Spatchcock Chicken

Spatchcock Chicken is a fast and easy way to cook an entire chicken on the grill. I first learned this method of spatchcocking while searching for rotisserie alternatives for a new grill. After trying it once, I was hooked. The backbone is cut out of the chicken and is laid flat. It becomes thin enough to grill over direct heat. It is a perfect balance of flame charred and smokiness.

There are numerous ways to season the spatchcock chicken. This recipe uses Red Pepper Flake, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese. I have seasoned with everything from BBQ Rub, to Lemon and Pepper, and even just Pepper and Salt. All are great flavors for this chicken. I like the heat of Red Pepper Flake with the smokiness of the direct flame.



  • 1 Small Chicken (4 Pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic


Spatchcock the Chicken

  • Place the chicken breast down. Using a good set of Kitchen Shears begin to cut along one side of the backbone.


  • Cut down the other side of the backbone. Discard the backbone or save for soup stock.


  • Flip the chicken over breasts facing up. Trim any loose skin and cut off the wing tips.
  • Press hard on the chicken between the breasts to further flatten. Sometimes there is a need to cut on each side of the breast bone to help flatten the chicken.


Marinate the Chicken

  1. Mince the Garlic and mix together with the Red Pepper Flake, Black Pepper, and Olive Oil.
  2. Spread the mixture over the chicken and rub in.
  3. Let chicken sit marinating in refrigerated for 1 hour.


Prepare the Grill

  1. Set up your charcoal grill for Direct Heat.
  2. Preheat your grill to Medium Heat. How Hot is my Grill?

Cook and Serve

  1. Place chicken breast side down and cook for 12-15 minutes. I always cook breast side first so I can glaze the chicken towards the end if desired.
  2. Using tongs or a spatulate flip the chicken and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes.
  3. Use an instant read thermometer and cook until interior temperature is 165ºF.



One thought on “Spatchcock Chicken

  1. Spatchcocked! Tried this recipe for the first time and it came out awesome. Not pretty because I ripped the skin in the flip with tongs but certainly a crowd favorite, even for my picky 3 year old.
    I used garlic powder, onion powder, Tony chacheres and parmesan cheese mixed together and rubbed on the chicken with olive oil. My chicken was almost six pounds and took about 45 minutes to cook. Definitely making this again and again…

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