Where To Put Thermometer In Spatchcock Chicken (2 Simple Steps)

Spatchcocking a chicken is a great way to cook an entire chicken. It reduces cooking time, allows for even seasoning, and help produces crispy chicken skin.

Spatchcocking involves using a boning knife to cut out the backbone of the chicken. This allows the chicken it to lay flat. Now, if you want to get perfectly cooked and juicy meat, you need to check the internal temperature.

Getting accurate results depends on where you place the thermometer in the chicken. Here is a simple guide to properly using a thermometer on your spatchcock chicken.

Type of Thermometers To Use On Spatchcock Chicken.

A digital meat thermometer can be used to check the internal temperature of your chicken. An instant-read thermometer can also be used on the spatchcocked chicken.

How To Test Your Meat Thermometer.

Here is a quick hack to ensure your meat thermometer is working properly and ready for use.

  • In a glass cup, add three ice cubes and fill the cup with cold water. 
  • Insert the meat thermometer in the cup for 30 – 40 seconds without touching both sides of the glass. 
  • If the thermometer reads 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready for use. If it’s not reading this temperature, it can not be used on the chicken 

Not sure how to spatchcock a chicken? I have a whole tutorial here

Where To Place The Thermometer.

The best place to place the thermometer probe is in the chicken breast. It is also worth placing the meat probe in the thickest part of the chicken thigh as well.

 Follow these simple steps to accurately measure your chicken’s internal temperature.

Step 1: Insert the temperature probe into the breast meat. 

Step 2: Insert the meat thermometer probe into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. 


Make sure the probe doesn’t touch any bones because you will get inaccurate results.

Note: are you looking to measure the temperature of a smoked spatchcocked turkey? See how to do it here.

What Is The Right Temperature For Cooked Spatchcock Chicken?

There is a lot of argument on what the internal temperature for cooked spatchcock chicken should be. 

The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for fully cooked chicken. This is the safest temperature to follow.

If the temperature probe is placed at the breasts, the recommended temperature is around 160-165 degrees. Alternatively, if it’s placed at the thigh, the recommended temperature is around 165-175 degrees.

Now that you know how to check your chicken’s temperature, you can start trying out recipes.

Want to Smoke Your Spatchcook Chicken?

Using a pellet smoker makes it super simple to cook your chicken, no need to watch the fire or monitor the temps.

It’s one of our favorite ways to cook chicken. see how to cook a spatchcock chicken on a pellet grill, it will ensure your chicken comes out juicy and tender every time.  

Here is a simple BBQ spatchcock chicken recipe you can try.

Step 1: Wash your raw chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Use sharp kitchen shears or a boning knife to take out the backbone from the chicken.

Step 3: Gently take out the leg bones.

Step 3: Use your weight to flatten latten the chicken breasts and rib cage. 

Step 4: Let the breast meat face up and let the chicken legs stick out on both sides.

Step 5: Season the meat with pepper, paprika, or any spice blend of your choice.

Step 6: Apply olive oil on the seasoned chicken with a brush.

Step 7: Set the grill to medium-high for 8-10 minutes.

 Step 8: Flip the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes while checking it from time to time.

Step 9: Insert the temperature probe deep into the chicken breast and if it reads 160 -165 degrees, take it out.

Step 10: Alternatively, insert the temperature probe into the chicken thigh and if it reads 170 -175 degrees, take it out.

Step 11: Let the bbq chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and it is ready to eat.

It is recommended to brine the chicken before you spatchcock it. Simply season the chicken with kosher salt or table salt. Place the chicken on a wire rack on a tray and keep it in the fridge overnight.

This simple spatchcock chicken recipe will leave you with golden brown crispy skin.

You can also save the backbone from the chicken to make homemade chicken stock

Smoking a Whole Chicken?

If your smoking a whole chicken you need to ensure you place a thermometer in the thigh as well as the breast. Also ensure you don’t touch any bones as this will throw off your reading.

Looking for More Poultry Recipes?

Enjoy this recipe and looking for more recipes to try? Here are some of my favorites, electric smoker turkey, juicy smoked chicken thighs and smoked chicken teriyaki. Poultry has the tendency to dry out, but they recipes all guarantee juicy, moist meat.

Just remember to get evenly cooked meat, you have to monitor the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, which is the breast.

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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