spatchcock a turkey


Learn how to butterfly and oven roast a turkey with help from the Perdue Farms pros!

Tradition dictates that we roast a turkey whole, plate on an elegant serving platter and carve into thin slices at the dinner table for all guests to see. But for a truly delicious turkey that is evenly browned, tender and juicy, we find that spatchcocking a turkey before oven roasting is best.


  • Butterflied (or spatchcocked) turkey cooks 25% faster than a whole bird.
  • Meat cooks more evenly and to the appropriate temperature (175 F). When roasting a whole bird, legs and thighs may cook through and then overcook before breast meat reaches the appropriate internal temperature.
  • Skin roasts more evenly and creates a crispier crust.


how to spatchcock a turkey
  1. To prepare turkey, cut out the turkey backbone and split the bird in half. Remove legs. Reserve the backbone and neck for turkey stock and gravy.
  2. Next, place pieces in brine. Brine solution should be only 5 to 8% kosher salt to water by weight (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 cups salt per gallon of water). Brine turkey for 24 hours.
  3. When time is up, remove pieces from brine. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season with rub of choice. Preheat oven to 325 F (convection) or 350 F (conventional). Prepare a mirepoix (two parts chopped onions to one part chopped celery and one part chopped carrots) and place on a large sheet tray. Place turkey pieces on top of vegetables to prevent turkey from sticking to pan.
  4. Cook for approximate 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Test temperature of meat by inserting a digital meat thermometer in the thickest portion of breast and thigh. Turkey is done when temperature reaches 175 F.
  5. Alternate roasting process: Preheat oven to 300 F. Spray underside of aluminum foil with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to skin. Wrap foil, spray side down, over turkey, covering completely. Place turkey in oven and cook until nearly done (165 F). Turn the heat up to 400 to 425 F, remove foil and allow turkey to brown until done (175 F).
  6. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes so juices can settle and sink back into the meat.
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