There’s no reason to be intimidated by the task of smoking a big ole whole chicken on a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. The first time I spatchcocked a whole chicken it looked so sad I was embarrassed to even look at it. But I researched more, and found an excellent tutorial online at one of my favorite sites, the Virtual Weber Bullet. My next attempt came out fantastic. And all the times after that too. It’s really quite simple, and you always end up with a perfectly evenly cooked, very tender and juicy bird, which is exactly why you go through the ‘trouble’ of spatchcocking.
All of that spatchcocking got me to thinking: what’s the difference between spatchcocking and butterflying? Well, the answer is that when spatchcocking you remove the backbone. Butterflying involves cutting something into two parts but keeping them connected, without removing anything. I feel smarter already!
The technique for smoking a whole chicken on the Weber Smokey Mountain can also be used for a whole turkey.
Also try my awesome smoked chicken thighs.
Easy Smoked Whole Chicken on the Weber Smokey Mountain
- 1 large whole chicken butterflied (see post text)
- 1 bottle Italian salad dressing
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place the chicken into a large resealable bag or container.
- Add all of the dressing. Seal the container and gently flip to coat the chicken.
- Refrigerate, turning every hour so, for 6 hours.
- Fire up your smoker to cook from 225 – 250 F. Use any wood you like. I prefer a lighter wood so that my chicken doesn't overpower whatever dish I use it in. I tend to use fruit woods or hickory.
- Remove the chicken from the container and shake off any excess dressing.
- Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and transfer to the smoker.
- Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in the thickest parts.
- Remove and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
Nutritional values are approximate.