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 πŸ™‚ 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.Β 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

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

Renee -
Once you learn how to spatchcock a chicken you won't cook it any other way. It's quick and so delicious.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 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!
Keyword BBQ chicken recipe, how to spatchcock a chicken, whole BBQ chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 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 πŸ™‚

  2. 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!

  3. Wow! Thank you for this! I am going to make it tomorrow πŸ˜€ 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

  4. 5 stars
    Super easy and nice change to our usual roasted chicken. I brined the chicken for about 30 min and seasoned chicken with Slap your Momma and pepper. Will definitely be making again.