Smoked spatchcock chicken with dry rub is great. We will show you how to cut it and smoke on a Traeger or Green Mountain to tender and juicy. This will melt in your mouth and make you want to make smoked whole chicken again and again this way.
Ok so have you been served one of these at a barbecue restaurant and WOWed at how moist it was? It isn’t that hard to prepare the bird this way and we’ll show you how. Then chicken spatchcocked can be cooked as an electric smoker recipe or baked to perfection right at home. (affiliate links present)
How to Spatchcock Chicken
Here we talk and show in detail what is a spatchcocked chicken and how to cut it properly here. If you choose to buy meat in bulk you could do this ahead of time, wrap in freezer paper flat and then freeze in freezer bags. Then take one out, defrost or cook from frozen. I will talk about that a bit more later.
How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken
Well the cutting part will take you maybe 10 to 15 minutes or so. 45 minutes in the oven, about 3 hours on the grill. I suggest always that you choose a medium size bird. We prefer organic and free range too because they have a better texture, no hormones and a lot more meat to fat ratio overall. Your choice but there is a difference, and it’s worth the few extra dollars.
How to Smoke a Whole Chicken
You can do this many different ways. It is not unlike cooking a whole chicken flat on a baking sheet, grill, or here we will explain how to smoke a spatchcocked chicken on a Traeger. It takes a bit less time since the backbone is removed and laid flat it is thinner overall.
There are a few things, you can get a better coating of seasonings or a dry rub over the outside. Another plus is that it cooks faster butterflied than if it were not laid flat with the backbone removed.
If you have made a smoked beer can chicken before you are familiar with cooking the entire thing. I mean it is typically cheaper than if the butcher has to do work to separate all the pieces. We think it turns out the most moist anyway this way so that is a win win. If you’re a fan of rotisserie chicken, this is even better with the smoky flavor.
Traeger Spatchcock Chicken
If you have your own favorite dry rub for chicken by all means use that, or ours linked here. Some prefer lightly seasoned, we like quite a crust on the skin really. We have a simple suggestion below with;
- Whole chicken about 4 – 5 lbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder and chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Spatchcock Chicken Smoke
Get out a cutting board. To prepare chicken, place breast side down, tail end towards you. Use kitchen sheers and cut through the back of the chicken along side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Remove the backbone.
- At the the base, where the thighs meat, is a small triangular piece of cartilage. Make a cut with a knife or kitchen sheer 1” to 1.5”.
- Place a hand on each side of the chicken and pull outward, you should hear a snap. Continue to pull outward so that chicken will lay flat.
- Flip chicken over.
- Drizzle olive oil all over skin of the chicken.
- Combine garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and rub onto chicken.
- Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
- Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup.
- Brush grill rack clean. Fill your pellet grill full. Set smoker to smoke. Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°.
How Long to Cook Spatchcock Chicken
If using meat probes, insert into chicken thigh from the bottom edge of the chicken. Place chicken breast side up on smoker grate. Flatten the chicken as flat as possible and smoke for 2.5 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. You could brush bbq sauce on for the last 30 minutes or so. Increase the temperature at that time if you want crispy skin.
Spatchcock Chicken Traeger
Of course timing will vary depending on how large your bird is. There is a very short time to go from perfectly juicy to dried out so once it reaches 155 F or so you should stay close. We have a probe that attaches to the smoker which pairs with an app and you set it to the temperature you want it to be. Once it gets to that range it will send you an alert.
It’s a great way of cooking in the summer months when it is way to hot inside your house to turn on the oven. If you do not have a probe with your machine you can usually buy an after market version that will fit. Either way you should have an instant read thermometer to check a few spots to ensure it is done.
For all of our chicken recipes I use this just to be safe, ours was like under ten bucks and has lasted for years. Totally worth it for all the things, great with smoked pork roast too. Now jump to recipe to make our smoked spatchcock chicken recipe and let us know what you think once your roasted chicken is done!!
How do You Store Leftover Chicken for Later
If you want to keep it as moist as possible, of course you do, leave it whole and still on the bone. In this case leave it on a cutting board to cool completely and then slide it into a large gallon size freezer bag. Keep in your refrigerator for up to 48 hours and then it should be used some way or another. I usually will pull all the meat off of the bones first.
Then I can throw it into a casserole, make tacos with it, make Crockpot creamy chicken and rice with it or leave cold and add it to the top of a salad. I mean I haven’t found anything that doesn’t work well with diced up protein left over after making this. If you wanted to reheat the whole thing I would bake on a sheet pan at 400 for maybe 15 minutes or so.
The plus to that way is you will crisp the skin so it isn’t a weird texture when it comes out of the fridge. If you cut it up into smaller pieces you could reheat chicken in air fryer as well.
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Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 smoker
- 1 chicken 4-5 lbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- To prepare chicken, place breast side down, tail end towards you. Use kitchen sheers and cut through the back of the chicken along side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Remove the backbone.
- At the the base, where the thighs meat, is a small triangular piece of cartilage. Make a cut with a knife or kitchen sheer 1” to 1.5”. Place a hand on each side of the chicken and pull outward, you should hear a snap. Continue to pull outward so that chicken will lay flat.
- Flip chicken over. Drizzle olive oil all over skin of the chicken. Combine garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and rub onto chicken. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
- Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of the smoker element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup. Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke. Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°.
- If using meat probes, insert into chicken thigh from the bottom edge of the chicken. Place chicken on smoker grate and smoke for 2.5 to 4 hours or until temperature reads 185°.