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Smoked chicken halves are simple to prepare and loaded with flavor.

Juicy Smoked Chicken Halves

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5 from 1 review

These flavor-packed Smoked Chicken Halves are a barbecue classic, simple to prepare with more surface area for smoke, seasonings, and sauces. Make these and you’ll see why they are a huge hit for the family and parties.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves about 4-5 1x


  • 1 whole chicken, split in half, around 3 pounds
  • Signature Sweet & Smoky Rub, as needed
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce of choice, room temp or slightly warmed


  1. Split the chicken in half, see notes below for steps.
  2. Mix the seasonings together. Place the chicken halves on a wire rack with a baking sheet. Sprinkle the seasonings from up above, evenly coating all sides of the chicken. Allow the chicken to rest in the fridge, uncovered, for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat the smoker to 300°F. Take the chicken out of the fridge if you did dry-brine and allow it to rest at room temp while the smoker warms up.
  4. Place the chicken halves into the smoker and allow them to cook undisturbed for about an hour or so.
  5. Check the temperature. Once the center of the chicken breast is about 140-145°F you can add your finishing touches.
  6. (For Dry-Rub) Lightly brush the skin with a little vegetable or olive oil, this will help to crisp up the skin during the final minutes.
  7. (For Saucing) Lightly brush the skin with a little BBQ sauce, making sure to glaze every part of the skin. Don’t bother saucing the bottom.
  8. Cook the chicken until the center of the chicken breast is about 158°F and remove them from the smoker. Place the smoked chicken halves under loosely tented foil for about 10 minutes to rest before slicing.
  9. Slice and serve!


  • To split a chicken in half: Place the chicken on a very cutting board surface area. Pat down the outside with a paper towel to dry excess moisture. Rotate the chicken so the backbone is facing up. Start at the tail end and work upwards, snipping through the rib bones as you go. Remove the backbone and flip the chicken over so the inside is facing down. Spread the chicken out carefully and push firmly in the middle of the breast – you should hear a snap, which is the breastbone. Take a large chef knife or cleaver and cut the chicken in half, pushing the blade down the center of the chicken where the breastbone is. You should now have two halves.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Dry-Brine: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Chicken
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