Easy Grilled Spatchcock Turkey Recipe for Delicious Family Dinners

Easy Grilled Spatchcock Turkey Recipe for Delicious Family Dinners

Discover the secret to a perfectly grilled, juicy, spatchcock turkey that will free up your oven and wow your guests this Thanksgiving!

Grilling a spatchcocked turkey is a game-changer for your holiday feast. By removing the backbone and flattening the bird, you’ll achieve faster, more even cooking and incredibly crispy skin. Plus, taking the turkey outdoors to the grill opens up valuable oven space for all your delicious sides.

This technique combines the best of both worlds: the smoky flavor of grilling with the traditional taste of roasted turkey. The result? A mouthwatering bird that’s moist on the inside and perfectly golden on the outside.

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Spatchcocked Turkey

Spatchcocking your turkey offers several advantages:

  • Even cooking: The flattened shape ensures all parts of the turkey cook at a similar rate.
  • Faster cooking time: Your turkey will be done in about half the time of a traditional roasted bird.
  • Crispy skin all over: More surface area exposed to heat means more delicious, crispy skin.
  • Smoky flavor: The grill imparts a subtle smokiness that elevates the turkey’s taste.
  • Frees up oven space: Perfect for preparing all your other Thanksgiving dishes.

The Art of Grilling a Butterflied Turkey

Grilling a spatchcocked turkey might seem daunting, but with these tips, you’ll be a pro in no time:

  • Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking, with hot coals on one side and an empty space on the other.
  • Add a small chunk of fruitwood like apple or cherry for a subtle smoky flavor.
  • Position the turkey with legs closer to the heat source for optimal cooking.
  • Monitor the internal temperature closely to ensure perfectly cooked meat.
  • Let the turkey rest before carving to lock in those flavorful juices.


  • 1 whole natural turkey (12 to 14 pounds total), butterflied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 small chunks of light smoking wood, such as cherry or apple
  • 1 recipe white wine and mustard gravy, for serving


  1. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and season generously all over with salt and black pepper. Tuck wing tips behind back. Place turkey on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals in a crescent moon shape on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place wood chunk(s) directly on top of hot coals. Remove rack with turkey from sheet pan and place on grill, with turkey legs and thighs placed closer to the coals. Cover, situating top vent over cool side of grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers between 165-170°F (74°C-77°C) in thickest part of the thigh and between 145-150°F (63°C-66°C) in thickest part of the breast, about 90 minutes, replenishing coals after an hour if needed.
  3. Remove rack with turkey from grill and place over a cutting board. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes, then remove wire rack and carve turkey. Serve immediately with gravy.

Pro Tips for Grilling Success

  • Dry brine your turkey overnight for extra-juicy meat
  • Use a leave-in thermometer to monitor the turkey’s internal temperature without lifting the grill lid
  • Let the turkey rest after grilling to ensure the juices redistribute throughout the meat
  • Save the backbone to make a rich stock for your gravy

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
885 Calories
35g Fat
3g Carbs
130g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 885
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 497mg 166%
Sodium 1319mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 130g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1108mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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