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Roast Spatchcocked Turkey

For step-by-step instructions on carving a spatchcocked turkey, see our how-to.

  • Servings: 10
  • Yield:
Roast Spatchcocked Turkey

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2009


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole fresh turkey (about 12 pounds)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

  2. Rinse inside and outside of turkey;
    pat dry with paper towels. Spatchcock
    turkey (see our how-to). Transfer
    to a rimmed baking sheet, breast
    side up. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  3. Brush or rub turkey all over with oil
    mixture. Roast, rotating sheet halfway
    through and basting twice, until an
    instant-read thermometer inserted
    into the thickest part of the thigh
    reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    Let stand for 20 minutes before
    carving (see our how-to).

Reviews (12)

  • Jennifer Larson 28 Nov, 2013

    I made this last year, and the drippings smoked in the pan, but I liked how fast it cooked, and wanted to try again this year. After reading the reviews today, I put the turkey on a bed of onions (2 large, sliced 1/4 "), set the oven to 450, and it turned out perfect. My 16lb butterball cooked in 1 hour - skin crisp and perfectly browned, and I didn't even baste. The meat is tender and flavorful. I will always roast a turkey this way.

  • Winnegrrl 9 Apr, 2013

    Wow! put in at 45o degrees and checked in 50 minutes--my bad--skin burned black over breast and legs!
    Should have known better.
    Will try another at 375.
    Have done Ina Gartens perfect roast chicken at 400 with good results, though.

  • lagoar 1 Apr, 2013

    The best turkey I have ever roasted. Thanks to some comments, I did a very quick clean of my oven first to avoid any smoking. Even when I left the turkey in the oven 10 or so minutes longer than I needed to, it was the most moist and delicious turkey I may have ever tasted, let alone made. I will never roast turkey any other way. Thank you.

  • mayborninfebruary 22 Dec, 2012

    To Karen16, I'm sorry that happened to your house. I did a lot of research on spatchcocking prior to roasting mine, and I found that the fat on the pan can sometimes smoke up. An easy solution I utilized was placing the turkey on a bed of onions, which not only flavored the meat and pan juices wonderfully, but it kept the pan moist enough to avoid smoking. Hope you give it another chance sometime!

  • mayborninfebruary 22 Dec, 2012

    I will never make a turkey any other way again! The breast meat was so tender and juicy and it cooked up so fast. I had a 14-pounder and it was done in 80 minutes! I thought I would miss the spectacle of bringing a whole turkey to the dinner table and the ooh's and ahh's, but i took the time to carve and arrange it beautifully and I would say that my guests were equally as impressed, if not more when they tasted it! Make this next Thanksgiving!

  • Kathryn1960 27 Aug, 2012

    Roasting your turkey or chickens using this method always comes out juicy and crispy. And the cooking time is reduced so I don't feel like I have to get up at 4:00 AM to have Thanksgiving Turkey ready by 1:00. LOVE IT!

  • ChardonnaySunset 21 Nov, 2011

    We tried this 2 yrs ago with a 22 lb turkey. We cooked it on our Weber grill at around 375 and used the cookie sheet. It was a big hit and very juicy. My sis-in-law did it the next year and added fresh herbs w/ olive oil under the skin. It turned out perfect and the oven was free for all the other side dishes.

  • Karen16 6 Dec, 2010

    My open-concept house is now full of greasy smoke. 450 degrees????...This is a turkey not a pizza! I reduced the temp. and legnthened the time so I can breath. Perhaps I missed something. I am glad that I tried this on a non-holiday day! Oh my! Clean up will take several days.

  • Nannahall 25 Nov, 2010

    I usually always to a large 20lb or bigger bird this way, very successfully. It takes about 2-2.5 hours; use a thermometer as Martha suggests for your first time. I have tried it on a flat wire rack and it gets done faster, but I like the flavors that it absorbs when you lay it over herbs and veggies. Then I puree those vegies to thicken my gravy. I'll be honest....I do not like white meat at all...but I'll eat this it's so moist!

  • Sheryll 25 Nov, 2010

    I agree with SJRL, cook two 12 pound turkeys, just as easy an the white meat won't dry out so much as with a huge bird. And not so blasted heavy when lifting each bird separately. I thought about brining my turkey this year, but could not get one smaller than 14 pounds, so will be spatchcocking it instead, it is just so much easier to me.

  • SJRL 22 Nov, 2010

    I don't know that I would ever do a 21 pound turkey - I'd rather do 2 10-12 pound turkeys. A 21 pounder is likely to dry out regardless of method before it cooks through.

  • Katiegram 25 Nov, 2009

    Can this be done with a 21 lb turkey? How long would it take in the oven?

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