Great rub for smoked chicken that doesn't overpower the chicken flavor.


Recipe Summary test

15 mins
3 hrs 45 mins
10 mins
3 hrs 70 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

  • Combine paprika, chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix completely with a fork until well combined.

  • Spatchcock the chicken by placing chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone. Grabbing hold of both sides of the chicken, open it like a book. Turn breast side up. Push down on each side of breast with your hands until you hear it crack. Flatten. Rub with the seasoning blend.

  • Smoke until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, reads 140 degrees F (60 degrees C), about 3 1/2 hours. Turn up the heat to 350 to 400 degrees F (175 to 200 degrees C) and get direct heat on the skin to finish out with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).

  • Remove from heat, cover in foil, and allow to rest until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

Cook's Notes:

Spatchcocking the chicken prior to smoking is optional.

You can also rub the chicken with the spices up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerate. If you can't handle heat, I'd suggest 2 teaspoons of cayenne instead of 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Facts

319 calories; protein 44.6g; carbohydrates 7.5g; fat 12.2g; cholesterol 132.5mg; sodium 1118.3mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
I cut back on the salt and cayenne pepper by 1/4 with great results. The flavor was outstanding and the meat was tender and juicy. Bumping up the temp at the end was critical to getting the skin crispy. But it wasn’t so long that it dried out the meat. Everyone loved it! Read More