In this tutorial, I take your hand and walk you through the process of butterflying a whole chicken, prepping it with my special rub/mayo mixture and then smoking the chicken to perfection. I used my Hasty Bake Legacy with lump charcoal and pecan wood for these smoked chickens but you can do this on any smoker whether it's a charcoal, electric, pellet smoker or even a grill.

The recipe card is below and be sure to watch the video as I demonstrate the entire process for you.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 275°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need

Meat

  • 1 or more whole chickens

Mayo/Rub Mixture (makes enough for 1 whole chicken)

Brine

  • 1 gallon of cold water
  • 1 cup of coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar

Basting Sauce

IMG 0244Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Step 1: Brining

Check out this page to learn everything you ever wanted to know about dry and wet brining.

4-6 hours before you plan to prepare and smoke the chicken(s), make the brine by adding the cold water to a large container such as a tea pitcher. Add the coarse kosher salt and stir until the salt is dissolved and the water returns to clear. Stir in the brown sugar and the brine is ready to use.

Place the chicken in a glass or plastic container and pour the brine over the chicken to cover.

Place the container into the fridge for 4-6 hours while the chicken brines.

Once the brining process is finished, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine.

Step 2: Remove Backbone

Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down. Using kitchen shears cut along both sides of the backbone to completely remove it.

spatchcock 1

Flip the chicken over and press firmly down on the breast to cause the chicken to lay flat.

Flip the chicken back over again so the skin side is down and you have access to the inside of the chicken.

Step 3: Add Some Flavor

Now it's time to make the good stuff that we'll rub all over the inside and the outside of the chicken to make it taste amazing.

You'll need:

Use about ½ of the mixture on the inside of the chicken. Spread it all over to cover and be careful of any sharp bones or ribs so you don't cut yourself.

rub 1

Now move the chicken to skin side up and apply other half of mayo/rub mixture to skin side spreading it all over the breast, wings and legs to coat. Push some of it under the skin wherever you can.

rub 5

Step 4: Smoke Time

Setup smoker for cooking indirect at 275°F using pecan wood for smoke. If your smoker uses a water pan, leave it dry to allow the skin to crisp up a little better.

Place chicken meat side down- cook chicken until internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and thigh.

smoker 1

While the chicken is cooking, mix together 1 stick of melted butter and 2 TBS of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

Brush this all over the skin side of the chicken 2 to 3 times during the cooking process or anytime it starts to look dry.

smoker 3

Step 5: Carve and Serve

Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove it to the counter and let it rest for about 15 minutes with foil tented over the top.

Carve the chicken and serve.

Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
Jeff's Rubs and Sauce

✅ If you haven’t ordered my rubs or sauce yet you can do that HERE. They are the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!

We ship blazingly fast and orders over $50 ship free!

Check them out! | Read the reviews

SHOP NOW

You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books
smoking-meat-book-cover

Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-cover

Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Get Almost Anything at Amazon

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we’ll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon


Printable Recipe

how to smoke chicken video thumbnail
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

How to Smoke Chicken

How to brine and butterfly a whole chicken, prepare it with my special rub/mayo mixture and then smoke the chicken to perfection.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

Main Prep

  • 1 Each Chicken (, Whole)
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Jeff's original rub

Brine

  • 1 Gallon Cold water
  • 1 cup Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar ((dark or light))

Baste

  • 1 stick butter ((melted))
  • 2 TBS Jeff's original rub

Instructions

  • Pour 1 gallon of cold water into large pitcher. Add salt and sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Place chicken into non-reactive container and pour brine over chicken to cover. Refrigerate.
  • After 4 hours, remove the chicken, rinse and pat dry. Discard brine.
  • Cut along both sides of backbone to remove. Press chicken open and place skin side down on cutting board.
  • Mix together 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of Jeff's original rub. Place 1/2 of mixture on meat side of chicken. Spread to coat.
  • Flip chicken to skin side up and apply other half of mayo/rub mixture to skin side spreading it all over the breast, wings and legs to coat. Push some of it under the skin wherever you can.
  • Setup smoker for cooking indirect at 275 degrees using pecan wood for smoke. If your smoker uses a water pan, leave it dry.
  • Place chicken meat side down- cook chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast and thigh.
  • While the chicken is cooking, mix together 1 stick of melted butter and 2 TBS of Jeff's original rub. Brush this all over the skin side of the chicken 2 to 3 times during the cooking process or anytime it starts to look dry.
  • Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove it to the counter and let it rest for 15 minutes with foil tented over the top.
  • Carve the chicken and serve.

Video