Cooking turkey is both a challenging yet rewarding task. There are a myriad of ways to cook turkey, but in the end, we all want the same outcome: a juicy, flavorful turkey with golden crispy skin.
One of the best ways (if not best) to cook turkey is through the spatchcocking method. It’s the fastest way to cook roasted turkey. In this article, we will explore the spatchcocking method, its advantages, and how you can do it.
What is the spotchcocking method?
Spotchcocking method (also known as butterflying method) is a technique in cooking poultry which involves removing the backbone of a turkey, chicken, or other types of birds, and cracking the breastbone so that the poultry lays flat on your pan or casserole. After spatchcocking, you can roast or grill it.
Why should you spatchock a turkey?
Spatchcocking turkey has many advantages aside from potentially cutting cooking time. This method makes it easier to cook white and dark meat evenly, so you can expect the breast meat will stay juicy.
Here are some reasons why you should spatchcock a turkey:
1.The turkey will cook faster
Spatchcocking turkey drastically reduces the amount of time you cook the poultry and it can be done in about half of the time you may need using the regular stuffed method. So for example, if you can roast a turkey in 2-5 hours, spatchcocking it will reduce the time to 80 minutes or even 35, depending on the size and your recipe’s procedures.
Flat turkey cooks more evenly and can handle higher temperatures without burning. A whole turkey requires lower heat (around 325°F) to avoid overcooking and drying out its outer layer. When the poultry is butterflied, you can increase the temperature to 450°F without worry and the cooking time will decrease along with it.
2. Crispier and juicier turkey
Keeping the meat juicy is another concern when cooking turkey. Spatchcocking turkey keeps the moist meat while providing a crispy skin. Why is this so? The flattened turkey’s outer layer (skin) faces upward in open air while the exposed meat is on the bottom with the stuffing you may lay out on the pan. This means that its skin can bask in dry heat to get that crispy texture and the meat stews in the fat and juices which make it perfectly moist.
3. Stuffing gets tastier
Spatchcocking turkey doesn’t mean you will not get to add your stuffing in there as you roast the meat. Technically you will not “stuff” them inside the turkey since it will be laid out flat, but can totally add the stuffing. All you have to do is to put your stuffing on the pan or casserole, then place the spatchcocked turkey on top of it.
This way, you can add plenty of stuffing that will be dripped with juices and flavors from the turkey. You need to remember to move the turkey to another pan halfway through the roast so you will not end up burning the stuffing.
4. Put a different spin into your presentation
A plump, juicy turkey may look attractive at the dinner table, but it’s not really the most convenient meat to savor during dinner time. People may enjoy carving the turkey but if you’re with children or with people who are not well-versed in carving the meat, a ready-to-eat presentation is more favorable. A butterflied turkey is easier to cut, and you can still make it as visually appealing as you want.
5. Variety of spatchcocking methods
There’s a variety of spatchcocking methods which really depends on the type of cooking you’ll do. If it’s grilling, you may try the under-the-brick, smoking, or kettle grilling methods. For roasted turkey, you may try the turkey over stuffing, or the turkey placed on a grill wire above the stuffing.
How to spatchock a turkey
Here are simple steps in spatchcocking a turkey. It may vary on the specifics, depending on your actual recipe, but the method may follow similar steps when it comes to spatchcocking.
Step 1: Preparation
Before you get started, make sure you have the right equipment for preparing the turkey. Get a decent pair of poultry shears and a solid cutting board. Place the bird breast side down, and begin by cutting both sides along the backbone.
Step 2: Deboning
Flip the bird over and pull or fold it apart to snap the bones, and then push it out with your hands.
Step 3: Flattening
Start flattening out the bird and allow it to flatten out even more by pulling the thighs apart. Cut the wing tips using your poultry shears.
Step 4: Get ready to cook
If you’re prepping the night before, you can set it aside, cover it, and refrigerate. But if you’re planning on cooking it the day itself, you need to set it aside for at least 30 minutes before cooking. You can apply your seasonings or dry rubs, oil, and butter during this time.
Step 5: Cook it
After you’ve prepped the other ingredients, you may start to roast your turkey. It may cook around 80 minutes to 90 minutes, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure the skin is golden brown and crispy before taking it out and letting it cool.
Spatcocking the meat is a great way to cook turkey and other poultry. There are a variety of advantages in cooking it using this method.
If you’re looking for tasty and delicious Turkey recipes, you may check out our recipes here at ThermoPro.
- Perfect Masala Injected Christmas Turkey
- Roasted Herb Turkey Breast
- Holiday Turkey with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Delicious Turkey Recipe
For more kitchen and cooking recipes, tips and how-tos, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter at ThermoPro. We have a variety of blogs that can help you work in your kitchen.