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What Is Spatchcock Chicken? (And How to Cook It)

What Is Spatchcock Chicken? (And How to Cook It)

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While cooking a beer can chicken on the Big Green Egg it always turns out super moist and delicious but it isn’t the only way to prepare a good chicken. I also recommend trying to smoke a well rubbed spatchcock chicken.

Back in the old days cooking a chicken or fowl started out with killing it, or dispatching the cock as they used to say. It was combined into one word known as spatchcock.

This has further evolved into what is known as splitting the chicken (or fowl) and opening the one side of it up, laying it flat. This is then grilled as a preferred cooking method for many including myself.

How to Setup the Big Green Egg for Spatchcock Chicken?

The spatchcock chicken can be cooked with either direct or indirect heat and achieve great results. I personally prefer the indirect method because I find that it cooks it more evenly without having to necessarily flip it like you would need to with a direct cook.

So whether you are cooking your spatchcock chicken on direct or indirect heat, get the Big Green Egg dialed into about 350 – 400 degrees.

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Big Green Egg Daisy Wheel settings to achieve 350 degrees.

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Big Green Egg Draft Door settings to achieve 350 – 400 degrees.

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Insert the plate setter (Conv”egg”tor) feet facing upward.

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Insert drip pan should you want to add water for moisture. I only ever do this in the middle of winter to help keep the inside of the egg moist.

I do however usually throw it in anytime I’m using the plate setter with the feet up though and this is to simply just collect any drippings.

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Add the Big Green Egg grill grate and get it dialed into about 350 degrees for the spatchcock chicken.

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Poultry chamber probe dialed into about 350-400 degrees and ready for the spatchcock chicken.

How to Prepare Spatchcock Chicken for the Big Green Egg?

Preparing spatchcock chicken is super easy with excellent results compared to other Big Green Egg cooks out there, like Brisket.

First Spatchcock Chicken Cut Big Green Egg

To start, lay the chicken breast side down with the feet away from you. Get a good pair of culinary kitchen scissors and cut down one side of the backbone.

Cut from the neck bone all the way down past the tail to free up the whole backbone.

Second Spatchcock Chicken Cut Big Green Egg

Proceed with cutting down the other side of the backbone. Similar to the other side proceed with cutting all the way down through the tail of the bird.

Remove Backbone From Spatchcock Chicken Cut Big Green Egg

You should now have a fully freed backbone. Simply pick it up and toss it away.

If you have dogs I recommend taking this right to the trash can outside as you don’t want them to get at it while you are sleeping in a local trash can.

Break Breast Bone From Spatchcock Chicken Big Green Egg

Now that the chicken is spatchcocked it is time to flip it over so the breast side is up. Spread it apart the best you can then press down on the chest bone in which you should feel a small pop.

This will allow you to open the kitchen up a little further for better seasoning and allowing you to make it flatter on the Big Green Egg.

Add Raging River To Inside Of Spatchcock Chicken Big Green Egg

Flip the spatchcocked chicken over so that it is back on its back. Now is the time to add your favorite rub in which I highly recommend Raging River by Dizzy Pig.

Season it pretty liberally.

Add Raging River To Outside Of Spatchcock Chicken Big Green Egg

Flip the spatchcocked chicken over and season the breast side the same way, with a good coat. Don’t forget to pull those wings and legs out to get the Raging River rub into all the crevices too.

Finished Adding Raging River To Outside Of Spatchcock Chicken Big Green Egg

Once complete you should have a well rubbed / seasons spatchcock chicken ready to be smoked on the Big Green Egg.

How to Cook Spatchcock Chicken on the Big Green Egg?

At this point you should have the Big Green Egg dialed into 350 -400 degrees for an indirect cook (with the plate setter / conv”egg”tor feet facing up) in which you are ready to start cooking the spatchcock chicken.

Probe And Add Spatchcock Chicken To Big Green Egg

Set the spatchcocked chicken breast side up on the center of the grate. In doing this spread the back out the best you can to flatten it. Once complete, add your probes to monitor the temperature.

Make sure you get one in the center of the breast and another one up high on the inner thigh as these are the slowest cooking spots on the chicken.

Pull Spatchcock Chicken Off Big Green Egg

Smoke the spatchcock chicken until it reaches and internal temperature of 170 degrees. Once complete, carefully pull the probes and then the chicken.

From here you are ready to pick a leg, breast or wing and enjoy this beautifully moist spatchcock chicken!

Big Green Egg Cooked Spatchcock Chicken With Raging River Rub By Dizzy Pig

Spatchcock Chicken

A super moist and deliciously seasoned spatchcock chicken


  • 1 Raging River Spice by Dizzy Pig (or your favorite rub)
  • 1 Whole Chicken


  1. Remove the backbone from the chicken (spatchcock it). Cut from the collar bone down through the tail on both sides of the back bone.
  2. Place chicken breast side up and press in the center to pop breast bone (allows it to lay more flat).
  3. Place chicken breast side down and season liberally with Raging River rub by Dizzy Pig (Or other preferred rub).
  4. Flip spatchcock chicken so it is breast side down. Season liberally with Raging River. Ensure to get under the wings and thighs (in the crevices).
  5. Fire up the Big Green Egg (or Kamado Joe) to 350-400 degrees and prepare for an indirect cook (plate setter / conv"egg"tor feet side up).
  6. Once up to temperature, add the spatchcocked chicken to the grate and insert two probes. One probe in the center of the breast and the other in the thigh of the spatchcocked chicken.
  7. Cook until temperature reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
  8. Pull chicken and enjoy!


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