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Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

May 30, 2015

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenMy kitchen has turned to summer meals, and I couldn’t be more excited!

I love the change in seasons. Summers are for quicker cooking meals so my hot oven isn’t running all day, cool salads, and the produce of the season! By September I’ll be ready to pull out my everyday soups, stews, and warming meals again, but while we are enjoying soaking up the sun for a few months, I really enjoy summer meals.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenOne of the reasons I love summer so much is because I get to refresh my freezer chicken stash. Every October as our farmer’s markets wind down for the winter, I fill up a whole shelf in my deep freezer with 25 or so whole chickens to get us through the winter. I love my chicken lady 🙂 She is the sweetest thing in the world, and treats her birds so amazing.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenThe flavor of chicken on pasture is unmatched, and when we run out of whole chickens around April/May, I long for our market to open back up for the year!

We headed up to the market this weekend, and I told my husband I was planning on chicken for dinner. The warm weather was begging me to keep my oven use to a minimum so I decided a summer spatchcock style chicken would be the best.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenSpatchcock (or some people call this “butterfly”) chicken cuts the cook time way down to less than an hour, so it is perfect for summer. Just use kitchen shears down the backbone on both sides, and flatten the chicken down with the breast up.

Other than my crockpot chicken method, this is the method I use until I can slow roast my chickens during the fall and winter. Since cooking chickens spatchcock style offers so much more yummy skin to enjoy, we did our bird up barbeque style this weekend. It is one of our favorite summer meals alongside summer potato salad, and it was a fun way to start our summer off.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenThis method it super easy. Don’t be intimidated with halving the chicken. Just follow the backbone – it is very simple and quite forgiving. I remember the first time I did a chicken this way just falling in love with how quick our chicken night could be cooked in – especially one these beautiful summer days when we are out at the beach all day!

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

Once you learn how to spatchcock a chicken you won't cook it any other way. It's quick and so delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ chicken recipe, how to spatchcock a chicken, whole BBQ chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com


  • 1 whole pastured chicken split down the back (mine are anywhere from 4-6 pounds)
  • 3-4 TB butter (or olive oil or avocado oil for the bottom of the pan and surface of the chicken
  • 1 cup or so of BBQ sauce This 5 minute BBQ sauce is so good and no junk ingredients! If you purchase store bought just check those labels for corn syrup, preservatives, etc
  • 1 onion sliced into rounds
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped


  • Butter the bottom of a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan, lay slices of onion on top, and garlic on top of the onions.
  • Put the butterflied chicken on top of the onion rounds, and butter the surface of the chicken.
  • Cook at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, take it out and brush the surface of the chicken with BBQ sauce.
  • Place the chicken back in the oven and cook another 5-10 minutes, take it back out and brush it with more BBQ sauce. Cook another 5 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.
  • You can use more BBQ sauce for dipping if you wish!

For more real food dinner ideas, follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pintrest!

More real food recipes you might like:

Summer Potato Salad


Summer Coleslaw


Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken


Crockpot Chicken For Fast Weekday Meals


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  • Reply Jessica May 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    5 stars
    This looks fantastic! I love bbq sauce on chicken.

  • Reply Tracey June 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Oh this is perfect for dinner tomorrow night! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish June 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    This looks AMAZING! I need to make this for my husband, he will love it {I will too}.

  • Reply Marjorie June 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    This is my favorite way to cook chicken. I’ve never made a BBQ sauce version, so I will have to try it! Pinned 🙂

  • Reply Tash June 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    5 stars
    This looks HEAVENLY!! I have always wanted to roast a chicken this way! Now I’ll definitely have to become friends with the local butcher 🙂

  • Reply Megan Stevens June 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    This looks amazing!! I love how it looks plated next to the potato salad! Always lovely and yummy, Renee!!

  • Reply Katie | The Antidote Life June 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I am making this with the next chicken I get!

  • Reply 50 Paleo Father's Day recipes June 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    […] 37.]  Spatchcock BBQ Chicken […]

  • Reply karen June 10, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    I cook whole chicken this way too! I save the backbone, wing tips and organs for making broth. I usually get thyme and lemon wedges in between the skin and meat, sprinkle salt and pepper on top and roast or grill. Love how it turns out. Will have to try your BBQ sauce next time!

  • Reply Parmesan Roasted Italian Potatoes - Raising Generation Nourished July 27, 2015 at 6:42 am

    […] come up with some delicious beef roast or spatchcock BBQ chicken, and halfway through it’s cooking I’ll remember we probably need something to go along […]

  • Reply 50+ AIP Recipes for the Grill - Gutsy By Nature September 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    […] Spatchcock Barbecue Chicken – Raising Generation Nourished (for AIP, use AIP-friendly barbecue sauce) […]

  • Reply 80+ Gluten-Free Memorial Day Recipes - Rubies & Radishes May 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

    […] Spatchcock BBQ Chicken from Raising Generation Nourished […]

  • Reply Laura Flournoy May 25, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Wow! Thank you for this! I am going to make it tomorrow 😀 I am really looking forward to summer recipies myself….. Need to get out of the kitchen.
    In summer we try to do 100% cooking on the bbq or fire pit in cast iron …
    Wanted to say
    Your chicken lady thanks you. We sell our birds at farmers markets and were so disappointed this winter after markets closed that not a soul bought birds ahead or called for birds over the winter.
    I don’t. We don’t get it ….
    Mindset….?… we sold lots of birds every day at market to repeat customers. So off to think after eating right all spring and summer someone would just revert to chicken house chickens

  • Reply 50 Paleo Father's Day recipes | PaleoRecipe24.Com June 3, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    […] 38.]  Spatchcock BBQ Chicken […]

  • Reply Paul February 25, 2017 at 11:41 am

    5 stars
    Best chicken I ever cooked..
    I used sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce
    Thanks a lot

  • Reply Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free! - Raising Generation Nourished April 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

    […] Spatchcock BBQ Chicken […]

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    […] Spatchcock BBQ Roasted Chicken […]

  • Reply Mary September 24, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve made this twice so far and each time it was tasty and juicy! Thank you for sharing this delicious meal!

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Wonderful Mary! Thank you for coming back with your feedback!

  • Reply The Best and Quickest Way to Cook a Whole Chicken (Spatchcock Method) - Live Simply November 1, 2017 at 10:30 am

    […] Want to try something different? Try this barbecue spatchcock chicken from Raising Generation Nourished.  […]

  • Reply 50+ AIP Recipes for the Grill | Gutsy By Nature May 24, 2019 at 11:03 am

    […] Spatchcock Barbecue Chicken – Raising Generation Nourished (for AIP, use AIP-friendly barbecue sauce) […]

  • Reply Carmella Moutaw September 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    5 stars
    Waiting for it to come out of oven. Very easy and looks delicious!!! Thank you

  • Reply 5 Minute BBQ Sauce - Raising Generation Nourished July 3, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    […] no chopping, no simmering, no fuss! It is perfect for brushing on your grilled chicken (or a whole spatchcock chicken!), dipping your chicken nuggets, and spreading on a […]

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