Spatchcocking 101

Spatchcocking before grilling is a barbecuer's secret weapon to cooking chicken that is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Butterflying the bird beforehand helps ensure even cooking and a shorter grill time - and though the technique may sound difficult, even a charcoal novice can handle it. Here's how:

  1. Prep the chicken; remove gizzards and neck bones; rinse and pat dry. 

  2. Place the chicken breast side down on a clean work surface.

  3. Using poultry shears or sturdy kitchen shears, cut from tail to neck on either side of the bird's backbone.

  4. Remove the backbone and either discard or save for making cooking stock.

  5. To fully flatten the chicken, the breast bone must be broken. Press down with both hands on each of the wings until the bone cracks and the bird lays flat.

  6. Season chicken with dry rub and grill over indirect heat, beginning with the flattened side down. Flip as frequently as needed to avoid over-charring.

  7. To test for doneness, place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should reach 165 degrees F.