BBQ Chicken – How to Spatchcock?

I love BBQ chicken. It’s one of my favorite meats to prepare. Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of Beer Can and Ginger Ale BBQ chicken. I love cooking thighs and wings as a quicker cook that always tastes awesome.

BBQ Chicken - Spatchcock StyleIn my search for a great BBQ chicken I came across the Spatchcock method. Simply put Spatchcock chicken is the process of removing the spine of the chicken to butterfly the chicken so that it lays more flat during your cook. I generally season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder for  simple rub. Allow at least an hour for better flavor penetration (overnight is best).

Here’s a great video on how to spatchcock a chicken:

Jeff Phillips at has a great step by step process with photos you can check out by clicking here.


  1. Rinse chicken in cold water
  2. Place on cutting board breast down and legs facing away from you
  3. Use kitchen shears to remove backbone
  4. Cut through “x” with sharp knife until it “pops” (optional)
  5. Remove keel bone (optional)
  6. Sprinkle Jeff’s rub all over the inside of the chicken
  7. Flip chicken to skin side up and apply rub all over skin
  8. Prepare smoker for cooking at 225-240 degrees F
  9. Place chicken on smoker grate skin side up
  10. Smoke for 2.5 to 3 hours or until breast reaches 162-165 degrees
  11. Allow chicken to rest slightly covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving
  12. Serve and enjoy

A two part series on the method by Fred Bernardo “The Smoking Guitar Player:

Author: Staff

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