How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Spatchcocking means butterflying your turkey for an evenly-cooked, golden-brown finish that's ready in a flash.

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Fresh or Frozen Whole Turkeys

Learn how to spatchcock a turkey for an evenly cooked, crispy turkey, that takes less time to cook than traditional roasting.

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil, extending foil 3 inches past pan on both long sides. Place wire rack on pan.
  2. Remove giblets and neck. Place turkey on cutting board, breast side down. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone, leaving a 2-inch wide strip, cut along opposite side and remove.
  3. Press on breast, down and towards outside. Turn the turkey over and press firmly down on the breast bone until the turkey flattens.
  4. Place turkey on rack, tucking legs and wings in to fit and making sure there is foil under any pieces that hang over side of pan. Pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Brush with oil. Prepare with seasonings.
  6. Roast 1 hour 20 minutes or until turkey registers 170° F in breast and 180° F in thigh when tested with instant-read meat thermometer.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Turkey Tips

Pro Tip

Use kitchen shears instead of a sharp knife. It's a safer option that provides more control and precision.

Did You Know?

A thawed turkey may be kept in the refrigerator (40 degrees F or below) up to 4 days before cooking.

Frozen Whole Turkeys and Frozen Whole Turkey Breasts need to be thawed before cooking.

Thaw Fully Cooked Baked and Smoked Turkeys via the refrigerator method.

Refrigerator thawing is preferred and the least labor-intensive but requires more time.

Cold water thawing takes less time but requires more attention.

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