This Keto Smoked Half Chicken will blow away any store-bought chicken. Once you get a taste and see how easy it is you’ll never go back!
Forget store-bought rotisserie chicken! This pellet grill smoked keto chicken recipe comes together with just 3 ingredients and gives you the best results.
This recipe is the ultimate guide to incredible low-carb keto-friendly chicken.
Smoked Chicken Recipe
This Keto Smoked Half Chicken will absolutely blow away any store-bought rotisserie chicken out of the water. In fact, just go ahead and forget store-bought chicken is even an option.
We have all been there and I know everyone is busy and you don’t want to spend hours on dinner after a long day.
But what if I told you it would only take10-15 minutes to prep this smoked half chicken recipe you can literally set it and forget it?
Smoked half chickens only take about 2 hours and the skin comes out crispy with perfect juicy meat!
Spatchcock vs Half Chicken Cooking Method
You don’t have to remove the bones around the ribcage if you don’t want to. Just remove the backbone and crack the breastplate to serve spatchcock style if you prefer.
Or, you can also use a cleaver or the kitchen shears to cut down the center of the breast to split the chicken in half.
I like to semi debone the chicken because it makes serving it easy and the kids like how it’s easier for them to eat.
I also get to freeze the carcass and backbone for soups and stocks so nothing goes to waste.
Ingredients for Keto Smoked Chicken
Cut of Meat: For this recipe are going to be using a whole chicken! Grab a 3 lb whole chicken from the meat counter at your local grocery store or butcher shop.
Seasoning: Shake on delicious flavor by using 2 tbsp of Dan-O’s Seasoning or your favorite poultry seasoning along with with1 tbsp of Texas Rub salt, pepper, and garlic.
For Cooking: Cooking Spray
Pellet Grill: or any smoker or electric smoker. (air fryer and oven variations are available in the post)
Sharp Knife: Cut into the whole chicken and half it with a sharp knife. This will also come in handy when it is time to slice and serve the chicken when it’s done cooking. Kitchen shears can and will also come in handy.
Wood Chips: To get that loved smoky flavor from the wood smoke, you will need pellets! I used a blend of wood chunks. However, if you are looking for a specific flavor recommendation, maybe using or trying a fruity wood or using a couple of chunks of pecan wood.
Digital Thermometer: Ensure your chicken is fully cooked by using a good digital meat thermometer or instant read thermometer.
DIY Dry Rub: Use your favorite rub or make your own by using seasonings like black pepper, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and kosher salt.
Large Cutting Board: Make prepping and cutting up the meat easy with quality and decently sized cutting board.
Plastic Container: Store your leftovers in an air tights plastic container.
How to Make Keto Smoked Chicken
Prep the smoker. Preheat the smoker to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prep the chicken. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels then flip the chicken so the breasts are facing down on the cutting board. Use the kitchen shears and cut just to the right of the backbone until the chicken is split. Then remove the backbone by cutting down the oppisite side of the bone. Pro-Tip: Save the backbone for stock.
Continue prepping the chicken. Now that the backbone is removed spread the chicken open and find the wishbone on the back of the chicken make small cuts just to the outside of the wishbone following along the ribcage to separate the breast and leg quarter.
Repeat for the other half of the chicken. Once the chicken is removed from the rib cage cut the skin and fully seperate the half chicken and set aside. Repeat the process for the other half so you are left with 2 semi deboned chicken halves
Season the chicken. Season the half chickens on both sides liberally with both seasoning blends making sure to get underneath the wings and on all the meat.
Smoke the chicken. Place the half chicken’s skin side up on the pellet grill and smoke for about 2 hours at 300 degrees F.
Spray the chicken while cooking. Spray the chicken very 30-45 minutes with cooking oil for extra crispy juicy skin.
Rest, slice, and serve! Once chickens reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. let the chickens rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
The serving size for this perfectly cooked chicken is ¼ of the chicken. The leg quarter will be the juicer part of the meat and have a higher fat content than digging into the wing or the breast.
The size of your chicken may affect the cook time. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees to ensure it is done.
Smoked Half Chicken Cooking Tips and Variations
Leftovers: Smoked Half Chicken makes some of the best chicken salad you will ever try. I have a grilled chicken salad recipe on my grilling website that can easily be made keto.
Storage: Chicken refrigerates great in a sealed container for about 5 days making this a great meal prep option.
Reheating: you can reheat the smoked half chicken in your oven or air fryer. I recommend spraying the outside with a little cooking spray and bake/air fry for about 15-20 minutes until hot.
Oven/ Air Fryer Cooking: Not everyone has a smoker but you can still use this method to cook your half chickens. You can Roast the half Chickens at 375 Degrees F. For about 90 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
Soup and Stock: Make sure to keep the backbone and carcass after trimming the chicken. this makes fantastic stocks, gravy, and soups.
Wood Pellets: I always prefer a blend of different would pellets. Fruitwoods like apple or cherry are great and hickory and oak are great for all-purpose smoking. the only wood I normally try to avoid is mesquite because it can be overpowering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cutting the chicken in half helps the chicken cook evenly making the meat juicer and more flavorful. plus it much easier to serve.
Yes, the idea is the same we are just taking it one step further by removing the entire cage of the bird so it’s easier to eat and serve. The main goal is that the chicken cooks more evenly.
Not by much. Both methods take about 2 hours. I prefer the smoked half chicken method only because there are fewer bones to mess with and it’s a better final product.
Definitely. This method is great for turkey especially when it comes time to carve the bird.
I can’t stress this enough, Always use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of your meats. First to make sure the food is cooked to a safe temperature and secondly to make sure it’s juicy and tastes better
Chicken and turkey both need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
More Awesome Keto Recipes
Pellet Grill Smoked Half Chicken
- Pellet Grill or any smoker. (air fryer and oven variations available in post)
- Kitchen Shears
- Preheat Smoker to 300 Degrees F.
- Pat the Chicken dry using paper towels then flip the chicken so the breasts are facing down on the cutting board. use the kitchen shears and cut just to the right of the back bone until the chicken is split. then remove the backbone by cutting down the oppisite side of the bone. Save the backone for stock.
- Now that the backbone is removed spread the chicken open and find the wishbone on the back of the chicken make small cuts just to the outside of the wishbone following along the ribcage to seperate the breast and leg quarter.
- Once the chicken is removed from the rib cage cut the skin and fully seperate the half chicken and set aside. Repeat the prosess for the other half so you are left with 2 semi deboned chicken halves
- Season the half chickens on both sides liberally with both seasoning blends making sure to get underneath the wings and on all the meat.
- Place Half Chickens skin side up on the pellet grill and smoke for about 2 hours at 300 degrees F.
- Spray every 30-45 minutes with cooking oil for extra crispy juicy skin. Once chickens reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. let the chickens rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.