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Spatchcock Turkey Recipe

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A spatchcocked turkey roasts in less than 2 hours and has wonderfully juicy meat and crispy skin. Level up your Thanksgiving game with a beautifully presented spatchcocked turkey.

baked spatchcocked turkey in a serving dish

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

Don’t be intimidated by spatchcocking a turkey, it’s easy and worth every minute. Turn the traditional Thanksgiving turkey into an even more delicious turkey with every inch covered in browned crispy skin. Cook a whole turkey in half of the time!

Serve a roast spatchcock turkey with some of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, Southern Green Beans, Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole, and Soft Air Fryer Dinner Rolls. Your Thanksgiving table is sure to stand out this year and impress your guests.

turkey slices on a plate

Ingredients Needed For Spatchcock Turkey

  • Turkey: Spatchcocked, you can do this yourself or your local butcher can do it for you. Check out my How to Spatchcock a Chicken (Video) for help spatchcocking a turkey, it’s the same process just on a bigger bird.
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasonings: Kosher salt, Poultry seasoning, Garlic seasoning, and Black pepper
spatchcock turkey ingredients

Tools you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan
  • Sharp kitchen shears
  • Meat cleaver
  • Meat thermometer
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife

How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey

Place turkey on a large baking sheet. Season the spatchcocked turkey with olive oil, Kosher salt, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Rub the seasonings all over the turkey, including under the skin.

turkey being seasoned with season mixture

Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours. This is known as dry brining the turkey and results in a flavorful and juicy bird.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to roasting. Use paper towels and blot off any excess moisture on the turkey.

Patting the chilled turkey dry with a paper towel

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue roasting for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the butterflied turkey from the oven. Allow resting for 15-20 minutes before carving.

spatchcocked turkey after being oven roasted on a baking sheet

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

  • To Spatchcock a turkey, you’ll need to place the turkey breast side down with legs toward you.
  • Use sharp poultry shears and cut along the backbone to remove it. You’ll end up cutting through the rib bones. Since a turkey is a much larger bird than a chicken, this process may take extra effort. Alternatively, your local butcher may spatchcock your turkey for you upon request.
  • Slit the white cartilage that’s in the middle of the breast.
  • Turn the turkey over and use two hands to pull the breast and wings upward while pushing the middle of the breast down, until it lays flat.
  • Remove any excess fat from the turkey.

For a more detailed explanation of spatchcocking a turkey, or a chicken visit the How to Spatchcock a Chicken video.

The Benefit of a Spatchcocked Turkey

While roasting a whole turkey is also delicious, a roasted spatchcock turkey will create an evenly cooked turkey all over. Every bite of white or dark meat will be tender and perfectly juicy.

Allowing the turkey to lay flat provides a larger surface area for roasting, which cuts the cooking time down considerably.

baked spatchcocked turkey in a serving dish

Gravy Made From Turkey Drippings

Don’t toss out those delicious golden pan drippings. Pour those flavorful juices into a saucepan or skillet to make tasty homemade turkey gravy. The amount of pan drippings will depend on the size of the turkey roasted.

Check out my easy guide on How to Make Gravy From Drippings.

How Long Do You Cook A Spatchcock Turkey Per Pound?

Even though you have butterflied your turkey, the cooking time will vary depending on how large your turkey is. 6-8 minutes per pound is ideal.

10-pound turkey: 60 – 80 minutes

15-pound turkey: 90-120 minutes

20-pound turkey: 120-160 minutes

You’ll need an extra large baking sheet for roasting a 20-pound turkey.

Notes

  • I spatchcock a turkey the same way I spatchcock a chicken. You may need a meat cleaver to cut through large bones.
  • You can make turkey broth with the backbone removed from the turkey.
  • The turkey should be at room temperature before placing it in the oven. I like to take it out of the fridge about half an hour before I roast it.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving so that the juices redistribute.

Looking for more Turkey recipes? Try these out:

 If you have tried this recipe or any other recipe on my blog, please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

baked spatchcocked turkey in a serving dish
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5 from 1 vote

Spatchcock Turkey Recipe

A spatchcocked turkey roasts in less than 2 hours and has wonderfully juicy meat and crispy skin. Level up your Thanksgiving game with a beautifully presented spatchcocked turkey.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spatchcock turkey
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 497kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 12-14 pound Turkey Spatchcocked
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the spatchcocked turkey on a large baking sheet. Season the spatchcocked turkey with olive oil, Kosher salt, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Rub the seasonings all over the turkey, including under the skin.
  • Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to roasting. Use a paper towel and blot off any excess moisture on the turkey.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue roasting for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a quick read thermometer in the thigh registers at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven. Allow resting for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Suggested Tools

meat cleaver
Kitchen sheers
meat thermometer

Notes

  • I spatchcock a turkey the same way I spatchcock a chicken. You may need a meat cleaver to cut through large bones.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 232mg | Sodium: 1815mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3mg
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