grilled pressed spatchcocked bbq chicken


We can’t have a grill, which means that when I go home to visit my family I do a lot of grilling. I made this chicken over 4th of July weekend. If you saw this photo on Instagram, you might have wondered what the heck I was up to:


I had  been wanting to try a pressed, grilled chicken for a while, and finally got to try it.  My grandparents also joined us for dinner, so I ended up making 2 chickens so we would have plenty of leftovers for chicken salad. It was just as easy as making one chicken, and as long as they are similar in size, the cooking time should be about the same. It helps if you have two people so you can have someone hold the sheet pan/rocks while you flip the chicken. I brined the chicken because I was brushing BBQ sauce on it as it cooked, but you could also marinate it if you wanted to. It was an extra step, but it ensured that the chicken came out extra juicy. The recipe is for one chicken.


Grilled Pressed Spatchcocked BBQ Chicken


  • one whole chicken // You can spatchcock the chicken before or after you brine it
  • water
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp chicken seasoning // Use your favorite
  • 1.5 cups BBQ sauce
  • vegetable oil or high-heat cooking spray

Tools Needed:

  • baking sheet big enough to cover spatchcocked chicken
  • aluminum foil
  • rocks or bricks // They don’t have to be super clean because the baking sheet will be between them and the chicken, but they shouldn’t have clumps of dirt all over them either
  • Good tongs //Weak tongs are a pet peeve of mine. They need to be able to pick up the whole chicken
  • A container large enough to brine your chicken
  • Meat thermometer
  • A second person // Helpful but not necessary



  1. Place your chicken into your brining container. Cover will cold water and add about 1/8th a cup of salt and chicken seasoning. Stir to combine. Place container in your refrigerator and let sit for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Wrap your baking sheet in aluminum foil and oil the bottom of it. Get your rocks ready.
  3. Remove chicken from brine and rinse. Pat dry, and spatchcock it if you haven’t already.
  4. Make sure that grill is clean, and oil it well. Place chicken skin side down. [If your grill is warmer near the center, position it so the breast meat is closest to the warmest part of the grill] Place baking sheet on top of the chicken and place rocks on top of your baking sheet. Grill your chicken for 20 minutes with the lid down.
  5. Be careful when you open up the lid because you do not want to accidentally hit the baking sheet and send hot rocks tumbling down onto your feet. Remove your baking sheet [this is where another person comes in hand] and flip your chicken over. Place baking sheet back on top of the chicken. And cook for another 20 minutes with the lid down.
  6. Remove baking sheet and place somewhere where it can cool. Check the temperature of your chicken. You want it to be about 150 degrees at this point, but if it is fully cooked (165) that is fine too. Brush the top of your chicken with BBQ sauce. Turn the heat up to high and flip the chicken over so it is skin side down. Brush the other side with remaining BBQ sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has caramelized. Turn chicken over once more and cook for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Remove from grill and let rest for about 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Cut up into pieces and serve with extra BBQ sauce.


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