Spatchcock BBQ Turkey

Recipe by Grillin With Dad

Recipe by Grillin With Dad

Hey! I'm Maciek. I make easy meals that anyone can replicate at home. I’m not a professionally trained chef, just your average guy that likes to fire up the grill.

Want to change things up this Thanksgiving? Then try this delicious, spatchcock BBQ turkey. It’s smokey, juicy, tender and perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table. The spatchcocking process takes less time to cook and meat is cooked evenly throughout, eliminating risk of dry breast and raw thighs.

Defrost the turkey.

Honeysuckle Turkey

Place the frozen turkey in the refrigerator 4-5 days before the cook day. You want to give it plenty of time to defrost. The defrost time will vary based on the weight of the turkey so be sure to take that into account.

After the turkey is defrosted, rinse it under cold water, remove all the giblets from the inside cavity and pat it dry. The bird is now ready for prep.

How to spatchcock a turkey.

Spatchcocked Turkey

BBQ Seasoned Spatchcock Turkey

First, cut out the backbone of the turkey with sheers or a sharp knife. This process of spatchcocking or butterflying will allow the turkey to cook fast and evenly. Cut the center of the breast bone and press down hard to break it so the turkey lays nice and flat. I like to use a little olive oil or cooking spray for the binder. This will allow the seasoning to stick better to the skin. Cover the outside generously with your choice of BBQ seasoning and pat it in.  For this recipe I went with Meat Church Holy Gospel.  It is a great all purpose rub with peppery and sweet flavors that enhance the flavor of any meat.

Fire up the grill

Preheat the grill to 375 degrees and set it for indirect cooking. Place the turkey skin side up and cook until the breast registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This should take approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your turkey.

Spatchcocked turkey on the grill

Resting the spatchcock BBQ turkey is very important.

When your spatchcocked BBQ turkey is fully cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This is a very important step in this process. During the rest period, the turkey will start to cool down and the cooking process will stop. The juices will redistribute inside the meat, giving you a much better final product.

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Spatchcock BBQ Turkey

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Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 1 Whole Turkey - Frozen or Fresh
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1/4 cup BBQ seasoning


  • Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove the giblets and pat everything dry.
  • Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut out the turkey backbone.
  • Cut the center of the breast bone and press down on both sides to flatten the turkey out.
  • Spray both sides of the bird with the cooking oil spray and season heavily with the bbq rub. Be sure to get both sides and under the wings/legs.
  • Preheat the grill to 375 degrees, indirect heat and place the turkey, skin side up, directly on the grates.
  • Cook until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165 degrees. 
  • Remove the turkey from the grill, allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, carve and enjoy!

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