After having lived in Florida for over 13 years, it is about time we have a smoked alligator recipe on this site! And while I have cooked a decent amount of alligator, I have yet to put a gator recipe on this site, even after my husband Scott had a successful gator hunt a few years ago. Truth be told, I am still perfecting my gator gumbo recipe and when I get it perfect I will be sharing it with you!

That is why I’m so excited GrillGirl contributor Thomas Galleassi has shared his smoked alligator recipe, which is the perfect thing to cook for a truly unique and memorable cookout! Thomas Galleassi is a Pitmaster friend of ours from Pennsylvania who loves to cook for his friends and family and also does some catering.  We sure are thankful he has shared his whole smoked gator recipe GrillGirl readers can replicate his success!

Have you ever asked yourself “what does alligator taste like?” For those of you who have never tried a smoked alligator recipe, it tastes like a cross between fish and chicken and the key to cooking it is to not overcook it, which is why it is perfect smoked! According to Thomas, whole smoked gator tastes more like ham or turkey than when you fry gator, which makes it taste more like chicken. 

GrillGirl, Thomas Galleassi, whole smoked gator recipe


GrillGirl, Thomas Galleassi, whole smoked gator recipe

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
exotic meat recipes, bbq gator

Whole Smoked Alligator

  • Author: Thomas Galeassi
  • Total Time: 21 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


If you want to have a truly epic get together, smoking a whole gator is the way to do it! Surprisingly easy with great results, the secret ingredient here is time and smoke for perfectly cooked gator! The part that takes the longest is brining overnight, but after that, the gator will only take about 5 hours until cooked for a 27 lb alligator.

Smoked gator taste more like turkey or ham than when you fry it, which makes it taste more like chicken.





  • Container to put the gator in (a small ice cooler works well)
  • enough water to cover the gator (6 gallons were used in this recipe)
  • 1 cup Kosher or sea salt per gallon of water used
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar


  • Light dusting of your favorite Creole seasoning
  • A good rub (Plow Boys Yard Bird Rub was used in this recipe)
  • Jack Daniels
  • Cherry cola
  • Apple juice

For the grill:

  • Briquettes
  • Lump charcoal
  • Light or fruity wood chunks (pecan wood chunks were used in this recipe)


  1. Allow the frozen alligator to thaw for about a day before putting it in a small ice cooler and covering it with enough water to submerge the gator.
  2. Add Kosher or sea salt, brown sugar and white sugar to the water in the cooler and let the gator sit in the brine for 16 hours.
  3. Preheat your pit to 250. I used a Meadow Creek PR60 Pig Roaster with a combination of briquettes, lump charcoal and pecan wood chunks.
  4. Season the gator with Creole seasoning and a rub of your choice.
  5. Once the pit’s temperature reaches 250, place the gator on the pit and mop the gator every hour for 5 hours with a mix of Jack Daniels, cherry cola and apple juice.
  6. After 5 hours, the gator should be perfectly cooked and you can serve it immediately (just to be sure, internal temp with a thermapen should be 155 degrees)


The tail meat is the most tender of the gator and is made up of 2 tenderloins. The legs are called the red meat of the gator and taste similar to chicken thighs. They are also really tender and moist.
  • Prep Time: 16 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Exotic Meats, Creole
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American, Creole

Keywords: whole alligator bbq, whole smoked alligator, grilled alligator, cooked alligator

Did you enjoy this recipe for Whole Alligator BBQ? Check out these other recipes made on the smoker!

Rum Pineapple Pork Ribs are Sweet and Tangy

Iguana Tacos with Aji Amarillo Crema (Chicken of the Tree Tacos)

Bourbon and Coke Braised Short Ribs on the Pit Barrel Cooker

My name is Tom Galeassi. I’m from Pennsylvania, married to my high school sweetheart and together we have 3 beautiful girls. I work in fabrication, building trucks for over 20 years But recently, I took my hobby of cooking, grilling, and smoking meats and started doing some catering on the side, eventually I would like to get into food trucks. I do anything and everything from BBQ meats, Pig Roasts, Crawfish and Seafood boils, Clam bakes, I even cooked up a whole gator on my BBQ pit. My mother would tell you I showed an interest in cooking from the time I could reach the kitchen counter, and it just kind of grew from there. She also worked many years for a butcher, which is where I learned a lot about all the different cuts of meats. I don’t really call myself a Pit Master, I jokingly tell people I’m just a BBQ nerd.