Crispy Smoked Spatchcock chicken is incredible juicy and moist with a great smoky flavor due to more exposed area of the chicken to the smoke! Take it from Chef Sherry, this is a must try recipe!
Pellet smoke create beautiful and mouth-watering grilled extra crispy skin chicken that you’ve never seen before! High heat at the beginning of the cooking process creates an unbelievable crispy chicken skin to hold in all the chicken juices.
Then turn down the smoker grill to help soak up that amazing smoky flavor. Layers upon layers of incredible flavor will take your chicken to the next level.
By butterflying an entire chicken, it helps to make them juicy. A whole spatchcock chicken will cook evenly and have great smoke flavor along with a classic bbq taste.
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What is Spatchcock Chicken?
Gather all the ingredients to make the smoked chicken. A spatchcock chicken is just the funny name for a chicken with the backbone removed to allow it to lay flat for cooking.
Spatchcocking is a cooking technique in poultry to remove the backbone and fracture its breastbone, so they are flattened while cooked.
It is often called butterflying a chick. This chicken recipe is very easy to prepare, is deliciously tender and well worth learning how to make!
It exposes the chicken’s skin, which gives an evenly cooked bird a crispy surface that holds the moisture into the bird. Smoking the chicken that has been spatchcocked over pellet smoked heat produces a golden, crisp outer shell, and juicy tender meat with rich smokey flavors.
Cleaning the Whole Chicken
Prep the whole chicken in a clean, empty kitchen sink. While in the sink, remove the whole chicken from its packaging.
If your chicken has any of the extra chicken parts (neck, gizzards, and liver) on the inside of the bird, remove them. The raw chicken must be rinsed inside and out with cold fresh water.
Lay the bird with the backbone up on a large cutting board or baking sheet pan.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken?
I was intimidated by that method, but the process is very fast. All you need is some good kitchen scissors.
I recommend using sharp kitchen shears verses a sharp knife. Put the chicken breast-side down.
Using kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone to eliminate the spine.
Discard this backbone piece.
Turn the chicken over and lay it flat so that the skin faces upward. Flip the leg and thigh meat pieces out so the skin is up.
If desired to get the bird to lay flatter, put your palm over the chicken breast bone and press gently.
BBQ Dry Rub
I like to use my homemade BBQ dry rub when seasoning this spatchcock chicken. It adds an extra layer of flavor.
To learn how to make my easy dry BBQ rub with a few pantry ingredients. Make extra dry rub seasoning and store in an airtight container for a later time.
It not only adds a touch of spiciness and balances all the other spices. The rub mixture also caramelizes beautifully on smokers and grills.
Seasoning the Spatchcock Chicken
Rub the skin of the spatchcock chicken with olive oil. The oil helps the spices stick to it and also crisps up the skin.
Make sure to season both sides of the chicken. Start with a thin layer of seasoned salt and pepper.
Then, thoroughly coat both sides with a generous amount of BBQ dry rub. Use the BBQ dry rub of your choice or use my homemade BBQ dry rub recipe.
More seasoning is best because it will fall off during the cooking and serving process.
What Type of Smoker to Use?
Any smoker will work when making this spatchcock chicken. I have used a Traeger Smoker, a Brinkmann Smoker, a Masterbuilt Smoker, Weber Smoker, Pit Boss Smoker, Camp Chef Smoker, and Big Green Egg Smoker.
But my hands down favorite smoker is a Rec Teq Smoker!! Some smokers use wood chips, and some smokers use wood pellets.
Both the wood chips and pellet come in different flavors such as apple, hickory, cherry, and maple just to name a few.
How to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken?
Once your whole chicken is spatchcocked and seasoned, it’s time to fire up the smoker. Preheat the smoker to 400°F.
Fill the pellet bin with your favorite pellet flavor. I like to use the competition blend pellets. Use your favorite flavor.
Once the smoker has come to the right temperature, place the seasoned spatchcock chicken onto the grill. I don’t recommend using aluminum foil under the chicken.
If you have a temperature probe, insert it into the thickest part of the chicken breast close to the bone but not touching. Make sure to plug the probe into the smoker panel.
How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken?
