Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

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Perfect Spatchcock Turkey is an easy spatchcock turkey recipe, giving you the most evenly cooked turkey in about an hour and a half!  

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey | flavorthemoments.com

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so let’s talk turkey!  I mentioned to you last week that I was doing a turkey trial run this past weekend, and you can tell by the looks of this spatchcock turkey that it was a huge success.

Never mind that I was so busy that day with numerous activities — I squeezed this bad boy in and managed to photograph it just before the sun started going down.  It was a race against time, which is also why you don’t see any fancy food styling going on here.  

Who really needs food styling when you have a perfectly golden brown turkey?  I figured I would let that crispy skin do all the talking for me. πŸ™‚

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey | flavorthemoments.com

Spatchcock Turkey

If you want the most evenly cooked roasted turkey, this is the method for you.  

Why you’ll love this spatchcock turkey recipe:

  1. A 12-14 lb. turkey cooks in a 450 degree oven and cooks in 1 -1.5 hours, which is about half the time as the traditional method.
  2. Since the turkey is lying flat, it cooks much more evenly.  The breast meat and dark meat reach doneness at the same time, which means you’ll have a nice, juicy turkey.  
  3. The flat turkey also means that more skin is exposed during roasting, resulting in maximum golden brown crispy skin.
  4. If you’re making turkey stock for your gravy, you can toss the backbone in for that much more flavor.

Why do they call it spatchcock?

The origin of the word spatchcock is up for debate, but from what I’ve read it may be an Irish term.  The dictionary definition says that the word simply means to split open a game bird for grilling.  

Splitting open a bird is done by removing the backbone so that it lays flat, which is also known as butterflying.

Why don’t we just call it butterflied turkey then?  Because that’s just not as fun. πŸ™‚

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey | flavorthemoments.com

Can you stuff a spatchcock turkey?

If you spatchcock your turkey, you will not be able to stuff it.  I never stuff my turkey, so this method works perfectly for me.

How to spatchcock a turkey

It’s very easy to spatchcock a turkey, but you will need a sharp pair of kitchen sheers and knife or  cleaver. 

  • To start, place the turkey breast side down with the legs toward you.  Using sharp kitchen shears, cut alongside the backbone on both sides. 
  • Once the backbone has been removed, place your hands on the breastbone and apply pressure to flatten.  You can use a sharp knife to cut along the tip of the breastbone (it looks like the tip of a triangle), then apply pressure and flatten.
  • If you’d rather not do this yourself, ask your butcher!  I order my Thanksgiving turkey with the backbone removed every year to save myself time, and it’s done at no added expense.

Preparing your turkey

spatchcock turkey process collage 2

  • I dry brined my turkey, which is a fancy term for salting it generously and leaving it on the pan uncovered in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.  This dries the skin out, which means it will get even crispier.  The salt is absorbed into the meat, which breaks down the proteins and results in tender, juicy meat.  
  • Before cooking, rub it with olive oil, paprika and freshly ground pepper, and allow it to come to room temperature for an hour or so.
  • Cook at 450 degrees for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees.
  • Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • If your turkey browns too quickly, cover with foil during the remainder of the roasting time.
  • Customize your turkey with your favorite seasonings, fresh herbs or citrus.
  • Keep the backbone from the turkey for turkey stock!
  • This cooking method is recommended for a turkey weighing no more than 14 lbs. A 14 lb. turkey shouldn’t take longer than 1.5 hours, but oven times do vary. If your turkey is smaller than 14 lbs., keep a close eye on it to prevent overcooking.

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey | flavorthemoments.com

See all of my Thanksgiving recipes.

More Thanksgiving Turkey recipes:

Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey Breast

What to serve with spatchcock turkey:

Cranberry orange sauce

Homemade dinner rolls by Mom on Timeout

Slow cooker stuffing

Yukon gold mashed potatoes

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

Yield: Varies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 days
Total Time: 1 days 1 hour 45 minutes

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey isΒ an easy spatchcock turkey recipe that results in the most evenly cooked turkey in about an hour and a half! Β 

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

Ingredients

  • (1) 12-14 lb. spatchcock turkey*
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

Instructions

Dry brine the turkey:

  1. The night before you cook the turkey, pat it dry with paper towels and salt it generously with kosher salt. Place it on a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and place in the refrigerator uncovered overnight.

Cook the turkey:

  1. Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and sprinkle it all over with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Mix the olive oil and paprika together in a small bowl, and rub the turkey evenly with the mixture. Place skin side up in the pan and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers at 165 degrees.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to rest loosely covered with foil for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
  4. Carve, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If your turkey browns too quickly, cover with foil during the remainder of the roasting time.
  • Customize your turkey with your favorite seasonings, fresh herbs or citrus.
  • Keep the backbone and giblets from the turkey for turkey stock!
  • This cooking method is recommended for a turkey weighing no more than 14 lbs. A 14 lb. turkey shouldn't take longer than 1.5 hours, but oven times do vary. If your turkey is smaller than 14 lbs., keep a close eye on it to prevent overcooking.

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