Dr Pepper Is The Secret Ingredient To Give Smoked Chicken A Sweet Kick Of Flavor

Chicken may not generally excite your senses when you hear that it's what's for dinner. In fact, many people consider chicken to be dry and boring. However, if you have a smoker and a can of Dr Pepper, you're just a few hours away from chicken like you've never tasted before.

Dr Pepper will give you a whole new lease on chicken. It enhances the quality of your meat, (and that goes for turkey, pork, or any other meat). Dr Pepper is also the classic soda that Andrew Zimmern brines his turkey legs in because it infuses his meat with a sweet flavor and further tenderizes it. Soda will similarly tenderize your chicken as a marinade because it contains acid, which can break down chewy fibers. Dr Pepper has a pH of 2.9, which is almost as acidic as lemon and vinegar, which have a pH of 2.

Soda also enlivens a glaze or sauce for your chicken. The signature sweetness of Dr Pepper pairs beautifully with other smokey and spicy ingredients. It's sometimes featured in BBQ sauce, too, which will further intensify the flavor of your chicken. 

Incorporate Dr Pepper at any step of the smoking process

Owning a smoker opens up your world to new possibilities when it comes to preparing meat. Smoking takes a few hours from start to finish but the result is different from anything you've had that's grilled, fried, or baked. Chicken performs well in the smoker but not without a little bit of help from supporting flavors.

You can incorporate Dr Pepper into your smoked chicken in a number of steps in the smoking process, from adding it to the brine to mixing it with other ingredients for a sauce. Another possibility is using a can of Dr Pepper as a stand for your whole chicken as it smokes for several hours. Pour out some of the soda, and stand up the chicken on top of the can. This concept is similar to beer can chicken, when the chicken stands up on a can of beer.

At several points during the hours in which your smoker is doing its job, dousing the chicken in Dr Pepper will create a glazed exterior. As soon as the internal temperature of the bird reaches 165 degrees F, it's ready to slice and eat.