Spatchcock Turkey Recipe

In 2002, Mark Bittman published this revolutionary approach to roasting the Thanksgiving turkey, which allows you to cut the cooking time of the average turkey by about 75 percent while still presenting an attractive bird. Simply cut out the backbone — or ask your butcher to do it for you — and spread the bird out flat before roasting, a technique known as spatchcocking that is commonly used with chickens. Roasted at 450 degrees, a 10-pound bird will be done in about 45 minutes. Really. It will also be more evenly browned (all of the skin is exposed to the heat), more evenly cooked, and moister than birds cooked conventionally.

spatchcock turkey recipe

Foolproof Spatchcocked Turkey

spatchcock turkey recipe

Moist meat, crispy skin—this spatchcocked turkey recipe gives you the best of all worlds. Make this quick easy roast turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

Total: 2 hours 15 minutes, plus brining

Yield: 8–10 servings


  • ¼ cup Diamond Crystal or 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 12–14-lb. turkey, neck and giblets removed, patted dry
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup thyme leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Mix ¼ cup Diamond Crystal or 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt, 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper, and 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar in a small bowl; this is your dry brine.
  2. To spatchcock the turkey, place one 12–14-lb. turkey, neck and giblets removed, patted dry, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of backbone to remove it. Using a chef’s knife, make a small incision down the long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn turkey skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten—you should hear a crack.
  3. Place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub dry brine all over turkey, pressing to adhere, and chill, uncovered, 12–18 hours. (The skin should look tight and dry.)
  4. Place a rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°. Remove wire rack with turkey from baking sheet; set aside. Rinse off excess salt from baking sheet and dry. Place a few layers of foil on baking sheet (this will make clean up much easier) and return rack with turkey to baking sheet. Tuck wings behind breast to prevent then from burning. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  5. Mix ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, ¼ cup thyme leaves, and 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, in a small bowl. Using your hands, carefully separate skin from meat as best as you can and rub butter mixture under the skin. Rub turkey all over with 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. Pour ½ cup water into baking sheet and roast turkey, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 150°, about 1 hour 25 minutes. (Start checking temperature after 1 hour, or use an instant-read thermometer with a probe that you can leave in the breast while it roasts.) Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest 15–20 minutes before carving.

Spatchcock Turkey

spatchcock turkey recipe

Spatchcock turkey cooks quickly and evenly resulting in a juicy bird with a deliciously crisp skin!

Prep: 20min

Total: 110min

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts: calories 401 kcal, Carbohydrate 1 g, Protein 47 g, Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 154 mg, Sodium 241 mg, servingSize 1 serving


  • 1 whole turkey (approximately 10-12 pounds, thawed)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage)
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (or turkey seasoning, optional)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Remove neck and giblets from the turkey (and reserve for broth or gravy).
  2. Place the turkey on a work surface, breast side down, so the backbone is facing up. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone to remove the backbone completely (reserve the bone for broth or gravy).
  3. Flip the turkey over, breast side up. Using your palms, press on the turkey to flatten it. You should hear the cartilage in the breastbone crack as it flattens.
  4. Tuck the wing tips under or snip them off and reserve for gravy.
  5. You can cover the turkey with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight. Discard any juices on the baking tray before roasting.*
  6. Preheat oven to 450°F*. Combine olive oil and chopped fresh herbs. Set aside.
  7. Arrange the turkey on a large rimmed baking sheet. Dab the skin dry with paper towels. Brush with the olive oil mixture and season well with salt and pepper.
  8. Roast the turkey for 1 ¼ hrs to 1 ½ hrs or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
  9. Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

Spatchcock Turkey Recipe (Dry Brined Spatchcock Turkey)

spatchcock turkey recipe

No more spending hours in the kitchen to cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey! This spatchcock turkey recipe will quickly become your favorite way to cook a whole turkey! Spatchcock Turkey involves removing the backbone from the turkey and roasting it flat. In less than 2 hours you have a fully-cooked, tender, juicy turkey ready to serve!

Prep: 30min

Total: 120min

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts: calories 357 kcal, servingSize 1 serving


  • 12-14 lb Turkey, giblets and neck removed (defrosted if frozen)
  • 4 tbsp Kosher Salt Or Coarse Grain Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Herbs de Provence ((or Italian seasoning or Dried Oregano))
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Crushed Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Large apple, sliced
  • 1 Small onion, sliced
  • 3 Stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp Butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary


  1. Place the turkey on a baking sheet. The spatchcock turkey is ready for brining.
  2. Place the turkey in the fridge. (Cover it loosely with foil, if desired). Allow it to brine for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours. (24 hours is sufficient for a spatchcocked turkey)
  3. Carve and Enjoy! Serve as a beautiful centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite side dishes.

Spatchcocked Turkey | Better. Faster. Juicier.


How long do you cook a spatchcocked turkey per pound?

A spatchcocked whole turkey will cook more quickly than a standard turkey. While the spatchcock turkey cooking time will depend on the size and oven temperature, 6 minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb. Depending on the size of the turkey, cook times are estimated between 60-90 minutes.

Is it worth spatchcocking a turkey?

Why should I spatchcock my turkey? While it is a little extra butchery work, spatchcocking a turkey helps it cook more evenly and quickly. Additionally, this method exposes all the skin at the same time, so you end up with a perfectly crispy skin and juicy meat.

How do you prepare a spatchcock turkey?

Smoke the turkey over low heat 225° – 275° F for approximately 11-13 minutes a pound.

About the author

Helen is an author and editor at, who has a passion for writing about recipes. She loves to experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques to create delicious and unique dishes.

Among all the foods, pizza holds a special place in her heart, and she loves exploring different variations and toppings to create the perfect slice. Through her writing, Helen hopes to inspire others to get creative in the kitchen and share their love for food with the world.

Leave a Comment