Smoked + Fried Buttermilk Chicken

This is KFC on spicy steroids. Smoking the chicken at a lower temperature allows the chicken to retain its moisture before frying. Serve with cold beers, your favourite mayo and Tucker’s buttermilk slaw. If you have the time it is well worth brining your chicken to ensure succulent and moist meat. Check out Tucker’s how-to-brine article and use a 6% brine for around 4 hours.


Smoked + Fried Buttermilk Chicken

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Serves 4


    Chicken Rub:
  • 5 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp hot paprika
  • 1 tbsp Olsson's salt
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • Chicken:
  • 1kg free-range chicken wings
  • 1kg free-range drumsticks
  • 300ml cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 500ml vegetable oil


  1. If you have brined your chicken, remove from the brine and pat dry.
  2. Prepare your barbecue for indirect smoking (see our how-to-smoke article) and pre-heat your barbecue to 110C.
  3. Use 5 tablespoons of your chicken rub to coat the chicken. Place the chicken on the barbecue away from the coals and smoke for 1 hour. Remove from the barbecue and wrap in cling film to create a humid environment.
  4. When cool, add the buttermilk and remaining chicken rub to the chicken and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Add vegetable to a deep saucepan and bring to frying temperature (180C). Test with the bottom of a wooden spoon, the oil should begin to bubble around the spoon after 1 or 2 seconds.
  6. Place the flour in a large shallow bowl and dust chicken. Shake off any excess flour and fry the chicken in batches for 8 – 10 minutes or until cooked (70C on a meat thermometer).
  7. Drain on baking paper, season with salt and serve with your favourite mayonnaise.



Recipe: Sam Peasnell
Photography and Styling: Emily Bartlett