Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock chicken is one of the simplest and fastest ways to cook a chicken and it tastes wonderful. Because you flatten out the chicken you can cook it directly and quickly, you’ll be serving it 45 minutes after you put it on the BBQ.

Simply adding a little salt before the cook is enough but if you want you and experiment with herb and spice mixes as well as marinades and sauces. As a general rule though avoid anything with tomato or sugar as it will burn easily, well unless you like the blackened effect.

Taking a whole chicken and cutting out the backbone is really simple, you don’t need to ask your butcher to do it.

Cooking surfaces

BBQ Temperature


  • 1 medium or large chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (light olive oil not extra virgin)
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt


To Spatchcock the chicken

  1. Remove the chicken and place it breast side down on a chopping board. with the cavity opening towards you.
  2. Take a large pair of scissors and cut down each side of the backbone from the cavity right along either side of the backbone.
  3. Once the backbone has been removed, turn the bird over and open out onto the chopping board.
  4. With the heel of your hand, press down between the breasts to flatten out the chicken.
  5. You’re done, it was a simple as that.

Cooking the chicken

  1. Lightly oil the skin side you your chicken and then sprinkle with maldon salt.
  2. Setup your Egg for a direct cook at 180°C with just the stainless steel grid.
  3. Once the Egg is at cooking temperature, place the chicken skin side down on the stainless grid and cook for 15-20 minutes until you are happy with the crispiness and colour of the skin.
  4. Flip over and cook until you can probe the thickest part of the bird, normally the breast, with a Thermapen and it reads 74°C or more. This will usually take about 20 minutes more.
  5. Once at 74°C take off the grill and rest your chicken wrapped in foil for 5 to 15 minutes.
  6. Serve.


To serve I cut off the legs and joint them, cutting through the knee joint. I take off the wings. I then cut the breasts from the carcass using the carcass as a guide for the knife. You can then cut across the breast meat as opposed to along it and it will taste and feel more moist.

As with most BBQ cooking it’s best to cook by temperature of the meat, not by time. A Thermapen thermometer is by far the fastest and most accurate way of checking your cook.

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