Smoking a spatchcock chicken will very in how long it takes to smoke. Things that can affect the cook time is the size of the chicken, the outside temperature, the wind around the smoker, and the type of smoker that you are using.
USE A TEMPERATURE PROBE OR A DIGITAL INSTANT READ THERMOMETER!! Start smoking the bird at 400°F for 30 minutes.
Then turn down the smoker to 300°F. Smoked the spatchcock chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure to check a couple places on the smoked spatchcock chicken to make sure it is at least 165°F. Try not to go too much past the 165°F or else your smoked chicken will become overcooked and dried out.
Let the chicken rest for a couple minutes before serving. Cooking time will be about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
What to Serve with Smoked Spatchcock Chicken?
When making this smoked chicken main dish, it is so easy to throw a couple of side dishes next to the chicken to make this a complete meal. Try my smoked potatoes, smoked asparagus, or smoked mac and cheese.
If you want a side dish that is not smoked then try tomato, onion and cucumber salad, mushroom risotto, grilled butternut squash, stovetop cream cheese corn, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, French potato salad, or vermicelli rice.
I like to make this vegan focaccia to serve with my smoked chicken. Serve the focaccia bread warm with some softened butter and your guests will devour it all!!
How to Store Smoked Spatchcock Chicken Recipe
If you have leftover smoked chicken, separate the meat from the chicken bones. Store de-boned meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up the 6 days.
With the leftovers, make smoked chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, or just warm up and serve with your favorite sides. You can also freeze the smoked chicken meat in an airtight container for up the 2 months.
Other Chicken Recipes
- Fettuccine Alfredo with Griddle Chicken
- Chicken Kabobs on the Smoker
- Garlic Butter Chicken
- Stir Fry Chicken
- Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Caprese Sandwich
What to Make with Leftover Chicken
Smoking Spatchcock Chicken – FAQ
Yes, you can add BBQ sauce during the final stages of cooking the smoked chicken. Use a pastry brush to apply a layer or two of your favorite BBQ sauce. Once the smoking spatchcock chicken reaches 155°F, brush on a layer of BBQ sauce.
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken Recipe
For the full smoked spatchcock chicken recipe and nutrition calories, click below.
- Chicken, Whole 1 each
- Olive Oil 2 tablespoons
- BBQ Dry Rub 1/4 cup
- Lawry's Seasoned Salt 1 tablespoon
- Morton Natures Seasoning 1 tablespoon
- Cleaning the Whole Chicken
- Clean the whole chicken on the inside and out with cold water in the sink.
- Lay the chicken with the backbone up on a cutting board or baking sheet pan.
- How to Spatchcock a Chicken
- Using good kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the chicken backbone to eliminate the spine. Discard the cut backbone piece.
- Turn the whole chicken over and lay it flat so that the skin faces up. Position the leg and thigh pieces out so the skin is up.
- BBQ dry rub
- Use your own barbecue seasoning rub or use my homemadeBBQ dry rub when seasoning this spatchcock chicken.
- Seasoning the Spatchcock Chicken
- Rub the spatchcock chicken with olive oil.
- Season both sides of the chicken. Start with a thin layer of the Lawry's seasoned salt and Morton's Nature Seasoning. Then coat both sides with a generous amount of BBQ dry rub.
- How to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken
- Preheat the smoker grill to 400°F. Fill the pellet bin with your favorite pellets. Once the smoker grill has come to the right temperature, place the prepared spatchcock chicken onto the grill.
- Insert the temperature probe into the thickest part of the chicken breast close to the bone but not touching. Plug the probe into the smoker
- How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken?
- Smoking time will very in how long it takes to smoke. Things that can affect the smoking time is the size of the chicken, the outside temperature, the wind around the smoker, and the type of smoker that you are using. USE A TEMPERATURE PROBE OR A GOOD DIGITAL ThERMOMETER!!
- Start smoking the prepared chicken at 400°F for 30 minutes. Then turn down the pellet smoker to 300°F. Smoke the spatchcock chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Do not to go to much past the 165°F or else your chicken will become overcooked and dried out. Smoking time will be about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let the chicken rest and then serve warm.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page contains affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY LOVE. Thank you for your support!
Amount Per Serving Calories 136Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 25mgSodium 2398mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 7g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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