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Crispy Spatchcock Chicken (with extra crispy skin!)

Crispy Spatchcock Chicken (with extra crispy skin!)

  • 13 September, 2022

This chicken recipe is sure to knock your socks off! Gone are the days of soggy skin and dry meat - with your kamado grill, you’ll be a pro at this in no time. This recipe is a great way to learn more about the grills smoking feature 

Items you’ll need

The Day Before you Smoke

Smoking is usually a long process, but that's half the fun! While this smoke is only ~1.5hrs, we need to take the chicken out the night and do some prep. Wipe down the bird with paper towels to dry the skin off. 

How to Spatchcock the chicken: This is the most complicated step of your prep. On a large cutting board, lay the chicken breast side down with the neck facing towards you. Use good-quality kitchen shears to hold the neck and cut along one side of the chicken spine. Cut as close to the spine as possible & separate it from the ribs. Repeat for the other side of the spine. Once the spine is free, remove it. 

Flip the chicken breasts side up and the chicken legs facing outward. Use the palm of your hand to press along the breastbone. You may hear small cracks - this should make the chicken completely flat.

Lay the chicken flat on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Finally, Salt the skin of the chicken and place it in the refrigerator overnight uncovered. 

The Next Day… 

Preheat the Grill to 350°

Our first step on the day you want to grill is preheating your VESSILS Kamado. Dump some charcoal into the main ceramic chamber of your grill. Arrange it into something that resembles a peak (it wont be perfect - trust us). On top of the pile. Place a fire starter (and arrange it into a peak (sloppy is fine). Insert a firestarter near the top of the pile, and make sure to add a few pieces of charcoal on top of the starter. As a fire starter, you can use natural woods like Fatwood or Tumbleweed For this recipe, we’re aiming for 350°

kamado grill with high quality charcoal for pre heating

Now, light that baby up! You can use matches - or for convenience, you can use a charcoal lighter. You’ll usually want to let things burn for 15-30minutes to get a solid fire and heat going. This type of burn is a top-down burn, which means the fire is starting at the top and working its way down. This fire should last 10-12 hours, making it perfect for a long smoke. A good sign that your fire is at the right temperature is thin wispy smoke coming from the top vent. We don't want pillowing dark gray smoke (or just a straight-up fireball.) 

Finish Prepping the Chicken 

While you wait, it's a great time to head back to the kitchen and get your chicken from the refrigerator! Not a lot to do here - just rub it down with hot sauce & BBQ rub!  In this case, you just make sure you continue to check the grill. 

Spatchcock chicken marinated with herbs on a sheet-pan on a kitchen table. How to Spatchcock a chicken

Add your Heat Deflector 

With the fire going strong, its time to set it up to smoke! Kamado grills use a heat deflector (or smoking stone insert) to divert the heat away from the meat so it can be smoked instead. The inserts will dim the fire, so give it time to get back to temperature (around 5-10min) 

Let the Chicken Smoke for 1 hour and 20 minutes  

Once the grill is at temperature (350°) & you’ve added your deflector, it's time to add your chicken. Simply place the chicken on the cooking grate and close the lid. 

Remember our tip: do not open the lid unless you need to flip or something seems wrong. The more you open the lid, the less stable your smoke will be which can lead to uneven cooking.

Let it Rest & Enjoy your Chicken! 

Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° its time to pull it off the grill. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve!

Juicy & crispy spatchcock chicken laying on a bed of herbs on a table in a foil pan. How to make amazing spatchcock chicken



  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp hot sauce
  • 2 Tbs of your favorite BBQ Rub (or my mix of salt, pepper, paprika)


  1. On the day before you plan to cook, take the chicken out of its packaging
  2. Wipe the skin of the chicken down with paper towels to dry the skin off
  3. Now, Spatchcock the chicken. Remove the backbone and press down to break the breast plate
  4. Lay the chicken flat on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet
  5. Salt the skin of the chicken
  6. Place in the refrigerator uncovered overnight
  7. The next day preheat your kamado grill to 350° using an indirect setup
  8. Use 1 chunk of smoking wood
  9. Take the chicken out of the fridge and slather with a little hot sauce then apply rub
  10. Place the bird in to the kamado grill and let cook for 1 hour 20 minutes
  11. When temp probe measures 165° in the breast it is time to pull
  12. Rest 5 minutes, carve, and enjoy
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