We love our Traeger Smoker and use it pretty often. I absolutely love the taste of smoked foods! We use the Traeger grill to make Smoked Brisket, salmon, turkey, pork butts, ribs even a Basic Smoked Beef Jerky and of course lots of chicken. You will love my recipe for Smoked Spatchcock Chicken, it’s delicious!
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken cooks quicker than a whole chicken, making it perfect for a weeknight meal!
When I cook things on the smoker, I usually make extra to use in a recipe later in the week. So, when I put these chickens on the smoker, I plan to have one for dinner tonight and then the legs and thighs of the other chicken are for smoked chicken salad the next day. The white breast meat, is for my Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizzas later in the week.
I know many people have never heard of spatchcock chicken. It sounds quite unusual, but it really is just a different way of preparing the bird for cooking. It is simply the removal of the backbone from the whole chicken. This is actually quite easy to do and only requires a sharp pair of kitchen scissors.
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken is flattened out for easier cooking and allows for a moist, tender bird with lots of wood smoke flavor throughout. It is just delicious!!
To make Smoked Spatchcock Chicken you will need to start with a whole chicken. The idea is, if you remove the back bone from the whole bird, it will lay out flatter. This allows it to cook more evenly and at a quicker rate than a whole body chicken normally does. This method of cooking allows all areas of the chicken skin to get crispy and the breast meat is typically done at the same time as the dark meat is.
You will start by turning the whole chicken, breast side down. With a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, start at the bottom of the bird, just to the right or left of the tail and carefully cut up towards the neck area on both sides of the back bone. You will be cutting through the ribs as you make your way to the neck. As you move upward, while cutting along side the back bone, you will see the back bone become its own strip that can easily be lifted out and discarded.
Once the back bone has been removed, turn the bird onto its back so breast side is facing up and press down firmly on the breast bone to crack it, this helps to flatten the chicken out. Once the chicken is flattened out, it is much easier to season on all sides. I like to use Traeger Chicken Rub as well as the Fin and Feather Rub. These are very flavorful and save me from having to mix a bunch of herbs and spices together. These spice combinations are just delicious. They save me time, so I am able to get the birds on the smoker quickly.
This time I used Traeger’s Signature Blend of wood pellets, which is a combination of hickory, maple and cherry. This imparts an amazing smoke flavor into the chicken. Once I have preheated the smoker, I simply lay the chickens down on the grill, splayed out, side by side and close the smoker lid to trap in the smoke and heat. These chickens will be on the smoker until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. This took me approximately 75 minutes. It does depend on the size of your bird, so using the internal temperature as opposed to time is the safest bet when making Smoked Spatchcock Chicken.
Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 3-4lb whole, chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Traeger Chicken Rub or Traeger Fin and Feather Spice Rub (or can use seasonings of your choice)
- Turn smoker on and set to 300 degrees and let it preheat about 10-15 minutes.
- Cut the back bone out of the chicken and flatten out.
- Liberally sprinkle the chicken seasoning all over the bird, front and back.
- Place the chickens on the hot grill. Lay it splayed out on its back with breasts up. Place the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Close the smoker lid.
- Let the bird smoke until the internal temperature gets to 165 degrees and then remove the bird from the smoker. Cover the chicken with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes, which allows the juices to redistribute.
- After letting the chicken rest, cut into portions and eat! Enjoy friends!
This method of making Smoked Spatchcock Chicken is definitely a crowd pleaser. Not only are you teased with the smell of the wood smoke as it infuses into the meat, but the flavor is mouth watering and quite unforgettable. The chicken skin is crispy and the meat is tender, moist and perfect for a party, weeknight meal or eaten leftover in different recipes all week long. Traeger smoked meat is just delicious!!!
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