How To Spatchcock Chicken: The Ultimate Guide

  • 4 min read
  • Aug 02, 2023
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe Little Sunny Kitchen
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken Recipe Little Sunny Kitchen from

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Are you ready to master the art of spatchcocking chicken? Look no further, as we bring you the ultimate guide to this culinary technique. Spatchcocking, also known as butterflying, is a method that involves removing the backbone of a chicken to flatten it, resulting in even cooking and crispy skin. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a novice in the kitchen, this step-by-step guide will help you perfect the art of spatchcocking.

The Basics of Spatchcocking

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s understand the advantages and disadvantages of spatchcocking. This technique offers several benefits, such as faster cooking times, juicier meat, and the ability to cook the chicken evenly. However, it may require some extra effort and skill compared to traditional roasting methods.

Advantages of Spatchcocking:

  1. Faster Cooking Times: Spatchcocking reduces the cooking time significantly, allowing you to enjoy a perfectly cooked chicken in less time.
  2. Juicier Meat: By flattening the chicken, the meat retains its natural juices, resulting in tender and succulent meat.
  3. Even Cooking: Spatchcocking ensures that the chicken cooks evenly, with both the dark and white meat reaching the desired temperature at the same time.
  4. Crispy Skin: The exposed skin gets crispy and golden brown, adding a delightful texture to the dish.

Disadvantages of Spatchcocking:

  1. Extra Effort: Spatchcocking requires some effort and time to remove the backbone and flatten the chicken.
  2. Special Equipment: You may need kitchen shears or a sharp knife to successfully spatchcock a chicken.
  3. Limited Presentation: The flattened shape of the chicken may not be as visually appealing as a whole roasted chicken.

Step-by-Step Guide to Spatchcock Chicken

Now that you’re familiar with the advantages and disadvantages, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of spatchcocking chicken:

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools handy:

Tools Description
Kitchen Shears or Sharp Knife To remove the backbone of the chicken
Cutting Board To provide a stable surface for spatchcocking
Paper Towels To pat the chicken dry before cooking

Step 2: Prep the Chicken

Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast-side down, with the legs facing towards you. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and save it for making chicken stock or discard it. Flip the chicken over and press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it.

Step 3: Season the Chicken

Season the chicken with your preferred spices, herbs, and marinades. Ensure that you season both sides of the chicken evenly for maximum flavor.

Step 4: Preheat the Grill or Oven

If you’re using a grill, preheat it to medium-high heat. If you’re using an oven, preheat it to 425°F (220°C).

Step 5: Cook the Chicken

Place the spatchcocked chicken on the grill or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook the chicken for about 45-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Flip the chicken halfway through the cooking process for even browning.

Step 6: Rest and Serve

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill or oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and flavorful chicken. Carve the chicken into desired pieces and serve it with your favorite side dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Is spatchcocking only suitable for grilling?

A1: No, spatchcocking is a versatile technique that can be used for grilling, roasting, or even cooking in a skillet or under a broiler.

Q2: Can I spatchcock a turkey instead of a chicken?

A2: Yes, you can spatchcock a turkey using the same technique. However, keep in mind that cooking times may vary.

Q3: Do I need to remove the skin before spatchcocking?

A3: It’s not necessary to remove the skin before spatchcocking. In fact, leaving the skin on helps to keep the meat moist and adds flavor.

Q4: Can I marinate the chicken before spatchcocking?

A4: Yes, marinating the chicken before spatchcocking adds additional flavor. Ensure that you pat the chicken dry before placing it on the grill or in the oven to avoid excessive smoke.

Q5: Can I use the backbone for anything?

A5: Yes, you can use the backbone to make chicken stock or discard it if you prefer.

Q6: How long should I rest the chicken after cooking?

A6: It’s recommended to let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier chicken.

Q7: Can I spatchcock a chicken in advance?

A7: Yes, you can spatchcock a chicken in advance and refrigerate it until ready to cook. Just make sure to pat it dry before cooking.


Now that you’ve learned the art of spatchcocking chicken, it’s time to put your skills to the test in the kitchen. Enjoy faster cooking times, juicier meat, and the satisfaction of mastering a culinary technique. Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or trying out new recipes, spatchcocking will elevate your chicken dishes to new heights. So, grab your kitchen shears, prepare your seasonings, and get ready to impress your family and friends with perfectly spatchcocked chicken!

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. Keep honing your skills and experimenting with different flavors to create your signature spatchcock chicken masterpiece. Happy cooking!

Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. We recommend following proper food safety guidelines and consulting professional resources for specific cooking instructions.