Smoked Spatchcock Chicken, the easiest way to cook a whole chicken so it’s perfectly cooked! Full of smokey flavor, this chicken is fall apart tender and no brine needed!
Learn all tips on how to easily spatchcock an entire chicken and the best way to smoke it!
I know I’ve shared chicken legs, chicken quarters, and even beer can chicken, but this time I wanted explain just how easy it is to spatchcock chicken. Not only does it cook the chicken more evenly, but leads to faster cook times over all.
And who doesn’t love that!
What does spatchcock mean in cooking?
Spatchcocking, is also known as butterflying and is when you remove the backbone and break the breastbone of the chicken so it will lie relatively flat when cooking.
This method allows the bird to be cooked faster and more evenly than if you were to cook it whole. Even if you don’t smoke the chicken, you can grill, or even pan fry it and it will cook ~25% faster.
What you need for this recipe:
Whole Chicken- 4 to 6 lbs
Dry Rub- I mixed together some spices for this recipe, but you can use any dry rub you want.
How to make smoked spatchcock chicken?
Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears (this is my preferred tool, cut along the spine of the chicken from tail to neck.
Remove spine and discard or freeze for make stock in the future.
Open the bird and locate the nob of bone/cartilage that is the where the breastbone meets in the middle.
Using a knife, slice through this nob. It will be very easy to cut through.
Alternatively, you can flip the bird over and press on this spot with your hands until you hear it break.
Once cut through, flip the bird and lay out flat. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with dry rub.
Smoke chicken until an internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Smoker- I used my Camp Chef Pellet Smoker, but this works great in when I use my Vault Wood Smoker too! (affiliate links)
- Smoker Thermometer- I love my Thermoworks Smoke thermometer. (affiliate links)
- Instant Read Thermometer- I like to spot check the chicken once it reaches the temperature on my smoke thermometer. I use a Thermapen One. (affiliate link)
- Pellets or Wood Chips- whichever is your favorite for poultry,
Frequently Asked Questions
The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Yes. Freeze cooked chicken in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
How long to smoke spatchcock chicken?
Always cook to an internal temperature of 165°F and not to time, that being said it takes about 3 ½ hours to smoke a 4lb chicken.
You can always increase the temperature of your smoker to 300°F halfway through cooking to speed things up.
I also like to remove the chicken when it reaches and internal temperature of 155°F and place in an oven preheated to 400°F to crisp the skin and get it to its final temperature of 165°F.
What sides go with smoked chicken?
I love serving this chicken up with some crispy brussel sprouts, sweet potato rolls, and some fresh lemonade.
What to do with leftover chicken?
I highly recommend chicken enchiladas or chicken tacos!
- Cook chicken until it has an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Do not us ethe same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
Watch how to make this recipe!
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Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
- 4-6 lb whole chicken
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 4 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs chipotle powder
- 2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Mix together all the dry rub ingredients together in small bowl. Set aside.4 tbs brown sugar, 1 tbs garlic powder, 1 tbs paprika, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 tbs chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoon chile powder, Pinch of salt
- Preheat smoker to 225°F.
How to spatchcock chicken:
- Locate the spine along the back of the chicken. Cut along the spine on both sides the remove it. You can save for making chicken both or throw away.4-6 lb whole chicken
- Flip chicken over and locate the nob or cartilage/bone that is at the top the breast on the inside of the bird.
- Using a sharp knife slice through this nob- it should be pretty easy. Then flip the bird over and lay out flat.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with dry rub.2-3 tbs olive oil
- Smoke chicken until a thermometer reads an internal temperature reaches 140°F. Then turn your smoker up to 300°F and finish smoking until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. *
- Once done smoking, allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Cut and enjoy!
- *You can use any dry rub you like or mix up the one I used in this recipe.
- *You can also just flip the chicken back over and press down where the knob is located, pressing hard enough to break that part and being able to lay the bird out flat.
- *If you want crispy chicken skin, I recommend pulling the chicken off at 155°F and placing in an oven that has been preheated to 400°F for 5-10 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
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