Spatchcock Chicken Recipe on the Gateway Drum Smoker

Spatchcock Chicken Recipe on the Gateway Drum Smoker

If you’ve never tried spatchcock chicken, you’re in for a treat. My Spatchcock Chicken Recipe is rich and tender, creating the perfect base for all your BBQ dishes. This delicious bird is seasoned with three of my best-selling rubs. Who said chicken dinners were bland? 

After the chicken smoked to perfection, I topped it with my favorite Alabama White Sauce. The flavors of this bird were out of this world! This recipe is so versatile. Use it to top your salads, eat it plain, or make sliders like I did. The options are endless. 

Don’t let the fancy name intimidate you; spatchcocking a chicken is easy as pie. This recipe is deceivingly easy, and your return on investment is high. You’ll have a gourmet chicken ready for eating in about two hours. Who knows, spatchcocking may be your new favorite cooking method!

The Ingredients

If you like 4-ingredient recipes, this Spatchcock Chicken is for you. With a couple of high-quality seasonings, you’ll be unbeatable. Be sure to save any leftover rub for your next great cook. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart. 

  • Whole chicken. This recipe calls for a whole, thawed chicken. It may surprise you that spatchcocking is a form of butchering you do yourself! To spatchcock a bird, you simply remove the backbone, allowing the chicken to lay flat. This creates an even cooking process and gives you the best-tasting bird. 
  • Olive oil. I used olive oil as my binder. I love using a variety of binders in my cooking; mayo, mustard, you name it. This recipe called for something simple, so I stuck with extra virgin olive oil. It helped the spices stick without overpowering the flavor of the bird. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Chicken Rub. This rub is my go-to for anything poultry. It has a blend of carefully chosen herbs that complement chicken without overpowering the natural flavor. It also gives the chicken that magazine-worthy golden hue.
  • Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub. You’re going to go nuts over this rub! It has a savory taste with a hint of pecan on the back end. Use it on chicken, seafood, beef, pork, and veggies. 

The Smoker Setup

Here’s a rundown of the main equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my favorite things in the equipment and tools section. 

  • Drum smoker. I cooked this chicken in my Gateway Drum Smoker. This is a fun setup that has a faster-than-average cooking time. Many find it easier to smoke in this minimalistic pit, and I agree.  
  • Charcoal. I stoked the drum smoker with Royal Oak Charcoal. I love this brand because their product is high quality with no fillers. It gives the meat an authentic flavor with pure, clean smoke. 

The Process for Making My Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

You can find a detailed demonstration of this cook in the recipe card and video at the bottom of the post. Here’s a quick rundown of how this tasty chicken came together. 

  • Fire up the smoker. I stoked the smoker with charcoal and fired it up to about 300℉. 
  • Spatchcock the bird. I took the chicken out of its packaging and dried it off. Then, I placed the bird breast side down and used my shears to mark off each side of the backbone. I cut out the spine keeping my lines even so the bird would lay flat. Once I removed the backbone, I trimmed more excess skin to keep things looking even. To finish spatchcocking, I pushed down on the back of the bird so it lay flat. Remove the innards. Next, I removed the liver and other organs from the inside of the bird.
  • Add binder and season. I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, then seasoned it with a good coat of my Chicken Rub, followed by a layer of Pecan Rub. I flipped the bird and repeated the process. 
  • Smoke the chicken. I laid the chicken on the smoker rack, let it go for 1 hour, flipped it, and then let it go for 30 more minutes. When the chicken reached 160℉-165℉, I removed it from the smoker. 
  • Rest and top. I let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes, then topped it with my amazing Alabama White Sauce
  • Serve. I made my chicken into sliders, so I shredded the meat and added it to the buns. The only thing left was to dig in! 

The Results

The chicken came out of the smoker with a gorgeous crust. It was so moist; you’d think we had injected it! 

Serving Suggestions for Spatchcock Chicken

I used my chicken to make sliders, but you can use it to top salads, quesadillas, Chicken Spaghetti, or just eat it plain. 

Storing Spatchcock Chicken

If you have any leftovers, store them covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

Equipment and Tools

Gateway Drum Smoker , Royal Oak Charcoal, cutting boardThermoWorks Thermapen ONE, YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler, insulated gloves for handling meat  

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