
  • Split the chicken in half by cutting down the breastbone with a sharp chef’s knife or some good kitchen shears.
  • Combine salt, pepper, and cayenne until thoroughly mixed.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels and apply dry rub to the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in a rimmed metal baking sheet. Refrigerate the chicken, uncovered, overnight to dry brine.

Spicing the chicken

Make the sauce

  • Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to 2 days.
[gallery link="file" size="medium" ids="27828,27829,27830,27831,27832,27833"]

Cook the chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and prepare your smoker. 
  • Heat your smoker to maintain a temperature of 300°F (149°C). Use the air probe on your Smoke X2 to monitor the temps, setting the high-temp alarm to 325°F (163°C) and the low-temp alarm to 275°F (135°C).
    • Barbecue expert Steven Raichlen recommends using hickory or pecan wood for this project.
  • Place the chicken in the smoker. 
  • Place your Smoke X2‘s probe into the deepest part of one of the chicken breasts, avoiding the bone.
[gallery link="file" size="medium" ids="27834,27835,27836"]
  • Set the alarm temperature to track the chicken’s temperature on your Smoke X2. We recommend a pull temperature of 155°F (68°C), so set your high-temp alarm for that temperature. 
  • Close the lid and set a TimeStick® for 30 minutes. Spritz the chicken with apple juice every 15-30 minutes while it cooks.
[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="medium" ids="27837,27838"]
  • The chicken halves will take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to cook.
  • Toward the end of the cook, baste the chicken with about some of the white sauce. (You can even do this once the chicken has come to temp.)

Saucing the chicken in the smoker

  • Once your Smoke X2’s meat alarm sounds, spot-check the chicken halves in multiple areas with a Thermapen to verify that 155°F (68°C) is the lowest temperature in the meat.
    • If a lower temperature is found, replace the chicken’s probe to read the lowest temperature and continue cooking until it reaches 155°F (68°C).
  • Remove the chicken from the grill once a lowest internal temperature of 157°F (69°C) is verified with a Thermapen.
  • Brush again with the white sauce, cover with aluminum foil, and rest for 5-10 minutes.

Basting more Alabama white sauce on the chicken after cooking

  • Serve the chicken with additional sauce and enjoy both the chicken and the praise.