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Smoked yard bird

Smoked Spatchcock Chicken

  • Author: Clint
  • Prep Time: 15 mins (+overnight cure)
  • Cook Time: Approx. 1.5 hours
  • Total Time: Approx. 1 hr 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Barbecue


Looking for something you can smoke on a weeknight?  Try this juicy and delicious spatchcocked chicken recipe.  Your family will love you.


  • One 45 pound fryer or roaster chicken
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons spanish sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (e.g., Sugar In The Raw)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion


  1. Remove any gizzards from the chicken cavity and spatchcock the chicken. (see notes)
  2. Mix the rub ingredients together, breaking up any clumps of sugar.  Generously rub both sides of the chicken with the rub.  Optionally, place the chicken on a cookie sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. (see notes)
  3. Set up your smoker for a 325°F cook.
  4. Place the chicken in the smoker, skin-side down if the heat comes from underneath in your smoker, skin-side up otherwise.
  5. Smoke the chicken until an instant read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (about 1.5 hours), checking at the 1 hour mark and rotating/flipping if necessary to avoid burning.
  6. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before cutting into quarters (or halves if you’re hungry) and devouring.  If the skin didn’t quite crisp up the way you hoped, feel free to throw it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving, but be careful the broiler doesn’t turn that skin into charcoal.


  • To spatchcock a chicken, lay the chicken breast side down and cut the backbone out with a pair of kitchen shears.  Then turn the chicken over and press firmly down on the breast bone to crack the cartilage, so the chicken lays flat.  See my video tutorial here.
  • The overnight cure serves two purposes; it pulls moisture out of the skin so that it will crisp better in the smoker and helps to drive the rub flavors into the meat.

Keywords: smoked chicken, spatchcocked chicken, yard bird, chicken