This smoked spatchcock chicken is a whole chicken, split open and flattened then smoked to crispy perfection in just 2 hours!
**Post written by The BBQ Brothers. For all meat prep, grill set up, temperature and humidity control, recommended tools, and techniques for The BBQ Brothers recipes, check out The BBQ Brothers Beginner’s Guide To Grilling first, then get to cookin!
Who doesn’t like chicken right?!? But we all have our favorite parts; some of us like the breasts, some like the thighs, and some of us like the wings. A great compromise is to smoke a whole chicken so everyone gets what they want. And to add a slight twist, we are going to spatchcock the chicken to speed up the cooking process.
The scary stuff is first 🙂 Before you start, you will want a good pair of kitchen shears, as we are going to be cutting the entire backbone off the chicken (I know this sounds scary but if you have a good pair of kitchen shears it will be no big deal, I promise).
You want to place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down with the legs pointing towards you. Now just start cutting about a ½ inch away from the backbone on each side which will remove the backbone entirely. Discard the bag chicken innards as well.Next, flip the bird over and push down and you will hear some snap, crackle and pop noises, which is breaking that breastbone so your bird lays flat. Boom! Give yourself a pat on the back as you have officially “spatchcocked” a chicken!
Now we will season our little feathered friend. The first trick is to lightly spray PAM on. Yes, you read this right: PAM. You want just a light layer of oil because just a little will allow our rub to stick but if we use too much it will make the skin mushy. We then want to go a little heavy on the salt as that will help draw out the moisture of the skin, making it crispy. I used a light layer of Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, and then a heavy layer of Weber Garlic and Herb seasoning, but you could use your favorite chicken seasonings.For our prep, we want to get our smoker going to at least 275 and no more than 325 degrees. We want it a little hotter than normal to crisp up that skin. You’ll have your chicken over indirect heat for this cook. I added cherry wood to my coals which I find is always a good choice for any poultry. With the higher temp, we will only have this cooking for about 2 hours, but every bird is different so have your handy instant-read thermometer to check the temps once you hit about an hour and a half. I try to shoot for 170 in the thighs 165 in the breast. Once you get those temps, remove it and tent it in foil and let rest for about 15 min to let the juices redistribute.
That’s it! You have a whole chicken done in about 2 hours and everyone can get their favorite piece. I believe the comment I got from Caitlin was “why is this chicken better than any other chicken I have had?” so it must be a winner!
BBQ ESSENTIALS (Smoked Spatchcock Chicken Edition)
Meat used: 1 whole chicken
Seasoning: Salt, Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, Weber Garlic and Herb seasoning
Wood Used: Cherry
Grill Temperature: ~275-325 F, over indirect heat
Meat Temperature: 165 F in breast, 170 F in thigh
Smoke time: ~2 hours
- To spatchcock: place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down with the legs pointing towards you. Using sharp kitchen shears, start cutting about a ½ inch away from the backbone on each side which will remove the backbone entirely. Discard the bag of chicken innards as well. Flip the bird over and push down and you will hear some snap, crackle and pop noises, which is breaking that breastbone so your bird lays flat.
- Season with a light layer of Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, and then a heavy layer of Weber Garlic and Herb seasoning.
- After reaching temp, remove it and tent it in foil and let rest for about 15 min to let the juices redistribute.
So let us know what you think….did this recipe smoke the competition or go up in flames?