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Stop Deep Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Why Spatchcocking is the Way to a Perfect Turkey

Thanksgiving is just around the corner y’all, and that means it's time to start thinking about turkey. If you're looking for a foolproof method for barbecuing a juicy, flavorful turkey, then spatchcocking is the answer.

What is Spatchcocking?

Spatchcocking is a technique for preparing a turkey by removing the backbone and flattening it out. This method has several advantages:

  • Even cooking: The turkey will cook more evenly when it is spatchcocked, as the breast and thighs will be the same thickness. This will help to prevent the breast from drying out while the thighs are still cooking.

  • Faster cooking: A spatchcocked turkey will cook about 30% faster than a whole turkey, as there is less surface area to cook. This is because the heat can reach all parts of the turkey more easily.

  • More flavorful skin: If you give the bird some time on the hot grate, the skin of a spatchcocked turkey will be crispier and more flavorful.

  • Easier to carve: A spatchcocked turkey is much easier to carve than a whole turkey, as the bones are all laid out flat.

While deep-frying a turkey can produce a crispy exterior, it also comes with several risks and drawbacks:

  • Safety hazards: Deep-frying a turkey involves handling large quantities of hot oil, which can easily lead to burns or fires.

  • Uneven cooking: The intense heat of the oil can cause the turkey to cook unevenly, resulting in overcooked or undercooked areas.

  • Messy cleanup: Cleaning up after deep-frying a turkey can be a greasy and time-consuming task.

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

  1. Remove the turkey from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels.

  2. Place the turkey on a cutting board, breast-side down.

  3. Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone to remove it.

  4. Flip the turkey over and press down on the breastbone to flatten the turkey.

Bonus Tips for Barbecuing a Spatchcocked Turkey

  • Brine or inject the turkey: Brining the turkey will help to keep it moist and flavorful. You can brine the turkey in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Be careful, a lot of turkeys come pre-brined.

  • Season your bird: A rub will add flavor to the turkey. You can use your favorite rub, I love the Chicks That Smoke Seasoning (link below), or you can experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices.

  • Cook the turkey over indirect heat: This will help to prevent the turkey from burning on the outside before it is cooked through on the inside.

  • Use a meat thermometer: The best way to ensure that the turkey is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the turkey should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the breast and thighs.

  • Let the turkey rest before carving: This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the turkey, resulting in a more tender and flavorful bird.

  • Don’t cook your bird with the stuffing in it! It dries out the bird!


Spatchcocking is super simple but really a great technique for barbecuing or smoking a delicious and juicy turkey. If you keep these tips in mind, you'll be sure to impress your guests with a Thanksgiving turkey that they'll never forget.

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