Spatchcock Chicken – Smoked to Perfection

Spatchcocked Chicken

While Janine and Robb were here I wanted to try out my new smoker.  I purchased a slightly used Superior SS1.  It is a gravity fed cabinet smoker.  I will explain more in a further post, but for now all you need to know is that it is awesome!  I wanted to make them a smoked chicken so I figured it would be the perfect time to spatchcock one.  I know, feel free to say it again “Spatchcock”.  Basically spatchcocking is butterflying the chicken so that it cooks faster and more evenly.  It works too.  OK say it again, “Spatchcock”.

Spatchcock Chicken – Smoked to Perfection

The first step is to preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then it is time to spatchcock.  Select a nice bird, roughly 3-4 pounds.

Place the chicken on a cutting board breast down with the legs pointing towards you.

Time to spatchcock

Then cut out the back bone.  Sounds bad, but if you have a nice pair of poultry shears it is no problem.  The shears will cut right through the ribs that are connected to the back bone.

Remove the backbone

Once the back bone is removed, I also like to cut out the breast bone.

Backbone Removed

This is not always done, but I like to do it.  To do this spread the bird out and then using the shears or a sharp knife, slice the bone out.  Just follow the edge of the bone and it will be super easy.

Remove the breast bone

Flip the bird over and spread it out. Then you are done.  Your chicken is officially spatchcocked!

Fully SpatchCocked

I then like to season the meat side of the bird first.

Season the Inside

For this post I am using Birds and Bones by The Slabs.  It is a great poultry/general purpose rub.  I like that the flavors are not too strong, but complement the meat.

A little love for birds and bones

Flip the bird and then season the skin side.

Season the skin side

Then place the chicken into your preheated 250 degree smoker for roughly 3.5 hrs.  Use a fruit wood such as pear, cherry or apple when smoking chicken.  I find the fruit woods really work well with chicken as it seems to absorb too much smoke flavor from other traditional smoking woods.

Fully Seasoned

I wish I had an exact time for you but all smokers/chickens are different and the only true way to know is by temperature.  You will need to check the temp in the thigh and pull it at 180.  I use 180 in the thigh as a good temp to make pulled chicken.  If you want slice-able chicken, pull it when the thigh is 165.  I like to serve pulled chicken when it is smoked.

The smoked chicken

As you can see the chicken was golden brown and delicious.  Although I shredded the chicken, I saved the crispy skin for myself.  That was my fee for cooking. Haha.

Spatchcock Chicken - Smoked to Perfection
Author: 
Recipe type: BBQ
Serves: 4
 
The Ultimate way to cook a chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken (3-4lbs)
  • ¾ cup favorite rub (I like The Slabs - Birds and Bones)
Instructions
  1. The first step is to preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Then it is time to spatchcock. Select a nice bird, roughly 3-4 pounds.
  3. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast down with the legs pointing towards you.
  4. Then cut out the back bone. Sounds bad, but if you have a nice pair of poultry shears it is no problem. The shears will cut right through the ribs that are connected to the back bone.
  5. Once the back bone is removed, I also like to cut out the breast bone. This is not always done, but I like to do it. To do this spread the bird out and then using the shears or a sharp knife, slice the bone out. Just follow the edge of the bone and it will be super easy.
  6. Flip the bird over and spread it out. Then you are done. Your chicken is officially spatchcocked!
  7. I then like to season the meat side of the bird first. For this post I am using Birds and Bones by The Slabs. It is a great poultry/general purpose rub. I like that the flavors are not too strong, but complement the meat.
  8. Flip the bird and then season the skin side.
  9. Then place the chicken into your preheated 250 degree smoker for roughly 3.5 hrs. Use a fruit wood such as pear, cherry or apple when smoking chicken. I find the fruit woods really work well with chicken as it seems to absorb too much smoke flavor from other traditional smoking woods.
  10. I wish I had an exact time for you but all smokers/chickens are different and the only true way to know is by temperature. You will need to check the temp in the thigh and pull it at 180. I use 180 in the thigh as a good temp to make pulled chicken. If you want slice-able chicken, pull it when the thigh is 165. I like to serve pulled chicken when it is smoked.
 

About Author

Rex

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

5 Comments

  1. nibblemethis on

    Great looking yardbird! I need to practice removing the keel bone more often, I usually just cheat and break it in place.