How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken


Spatchcocked or butterflied chickens are a great way to cook a whole, large bird. The benefits of cooking spatchcock chicken include the fact that it will cook faster and more evenly than an entire chicken on the same size rack in your smoker.

However, there is some confusion about how long to smoke a spatchcock chicken. In this article, we answer that question for you.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken?

The smoking process starts with the heat and smoke. The heat needs to be constant and regulated so that it can be transferred to the smoker, and so that the smoker itself does not overheat.

A spatchcocked, butterflied whole chicken will typically cook about 30% faster than a whole chicken because it is open and cooks faster.

The smoking time is one hour for a four-pound chicken, with the first 45 minutes at 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you’ll reduce your smoker temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and cook until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside.

It will also depend on your smoker so be sure to use a good quality, digital thermometer to check it.

It is crucial to keep the firewood as hot as possible for as long as possible, so maintaining a consistent temperature is essential for longer smokes. It’s also important to monitor the flame in order to prevent any flare-ups that could potentially damage your smoker or spatchcock chicken.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken at 225 Degrees?

A smoker temperature of 225°F should give you a beautiful golden mahogany color. It should take 4-5 hours, but add anywhere from ten to twenty minutes per pound.

Once there’s no more moisture in the breast and thigh meat, you should remove the bird from the smoker.

The total time it takes will vary depending on how thick the breast meat is, or if there are bones inside that have not been removed.

Removing the backbone of an almost-spatchcocked chicken can also help your cooking time — and remove some annoying bone shards from your dinner plate.

How to Best Prepare the Spatchcocked Chicken?

Step 1: Remove the backbone

Split the backbone by cutting either side with poultry shears or kitchen scissors, leaving one end intact for stability. If desired, cut through the wishbone, too.

Step 2: Turn over and press down with your palms

Turn the spatchcocked chicken over and press down on the breastbone with your palms. This will flatten out the chicken and remove most of its tendons ready for cooking.

Step: Follow instructions in the recipe

Follow any further instructions from a specific spatchcock chicken recipe you are using to complete this process before adding seasoning, olive oil, or salt and pepper.

What is a Spatchcocked Chicken?

Spatchcocked chicken is also called butterflied chicken. This means that the backbone has been removed and flattened out. There are many different ways to do this but the technique involves standing the chicken up breast-side down, inserting kitchen shears near the wishbone, cutting down the middle of the backbone.

Once you have removed the spine, turn it over so that it is breast-side up and press down on either side of its cavity to crack open like a book.

Then use your hands or tongs to gently push each half away from the center until they are flat enough for cooking in an upright position.

Spatchcocked chicken is a great way to cook food on the grill or smoker because it allows you more space and makes cooking faster and evenly by allowing heat from both the top and bottom of your spread.

Plus, removing the spine allows for easy carving which means no knife is required. Spatchcocking also creates less mess than whole chicken because there is no need to remove the backbone or separate it into parts.

Related: Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

What To Do With Leftovers From Spatchcock Chicken?

When it comes to cooking spatchcock chicken, there are a few things you can do with the leftovers. You can either store them in the fridge for a later meal, or you can reheat them and enjoy them as is. If you decide to store them in the fridge, you can use them in a variety of different recipes.

For example, you can shred the meat and use it in tacos or burritos. You can also dice the meat and add it to a salad. If you decide to reheat the leftovers, you can do so by baking them in the oven or by pan-frying them. Either way, they will be just as delicious as the first time around.

So, if you find yourself with some leftover spatchcock chicken, don’t hesitate to use it in a variety of different ways. You’ll be sure to enjoy every bite.


In this article, we’ve answered the question of how long to smoke a spatchcock chicken. We hope that you find it helpful and insightful. If there is anything else on smoking whole chickens in your smoker you would like more information about, please let us know.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.