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Cooking A Spatchcock Turkey On A Gas Grill: A Simple Guide

Cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! I’m here to show you just how easy and delicious it can be.

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Cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! I’m here to show you just how easy and delicious it can be. Trust me, this method will take your turkey game to a whole new level. So, put on your apron, fire up the grill, and get ready to impress your friends and family with a mouthwatering spatchcock turkey. Let’s jump right in and learn how to cook a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill like a pro.

Cooking a Spatchcock Turkey on a Gas Grill: A Simple Guide

How to Cook a Spatchcock Turkey on a Gas Grill


Cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill is a great way to achieve a juicy and flavorful bird with crispy skin. Spatchcocking involves removing the turkey’s backbone and flattening it, which allows for even cooking and reduces the cooking time. By using a gas grill, you can control the temperature easily and infuse the turkey with a smoky flavor. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill, ensuring a delicious and perfectly cooked centerpiece for your holiday feast.

Preparing the Spatchcock Turkey

Before you start grilling, it’s important to properly prepare your spatchcock turkey for cooking. Follow these steps:

  1. Thaw the turkey: Ensure that your turkey is completely thawed before cooking. Thawing in the refrigerator is the safest method and can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours depending on the size of the bird.
  2. Remove the giblets: Check the cavity of the turkey and remove any giblets or neck that may be stuffed inside.
  3. Spatchcock the turkey: Place the turkey breast-side down on a clean surface. Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, carefully cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the neck. Remove the backbone and save it for making turkey stock or discard it. Flip the turkey over and press down firmly on the breastbone until you hear a crack. This will flatten the turkey.
  4. Trim excess fat and loose skin: Trim any excess fat or loose skin from the turkey. This will help prevent flare-ups during grilling.
  5. Rinse and pat dry: Rinse the turkey under cold running water to remove any debris. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Marinating the Spatchcock Turkey

Marinating the spatchcock turkey will add flavor and moisture to the meat. Here’s how to marinate your turkey:

  1. Choose a marinade: There are various marinades you can use, such as herb-based, citrus-based, or spicy marinades. Select one that suits your taste preferences.
  2. Season the turkey: Rub the marinade all over the turkey, ensuring it is evenly coated. Don’t forget to season the underside as well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate: Place the marinated turkey in a large resealable plastic bag or a covered container. Allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.

Preheating and Setting Up the Gas Grill

To cook a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill, it’s essential to preheat the grill and set it up correctly. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean the grill grates: Ensure the grill grates are clean by brushing off any residue or debris from previous use.
  2. Preheat the grill: Preheat the gas grill to medium heat, around 350°F to 400°F (175°C to 200°C). This temperature range will allow for even cooking without burning the skin.
  3. Arrange the burners: For a two-burner gas grill, turn on one burner and leave the other off. For a three-burner grill, turn on the outer burners and leave the center one off. This indirect heat setup will prevent the turkey from burning.
  4. Place a drip pan: Set a drip pan filled with water beneath the grates to catch any drippings and prevent flare-ups.

Grilling the Spatchcock Turkey

Now that your gas grill is preheated and set up correctly, it’s time to grill the spatchcock turkey. Follow these steps:

  1. Oil the grill grates: Using tongs and a folded paper towel soaked in vegetable oil, carefully oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  2. Place the turkey on the grill: Place the spatchcock turkey skin-side up on the preheated grill grates, directly over the drip pan. Close the grill lid.
  3. Cook with indirect heat: Maintain a consistent temperature of 350°F to 400°F (175°C to 200°C) by adjusting the gas burners as needed. Cook the turkey using indirect heat, allowing the hot air to circulate around it.
  4. Baste the turkey: Every 30 minutes, open the grill lid and baste the turkey with melted butter or your preferred basting liquid. This will enhance the flavor and keep the turkey moist.
  5. Check the internal temperature: After about 1.5 to 2 hours of cooking, start checking the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey using an instant-read thermometer. The turkey is safe to eat when the temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  6. Rest the turkey: Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, transfer it to a cutting board and tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a moister turkey.

Serving the Spatchcock Turkey

Carve and serve the spatchcock turkey to impress your guests with a delicious meal. Follow these tips:

  1. Carving the turkey: Use a sharp carving knife and slice the turkey against the grain. Start by removing the legs and wings, followed by slicing the breast meat.
  2. Presenting the turkey: Arrange the carved turkey on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs and fruits for an attractive presentation.
  3. Serve with sides and sauces: Accompany the spatchcock turkey with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, and gravy.

Cleaning up the Gas Grill

Properly cleaning your gas grill after cooking is crucial for its longevity and performance. Follow these steps to clean up:

  1. Turn off the burners: Turn off all the gas burners and allow the grill to cool down completely.
  2. Brush off residue: Use a grill brush to remove any food particles or residue from the grill grates.
  3. Clean the drip pan: Dispose of any drippings in the drip pan and clean it with warm soapy water.
  4. Wipe the exterior: Wipe down the exterior of the gas grill with a damp cloth or sponge.
  5. Store in a dry place: Once the grill is clean and dry, store it in a dry place or cover it to protect it from the elements.

Cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill is a fantastic way to achieve a flavorful and perfectly cooked bird. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can confidently prepare and grill a spatchcock turkey that will be the highlight of your holiday feast. Experiment with different marinades and serve it with your favorite sides to create a memorable dining experience. Happy grilling!

Easy Spatchcocked Turkey on a Grill: A Tutorial Twist on a Thanksgiving Classic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is spatchcocking a turkey?

Spatchcocking is a method of preparing poultry by removing the backbone and flattening it out. This technique helps to cook the turkey evenly and reduces the cooking time.

How do I spatchcock a turkey?

To spatchcock a turkey, place it breast-side down on a clean surface. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Flip the turkey over and press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it.

Can I cook a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill?

Yes, a gas grill is a great option for cooking a spatchcock turkey. It provides even heat distribution and allows for easy temperature control.

What temperature should I set my gas grill to?

Preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat, usually around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit (190-200 degrees Celsius). This temperature ensures proper cooking and helps to achieve a crispy skin.

How long does it take to cook a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill?

The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the turkey and the grill’s temperature. As a general guideline, a 12-15 lb (5.4-6.8 kg) spatchcock turkey may take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to cook on a gas grill.

How do I know when the spatchcock turkey is done?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey. It should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) to ensure it is safely cooked. The turkey’s juices should also run clear when pierced with a fork.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill is a simple and flavorful way to prepare this Thanksgiving staple. By following these steps, you can achieve a succulent and evenly cooked turkey with crispy skin. Start by spatchcocking the turkey to ensure even cooking. Next, marinate the turkey with your preferred seasonings for added flavor. Preheat the gas grill and place the turkey skin-side down on indirect heat. Cook for an hour, then flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Finally, let the turkey rest before carving. So, if you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to cook a spatchcock turkey, look no further!

Albert T. Sikes

Albert T. Sikes

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