Pollos Asados Los Norteños' Smoked Chicken

This recipe comes fromPollos Asados Los Norteños in San Antiono via our friends at Southern Living. For traditional Mexican-style charcoal-grilled chicken, this is one of San Antonio’s hidden gems. Their key to amazing chicken is keeping it tender and juicy and this restaurant does it right! Here's how you can make it at home.

By / Photography By Editors of Southern Living | May 11, 2017


Hands-on 15 minutes -  Total time about 4 hours

1. Soak the wood chunks in water to cover 1 hour. 

2. Meanwhile, combine the piloncillo and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the chickens with the piloncillo mixture, and let stand 30 minutes.

3. Prepare the smoker according to manufacturer’s directions. Place water pan in smoker; add water to depth of fill line. Bring internal temperature to 225° to 250°F, and maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Drain the wood chunks, and place on coals. Place the chickens on cooking grate; cover with smoker lid. Smoke 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F. 

5. Remove the chickens from smoker, and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

*Piloncillo is a raw sugar made from reduced cane juice. It’s sold molded into cone shapes and is sometimes labeled panela. To measure, place the cone in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and pound it with a meat mallet to break it apart. Dark brown sugar may be substituted for piloncillo.

NOTE: Excerpted from Texas BBQ by the Editors of Southern Living. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved


  • 3 to 4 oak, hickory, or pecan wood chunks
  • 1 cup firmly packed piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) (about 1 [8-ounce] cone)*
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (3 3⁄4- to 4-pound) whole chickens
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