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How to Grill a Whole Chicken

How to Grill a Whole Chicken

There are a lot of great things about chicken, but two of our favorite components are that they are economical and can feed a decent amount of people depending on the size of the bird. It seems like people often walk past a whole chicken in the grocery store because they aren’t sure how to cook them. 

Anytime you think about cooking a big piece of meat it can be kind of intimidating. Especially when there are different cuts to the piece of meat, like a brisket that has the flat and the point.  When it comes to chicken you have white meat and dark meat and both are going to cook differently.  How do you balance two different cuts of meat in the same cook?  

As I’m sure you have seen before one great way to manage this is to spatchcock your chicken.  On a side note, the same techniques we are talking about here will work for turkey.  Spatchcocking a bird is simply removing the spine out of the bird. This allows two things to happen.  

  • Faster cooking time
  • More even cooking 
Backyard Rubs Spatchcock Chicken Spicy Mama
If you are wanting to spatchcock your chicken, make sure you have a good pair of kitchen shears and a sharp knife. Inevitably you are going to hit some bones and need to break through some tough pieces and these two tools will help. 

There are lots of recipes to cook a whole chicken. This is our take and what we like.  

Spicy Mama Spatchcock Chicken 

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 90-120 minutes


  • 1- Whole Chicken
  • Spicy Mama Rub, apply liberally
  • 2Tbsp - Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Set your grill or smoker up for indirect cooking at 275 degrees. (We will gradually increase the temperature throughout the cook to help crisp up the skin of the chicken)
  2. Remove all the extras that come with your chicken and clean under cold running water. 
  3. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. 
  4. Spatchcock your chicken by cutting the spine out with kitchen shears. After the spine has been removed set the bird meat side up and press firmly between the breasts to help the chicken lay flat. 
  5. Rub Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the chicken thoroughly. 
  6. Apply Spicy Mama rub liberally and pat on the chicken
  7. Once your cooker is up to temperature add the chicken and cook for 30-45 minutes. After 30-45 minutes increase the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 45 - 60 minutes. 
  8. Feel free to increase temperature all the way up to 400 degrees through the cook. By starting low we are allowing the meat to absorb more smoke flavor, and by increasing the temperature we helping the skin to get crispy on the chicken. 
  9. Once you have hit 165 internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast, pull your chicken off the grill and rest for 15 minutes. 
  10. Serve and enjoy. 
Backyard Rubs Spatchcock Chicken Spicy Mama  Backyard Rubs Spatchcock Chicken Spicy Mama

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think? As always feel free to adjust the recipe for what serves you and your family best, just don’t forget to tell us about it.  For more cooking tips make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. 

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