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Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken

If you’re tired of dried-out smoked chicken with rubbery skin, then this smoked spatchock chicken is going to rock your world. Once you know how to spatchcock a chicken, you can enjoy moist, flavorful chicken every time you fire up your pellet smoker. Ready for flavor and one of the easiest recipes you can make on your smoker? I’ve been making smoked chicken this way for years, and now all my secrets are yours!

Roasted chicken with seasoning displayed on a slate board with cutlery on the side.

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Smoking chicken is one of the easiest things you can do, but it’s also easy to end up with dry, overcooked chicken with rubbery skin. However, when you spatchcock the chicken and then smoke it, you’re on your way to a meal nobody will forget!

Spatchcocking is the process of removing the backbone of a chicken and pressing it so it lies flat. It’ll cook more evenly, and you can get flavor into every nook and cranny. Here’s how to spatchcock a chicken, in case you need details.

Grab a whole chicken, your poultry shears (don’t try to do this without poultry shears unless you have REALLY good hand strength), and your favorite rub and pellets. That’s about all you need to make the most flavorful chicken on the planet!

Roasted chicken on a slate board with carving knife and fork.
Carve and enjoy!

What you’ll love about Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken


  • Spatchcocking ensures the chicken cooks evenly, preventing the usual pitfall of dry or undercooked sections.
  • This is the easiest smoked chicken recipe and technique on the planet.
  • A spatchcocked chicken will cook faster than if you left it whole.
  • Once smoked, you can feast on the juicy chicken and use the leftovers in so many different ways. See all my suggestions below!

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken – Spatchcocked.
  • Montreal chicken seasoning – Or your favorite chicken rub.
A raw chicken alongside montreal chicken seasoning on a white countertop.

How to Make Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken

  1. Preheat your Traeger pellet grill/smoker (or any smoker) to 180°F.
  2. Season the spatchcocked chicken liberally on both sides with the Montreal chicken seasoning or your chosen rub.
  3. Place the chicken skin-side up on the grill grate.
  4. Smoke for about 1 hour and then turn the heat to 225°F and continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  5. To get crispy skin, remove the cooked chicken from the Traeger turn the heat to 450°F, and grill skin-side down, for about 5-10 minutes or until crisped. If your smoker is greasy, pop the chicken skin-side up in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp.
  6. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Temper the chicken before smoking. This means to let it come to room temperature on the counter before smoking so it cooks more evenly and quickly.
  • Ensure your chicken is fully thawed if previously frozen to guarantee even smoking.
  • Don’t skip resting the chicken after it comes off the grill; it’s crucial for juiciness.
  • Experiment with different wood chips to find your preferred smoke flavor—apple, cherry, and hickory all offer unique tastes.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness; visually inspecting isn’t reliable with smoked meats.
  • Always cook to temperature, not time. The size of the chicken and even the weather will affect how long your chicken takes to cook. Allow about 3 hours in total for a large chicken.

Recommended

Make It A Meal

Transform Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken into a feast by pairing it with sides like Bacon Fried Corn, Garlic and Parm Corn Ribs, or Smoked Mashed Potatoes. Or, check out one of these quinoa salad recipes, and wash it all down with a cool glass of iced tea or sweet tea!

What to Do With Leftover Smoked Chicken

I looove me some leftover smoked chicken. In fact, I rarely smoke just enough chicken for dinner so I purposely have leftovers. I love using them in Smoked Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Quesadillas, chicken salad, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and more!

Storage

Allow the chicken to cool before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerated, it will keep for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, wrap the chicken well in foil or freezer paper and then place it in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.

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Roasted chicken with seasoning displayed on a slate board with cutlery on the side.
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3 from 1 vote

Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken

Super easy and delicious, this meaty chicken is smoking 101. Fire up your pellet grill/smoker and make something amazing tonight! Serve it with all your favorite BBQ sides for a hearty meal everyone will love!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword smoked, smoked chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 10kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Equipment

  • poultry shears

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your Traeger pellet grill/smoker (or any smoker) to 180°F.
  • Season the spatchcocked chicken liberally on both sides with the Montreal chicken seasoning or your chosen rub.
  • Place the chicken skin-side up on the grill grate.
  • Smoke for about 1 hour and then turn the heat to 225-F and continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  • To get crispy skin, remove the cooked chicken from the Traeger turn the heat to 450°F, and grill skin-side down, for about 5-10 minutes or until crisped. If your smoker is greasy, pop the chicken skin-side up in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp.
  • Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Temper the chicken before smoking. This means to let it come to room temperature on the counter before smoking so it cooks more evenly and quickly.
  • Ensure your chicken is fully thawed if previously frozen to guarantee even smoking.
  • Don’t skip resting the chicken after it comes off the grill; it’s crucial for juiciness.
  • Experiment with different wood chips to find your preferred smoke flavor—apple, cherry, and hickory all offer unique tastes.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness; visually inspecting isn’t reliable with smoked meats.
  • Always cook to temperature, not time. The size of the chicken and even the weather will affect how long your chicken takes to cook. Allow about 3 hours in total for a large chicken.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece chicken | Calories: 10kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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2 thoughts on “Traeger Smoked Spatchcock Chicken”

  1. Try adding a spoonfull of baking powder or corn starch to your dry spiced rub. Mix them together and then rub into the skin. It will help it crisp.

    Reply
3 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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