Spatchcock Turkey | The recipe critic

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A Spatchcock turkey cooks faster and more evenly and turns out to be the most tender and juicy turkey you’ve ever cooked! Roasted or smoked, this turkey will wow your guests on Thanksgiving Day.

I love Thanksgiving leftovers! The big meal is fun, but sometimes it can be stressful. I love waking up the next morning and having a fridge full of food to make fun meals out of. If you have leftover turkey, you have to try this Leftover Turkey Casserole or this delicious Turkey Pot Pie. I made Sausage Stuffing Balls last year with leftover stuffing, they were a huge hit!

A spatchcock turkey roasted in a pan with oranges, cranberries and fresh herbs.

Spatchcock Turkey Recipe

Why should you spatchcock your turkey? Many reasons! Spatchcocking is when you butterfly it or remove the spine so that the bird lays flat on the pan. It helps distribute the whole turkey more evenly in the roasting pan, so it cooks faster and more evenly. This means less time in the oven and a moister bird! It really is one of the best ways to cook turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

I’ve made turkey in many different ways for the holidays. I really like the method of cooking a turkey in a bag, and I’ve even used my air fryer to cook a very juicy and delicious air fryer turkey! Spatchcocking works for the oven, smoker, air fryer, or whatever you cook your turkey in. It’s easy to do and I have lots of tips to help you become a spatchcocking pro. Especially if you use this brine, you will have the best taste and a nice creamy turkey for your holiday dinner!

Ingredients

It doesn’t take much to make an incredible turkey dinner. You can choose the size of turkey your family needs, but in this recipe, the cooking time and amount of ingredients are for a 12-14 pound chicken. See the recipe card below for the exact dimensions.

  • Turkey: This recipe is for a 12-14 pound turkey. You’ll be spatchcocking the turkey, meaning you’ll take the legs out from under the bird by cutting through the belly and flattening the spine. It’s actually very simple! Be sure to remove the neck and viscera bag
  • Turkey Seasoning: About ⅓ C of seasoning will flavor a 10-14 lb turkey. If you have a larger turkey, you’ll want to use more seasoning than that. This spice blend has the perfect seasoning for a holiday turkey like rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic powder and of course salt and pepper. It has a few other things, but that’s just naming the main ones!
  • Rosemary, Parsley, Orange Slices and Cranberries: These are optional garnishes. You can use them if you want, they really make the plate beautiful and the smell of fresh herbs and fruits is incredible! But this is your Thanksgiving turkey, make it just the way you like it!

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

If you’ve ever spatchcocked a chicken, it’s the same process! A spatchcocked turkey is the way to go in my opinion, it cooks in less time and more evenly. It is just so beautiful on the plate and stays so juicy and delicious!

  1. Dry: Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  2. cut: Next, place the turkey, breast side down, on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Using very sharp kitchen shears, cut along the spine of the tail to the nape of the neck. Cut along each side until removed. Discard the spine or save it to make a broth.
  3. Press: Turn the turkey over, then use your hands to press firmly to flatten the ribs and break up the sternum. Make sure the turkey is completely flat and place the thighs on the baking sheet.
  4. To rub: Rub the turkey generously with the turkey seasoning.
Images showing how to spatchcock a turkey.

Spatchcock roasted turkey

  1. Baking: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the turkey for 20 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature and cook at 400 degrees for about 1 ½ hours or until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees on your meat thermometer.
  2. Rest: Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Then slice and serve.

Spatchcock Smoked Turkey

  1. Preheating: Preheat your smoker to 240 degrees F.
  2. Smoke: Place the spatchcocked turkey in the smoker skin side up. Smoke for 4 hours or until thickest part reaches 165 degrees.

Tips for spatchcocking a turkey

If you’re unfamiliar with bird aborting and have never spatchcocked anything before, here are some tips to help you feel confident on Thanksgiving Day!

  • Watch a video: If you’ve read these instructions and you’re still nervous, watch a video! There are many videos on the internet of professional chefs spatchcocking a chicken, and this one is no different. Check out a few to familiarize yourself with the process.
  • Excercise: If you’re nervous about messing up your turkey, buy a whole chicken and practice ahead of time! It’s smaller and cheaper, so there’s less pressure to get it right the first time!
  • How To Carve A Spatchcock Turkey: You’ll have to cut it a little differently, but it’s no harder! Remove the legs and wings first. You remove the entire leg including the thigh at the joint. Then separate the drumstick from the thigh. Then you remove the breast from the bone and cut it into slices. Finally, arrange it on a platter and you’re done!

Turkey sliced ​​and presented on a platter with oranges, cranberries and fresh herbs.

Save leftovers

I love Thanksgiving leftovers, and this turkey makes great meals for a few days! Follow these tips for storing your leftovers to get the most out of this recipe.

  • In the fridge: Keep your turkey in one airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Use it in other dishes to get the most out of your turkey!


To spatchcock the turkey:

  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

  • Place the turkey, breast side down, on a wire rack lined baking sheet. Using very sharp kitchen shears, cut along the spine of the tail to the nape of the neck. Cut along each side until removed. Discard the spine or save it to make a broth.

  • Turn the turkey over and use your hands to press down firmly to flatten the ribs. Make sure the turkey is completely flat and place the thighs on the baking sheet.

  • Rub the turkey generously with the turkey seasoning.

To roast the turkey:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature and cook at 400 degrees for about 1 ½ hours or until thickest part reaches 165 degrees.

  • Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Cut and serve.

To smoke the turkey:

  • Preheat your smoker to 240 degrees F.

  • Place the spatchcocked turkey in the smoker skin side up. Smoke for 4 hours or until thickest part reaches 165 degrees.



Serves: 8

Calories681kcal (34%)Carbohydrates0.1gEgg white105g (210%)Fat27g (42%)Saturated fat7g (35%)Polyunsaturated fat7gMonounsaturated fat9gTrans fat0.3gcholesterol348mg (116%)Sodium541mg (23%)Potassium1084mg (31%)Fiber0.1gSugar0.3gVitamin A273IU (5%)Vitamin C0.003mgCalcium55mg (6%)Iron4mg (22%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional content will vary depending on the brands you use, measurement methods and portion sizes per household.

Class Dinner

kitchen American

Keyword spatchcock turkey, turkey

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