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How to Spatchcock and Grill a Turkey

For those of you lucky enough to secure a pasture-raised turkey, we’ve got a special treat for you! Here is a step-by-step guide from Instagram legend @grillin_with_dad for how to nail your Thanksgiving turkey.

How to Spatchcock and Grill a Turkey


  • Turkey
  • 1.5 cups kosher salt
  • 3 limes
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • Your favorite seasonings
Prep time
12 hours
Cook time
4 hours and 30 minutes


  1. The key to a juicy turkey is doing an overnight brine the day before. If frozen, start by thawing your turkey. See Crowd Cow’s thawing guide for help with this step.
  2. Prepare the brine. Dissolve 1.5 cups of kosher salt in a small pot of warm water and let it cool down completely.
  3. Place your thawed turkey in a bucket. A 5-gallon bucket works great for this.
  4. Add the cooled salt water and add enough COLD water to fully cover the turkey. Squeeze in a few limes, lemons and an orange, dropping everything into the water.
  5. Add some ice to ensure the water stays cold, cover the bucket and let it brine overnight.
  6. The next day, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry and set it on a cutting board with the back bone towards you.
  7. Using kitchen shears, cut out the back bone. Once the bone is out, flip the turkey over and press on the breast bone to flatten it out. Spatchcocking your turkey will make it cook faster and more even.
  8. Once the turkey is spatchcocked, apply your favorite seasonings. In my recipe I used Hardcore Carnivore’s RED seasoning. It’s a great seasoning, originally meant for pork, but with it’s smooth balance of flavors, it works great with turkey too. I first apply a coat of olive oil to both sides of the turkey and then use the RED to season it. Try to get the rub under the skin as well, especially on the breast. This will ensure that the flavors penetrate to the meat.
  9. Take a sheet pan, and put some sliced oranges, lemons and limes. This will be the bed for the turkey. Place your spatchcocked turkey on the citrus, skin side up
  10. Preheat grill to 375°F and put the turkey on it, baking sheet and all. Cook until turkey reaches an internal temperature of the breast was 165°F. Each turkey is different, but my 18 lb. pasture-raised turkey took about four and a half hours to cook.
  11. Once removed, cover the sheet pan and turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the juices redistribute.
  12. Remove the foil, carve and serve. Enjoy this special Thanksgiving meal!
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