If you are looking to make spatchcocked chicken on the grill, well we’ve got the complete guide to set you up for success! Once you’ve grilled your first spatchcocked chicken, you will ask yourself why you hadn’t done it sooner! But first, do you know what is means to spatchcock?

What Does it Mean to “Spatchcock”

Spatchcocked chicken is a technique that involves removing the backbone and flattening the chicken to create a delicious and evenly cooked meal on the grill. This method is perfect for achieving crispy skin and juicy meat. To spatchcock a chicken, use a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife to remove the backbone and then flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone. Once spatchcocked, season the chicken with your favorite spices and grill it over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

My favorite way to spatchcock a chicken is to have my butcher do it for me. When you buy a chicken at the grocery store or meat market, ask your butcher to remove the backbone for you and this will save you time in your kitchen.

Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill

My Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken made with a rosemary lemon compound butter is another great recipe to try.

Why You’ll Love Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to cook chicken on the grill, spatchcocking is the technique for you. Not only does it result in a beautifully cooked bird with crispy skin and juicy meat, but it also reduces cooking time and allows for easy seasoning and basting. Spatchcocking a chicken involves removing the backbone and flattening the bird, which helps to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and quickly. This technique is also a great way to impress your guests at a summer barbecue or dinner party, as the finished product is both delicious and visually stunning. Plus, with so many seasoning options available, you can easily customize your spatchcocked chicken to suit your taste preferences. When I first started making spatchcocked chicken, I was a big fan of making a compound butter, but these days I push the easy button and Use my Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub because it is delicious on chicken and also helps deliver beautiful browning on the bird. Seasoning preferences aside, Whether you’re a seasoned grilling pro or a beginner, spatchcocked chicken is a must-try technique that is sure to become a favorite in your summer recipe arsenal.

Ingredients For Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill

    • 1 medium sized whole chicken, that has been split at the backbone so it will lay flat for grilling (insides removed obviously, rinsed, etc). Make it easy on yourself and have the butcher remove the backbone for you!
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub
Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub

My Citrus infused rub is described as “The Crack of BBQ Rubs” by BGE Contributing writer Captain Ron.

How to Make Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill


Marinade or Rub

When I make Spatchcocked Chicken on the Grill, I use my Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub that is a citrus based rub that accentuates proteins and veggies with notes of Kaffir lime, orange peel, Himalayan salt, granulated honey and coriander and is equally at home on the rim of your favorite cocktail! You can also try my rosemary lemon spatchcocked chicken recipe.

Prepare your grill

Prepare your grill for direct and indirect cooking with the temperature at 350 degrees. You can find directions on how to create direct and indirect zones on your grill at my grill school series. Oil your grill grates with a high heat oil like avocado oil so the meat will not stick. Cook the chicken on indirect for about 20-25  minutes, or until you have reached an internal temp of 155 degrees, flipping once in the process. Finish the final 10 minutes on direct heat (flipping once to get both sides) or until the internal temperature on the breast meat has reached 165 degrees as read by an internal read thermometer. Use can a brick covered in foil to the help the chicken lay flat and get it extra crispy on the outside (you can still grill without a brick but this will help to cook more evenly).

After pulling the chicken off the grill, tent for 10 minutes so it has time to reabsorb its’ juices. Serve with your favorite sides.

Substitutions for Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill

If you’re looking for substitutions for spatchcocked chicken on the grill using other poultry, there are several options you can try:

  1. Spatchcocked turkey: Spatchcocked turkey is a great alternative to chicken for a larger gathering. It is prepared in the same way as spatchcocked chicken, but may take longer to cook. My pickle juice brined spatchcocked turkey recipe will make you look like a rockstar at your next cookout!
  2. Spatchcocked Cornish game hens: Cornish game hens are small and perfect for individual servings. Spatchcocked Cornish game hens can be grilled and seasoned in the same way as chicken.
  3. Grilled (Spatchcocked) Quail: Quail is a small game bird that can be spatchcocked and grilled for a unique and flavorful meal. My rosemary lemon grilled quail recipe is delicious! 
  4. Duck: Spatchcocked duck can be grilled for a crispy skin and juicy meat. It is often marinated with citrus and herbs for added flavor.

 

Remember to cook these substitutions properly and use proper food safety practices- you always want to use a MEAT THERMOMETER to ensure you’ve met your minimal internal temp before pulling them off the grill. 

 If you’re looking for a little zest try our Spatchcock Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken Recipe! (linked here)

 

spatchcocked chicken on grill

Once you’ve made a spatchcocked chicken on the grill, you will never roast a whole chicken again!

 

Spatchcocked Chicken on Grill FAQ

Q: What is spatchcocked chicken?

A: Spatchcocked chicken is a method of preparing a whole chicken for grilling that involves removing the backbone and flattening the bird, resulting in a more evenly cooked and flavorful chicken.

Q: What are the benefits of spatchcocking chicken?

A: Spatchcocking chicken reduces cooking time and allows for even cooking, crispy skin, and juicy meat. It also allows for easy seasoning and basting, as the chicken is flat and all areas can be reached.

Q: How do I spatchcock a chicken?

A: To spatchcock a chicken, use a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Then, flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone until it cracks.

Q: How long does it take to grill spatchcocked chicken?

A: Grill the chicken skin-side up over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Q: What are some seasoning options for spatchcocked chicken?

A: You can season the chicken with your favorite spices, rubs, or marinades to give it a unique flavor. Popular seasonings include garlic, lemon, rosemary, and paprika.

Q: Can I spatchcock other types of poultry?

A: Yes, you can spatchcock other types of poultry, such as turkey, Cornish game hens, duck, and guinea fowl, for a unique and flavorful meal.

Q: How do I prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill?

A: Make sure to oil the grill grates before cooking the chicken to prevent sticking. You can also brush the chicken with oil before placing it on the grill.

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spatchcocked chicken on grill

Spatchcocked Chicken on the Grill: Tips and Tricks for Juicy, Flavorful Results


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  • Author: Robyn

Description

Once you've had Spatchcocked Chicken, you won't roast a whole chicken ever again! This guide sets you up for success to make your first spatchcocked chicken on the grill.


Ingredients

Scale

One whole chicken that has been spatchcocked with the backbone removed

12 tbsp olive oil- to help the BBQ rub adhere

34 tbsp Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub 


Instructions

Prepare your grill for direct and indirect cooking with the temperature set at 350 degrees. You can find directions on how to create direct and indirect zones on your grill at my grill school series. Oil your grill grates with a high heat oil like avocado oil so the meat will not stick. Cook the chicken on indirect for about 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temp has reached 155 degrees, flipping once in the process. Finish the final 10 minutes on direct heat (flipping once to get both sides) or until the internal temperature on the breast meat has reached 165 degrees as read by an internal read thermometer. Use can a brick covered in foil to the help the chicken lay flat and get it extra crispy on the outside (you can still grill without a brick but this will help to cook more evenly).

After pulling the chicken off the grill, tent for 10 minutes so it has time to reabsorb its' juices. Serve with your favorite sides.

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