Spatchcock Chicken Smoked With BBQ Sauce
The Versatility of Chicken
You have most likely cooked chicken in a variety of ways. Chicken can be baked, grilled, fried, boiled or even turned into chicken salad. The problem is even with the variety, after serving chicken the same ways for years the recipes can become a little stale. Smoking a Spatchcock chicken is a new, enticing and delicious experience.
A Traeger Spatchcock chicken is butterflied using a special technique. The backbone is removed so the chicken can be flattened. Your chicken will cook much faster than when roasted whole for crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Pro tip: If you have difficulty removing the spine with a knife, a large pair of kitchen scissors works extremely well.
Enhancing the Flavor with Barbeque Sauce
Nothing will enhance the flavor of your Spatchcock chicken quite like barbeque sauce. Your can use your favorite traditional BBQ sauce, make a tangy sauce with a mayonnaise base, use tomato puree or ketchup, a sweet sauce or something with a smoky flavor. You can even use a delicious chicken rub or marinade. Pro Tip: Make your own barbeque sauce to add even more uniqueness to your recipe. No matter which type of BBQ sauce you use, the flavor will cook through your chicken for a sensational taste.
Spatchcock Smoked Chicken With BBQ Sauce
The best way to prepare Spatchcock smoked chicken is in a smoker or on your grill. The preparation is easy and your chicken will be mouthwatering and juicy. Pro Tip: Use hickory wood pellets or chips and baste your Spatchcock chicken every twenty minutes with your favorite sauce. Nothing can compare to the taste of a slow-cooked chicken on a warm summer evening. You will need to allow about twenty minutes for preparation and one hour to smoke your chicken. You will need:
- One whole chicken (three to four pounds)
- Salt (season to your taste)
- Three to four tablespoons of your favorite poultry rub
- Three to four tablespoons of a smoky barbeque sauce
To begin preparing your Traeger Spatchcock chicken, place your chicken on a clean surface for cutting with the breast side down. Start cutting at the neck area with a sharp knife. Cut along both sides of the backbone. Cut through the rib bones as you proceed. You will be cutting towards the legs. Pro Tip: You can use large kitchen scissors for easier cutting or have your butcher make the cuts for you. You can either freeze the backbone for soup stock or throw it away.
In the center of the chicken, you will see the triangular cartilage section. This is where the breastbone begins. Taken a sharp knife and cut one-quarter of an inch down. Spread open the area you have cut until the breastbone of the chicken is revealed. Flip over your chicken and press downwards. Use the heel of your hand to flatten out the breastbone. Your meat needs to be butterflied and all the same thickness for true Spatchock chicken.
Sprinkle your chicken with salt and your dry rub. Make certain you coat the chicken fairly evenly. Use your hand to rub everything right into the skin of the chicken until it sticks. Pro Tip: The wingtips of your chicken are thin and will easily burn. You can snip them off and freeze them to make your own chicken stock later. Tightly wrap your chicken using plastic wrap. Place your Spatcock chicken in your refrigerator for a minimum of one hour. You can leave your chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
Preparing Your Smoker or Grill
Pro Tip: The skin of your chicken must be as dry as possible to get the skin crispy. The best way to accomplish this is by wiping down both sides of your chicken using paper towels. Once your chicken is ready, set your smoker or grill for 250 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, your chicken should be fully cooked in about one hour. The only way to make certain the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit is by using a good meat thermometer.
The actual time your Spatchcock chicken will need to cook depends on the size of your chicken. Whether you took your chicken directly from the refrigerator or allowed it to sit out until it reached room temperature will also affect your cooking time. You also need to consider if your smoker is full and the temperature. Pro Tip: Always use a trusted meat thermometer to ensure your Spatchcock chicken is fully cooked.
You need to allow your smoker to smoke for a minimum of five minutes with the lid fully open. The temperature needs to be at 250 degrees Fahrenheit before adding your chicken. Once your smoker or grill is ready, unwrap your chicken and place it with the skin side up. The best place to insert your meat thermometer is into the thigh. Make sure you do not come into contact with the bone.
Smoke your Traeger Spatchcock chicken until the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Use your barbeque sauce to completely smother your chicken. Continue cooking until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Smother your chicken with barbeque sauce again. Put your chicken back on the heat for another ten minutes. This will give the delicious sauce a chance to work its way throughout your chicken and crisp the skin.
Pro Tip: Use a pastry brush to apply the barbeque sauce for a nice, even coating. Your Spatchcock chicken will need to rest for about ten minutes prior to serving to give the juices a chance to work their way throughout the meat. The best way to eliminate rubbery and unpleasant skin is by smoking your chicken slowly.
Preparing a Charcoal Smoker
If you are using a charcoal smoker to make Spatchcock chicken, wait until your briquettes are beginning to ash. Another half chimney of unlit briquettes can then be poured over your lit coals. Wait until all of your coals have begun to ash then add two or three nice sized chunks of smoke wood. Pro Tip: Apple smoke wood will work especially well with chicken. Place your chicken breast side up on your smoker.
If you have a dual probe thermometer, you can effectively measure both the temperature of your chicken and the air. You will need to set up this thermometer or a meat thermometer at this time. Pro Tip: There are thermometers available you can use to check the temperature of your Spatchcock chicken by using your smartphone. If your smoker has a water bowl, you need to leave it empty. This will make sure your temperature is nice and hot.
Once your temperature has stabilized to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, leave the air vents on your smoker mostly open. Your chicken should be done in about one hour. Once your chicken has set for ten minutes, you will be ready to begin carving. Your chicken will have crispy skin with juicy and delicious meat. Your meat will have a light pink color. This does not mean your chicken is not done. The color is due to the smoke.
Carving Your Spatchcock Chicken
Once your chicken has finished cooking, there are different options for cutting and serving. You can pull your chicken or cut it into sections. The best way to begin cutting is by slicing off the drumsticks and thighs. You can then cut the drumsticks and thighs into separate pieces. Slice off the wings next. Pro Tip: Cut off some of the breast meat with the wing. This will ensure the wing has a little extra meat.
Cut along the backbone of your Spatchcock chicken carefully so you can remove each breast in one piece. You can then slice the breasts into several pieces or serve them whole. If you plan on serving sandwiches, you best option is pulling the meat. Serve your chicken with a smoky barbeque sauce.
The Amazing Side Dishes for Spatchcock Chicken
There are a lot of sides that make a perfect complement with Spatchcock chicken. The smoky, sweet sauce is delicious with creamy coleslaw or smoked macaroni and cheese. The other popular sides include:
- Grandma's potato salad
- Macaroni and cheese casserole with smoked bacon
- Hidden cauliflower macaroni and cheese
- Angel's hair coleslaw
- Mexican watermelon salad
- German potato salad
- Classic potato salad
- Corn and sweet potato salad
- Easy broccoli slaw
- Smokey potato salad with bacon
Once your Spatchcock chicken and sides are ready, the only thing left to do is relax and enjoy.
Your Final Results
We hope you enjoyed the recipe for Spatchcock smoked chicken with BBQ sauce. We recommend following the pro tips to ensure your chicken is absolutely delicious, juicy and tender. We are fairly confident you will never get tired of eating chicken again.