Cut down on your cook time with this simple, spatchcocked version of a Thanksgiving classic.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
total:
2 hrs 20 mins
Yield:
Serves 6 to 8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

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

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  • 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.

  • 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 (21)

290 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 71
  • 4 star values: 118
  • 3 star values: 58
  • 2 star values: 32
  • 1 star values: 11
Rating: 5 stars
06/14/2019
Never go back!
Rating: 5 stars
12/02/2018
I followed this recipe and increased the cooking time for a 16 pound turkey. It was perfect. In fact, I am rating it as I prepare it a second time.
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2018
We tried this for the first time this year with a 22 pounder. We brined the bird first and rubbed a citrus rub on and under the skin. We used a roasting pan instead of a sheet pan because of the amount of juice the turkey exudes from the brine. Instead of a rack we placed the bird on diced citrus and celery and onions. BEST TURKEY EVER!!!
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Rating: 5 stars
11/19/2018
I've been doing this for year everyone would come to my house and I am in nursing and usually had to work so this 100 times better than cooking for four or five hours. Now my daughter wants to make it but she brines does that change cooking times Martha?
Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2018
This is the only way I will cook a turkey. I also have the original magazine article and it totally changed my turkey game. It is true that if the bird is very large you would need an enormous pan, but this is the best way to get all the parts cooked evenly. And, if you get your turkey from a store with a butcher, they will do the spatchcocking for you. Just make sure they put all the parts in the package if you want to do some make ahead gravy a couple of days before.
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2017
This is a magnificent way to cook a Turkey! I have the original pages from the magazine of this and have used this process for over 10 years. The turkey is the most flavorful, moist and cooks perfectly at a fast rate! everything is cooked evenly. i think it is about 10 minutes per pound, ie a 13 pound turkey cooks in an hour and 10 minutes! You may be spending more time preparing your sides before putting the Turkey in to cook!
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Rating: 1 stars
11/19/2017
Actually, the turkey came out as well as the other reviewers say. I am giving a 1-star review solely because there is a huge food safety no-no in this instructions. I am a public health physician retired from the food safety agency of the USDA where I dealt with poultry safety every day. Please heed this advice: NEVER RINSE POULTRY. Salmonella is an ever-present reality in poultry, despite the best measures of growers and processors. Always assume every bird carries Salmonella on its surfaces and in any included fluid. Rinsing in a sink is wholly inadequate to significantly reduce the levels of bacteria, but the one thing rinsing reliably accomplishes is to generate spray coming off the bird. The danger comes not just from the visible spatter, but also from fine droplets, borne on the air beyond the visible spray, each containing more than enough Salmonella to contaminate other foods, the sink, countertop, nearby dishes, dishtowels, cutting boards, cooking implements, etc.. One recommendation that I was pleased to see was 100% correct was to check for doneness by ensuring an internal temperature of 165F. I still occasionally see checking by cutting into the meat to check the color, seeing that "the juices run clear," or often in British recipes, "cooking until piping hot." If cooked to 165F, as determined by a tip-sensitive thermometer, any bacteria on the bird will be dead. Always trust your oven to kill the Salmonella and leave the poultry unrinsed.
Rating: Unrated
11/18/2016
Make it even better, 2016. Lay whole carrots, quartered large onion, celery stalks, and a cut in half sweet potato in bottom of roasting pan. Oil the pan lightly first. Then add a small amount of liquid to just coat the bottom to keep pan from burning.Lay the Turkey right on top before putting in oven to roast. When done, put roasted veggies in food processor or blender then pour thru strainer adding to the broth for gravy. Sweet potato will be a natural thickener. No flour needed in gravy.
Rating: Unrated
11/18/2016
Make it even better, 2016. Lay whole carrots, quartered large onion, celery stalks, and a cut in half sweet potato in bottom of roasting pan. Oil the pan lightly first. Then add a small amount of liquid to just coat the bottom to keep pan from burning.Lay the Turkey right on top before putting in oven to roast. When done, put roasted veggies in food processor or blender then pour thru strainer adding to the broth for gravy. Sweet potato will be a natural thickener. No flour needed in gravy.
Rating: Unrated
11/28/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/09/2013
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.
Rating: Unrated
04/01/2013
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.
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2012
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!
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2012
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!
Rating: Unrated
08/27/2012
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!
Rating: Unrated
11/21/2011
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.
Rating: Unrated
12/06/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2010
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!
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/22/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2009
Can this be done with a 21 lb turkey? How long would it take in the oven?