Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by Shari Mason
The first time I tried spatchcocking a turkey, I was amazed at the time it saved. Bringing it to the gas grill? Even better! The heat evenly surrounds the bird, and those grill marks add an unbeatable flavor.
If you’re like me, curious and ready to grill a spatchcocked turkey, you’re about to embark on a tasty adventure. Let’s learn how long to cook a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill and make your grilling experience memorable.
How Long Does It Take To Cook A Spatchcock Turkey On A Gas Grill?
On a preheated gas grill at medium heat, it typically takes about 75 to 90 minutes for a 12 to 14-pound turkey to be thoroughly cooked.
Cooking a spatchcock turkey  on a gas grill is a delightful way to savor this classic dish with a twist. Generally, a spatchcocked turkey cooks faster than its traditional counterpart due to its flattened form.
“The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It’s part of our culture like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays beyond their meaning, a factor in our economy.”– Bob Schieffer, American Journalist
Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) at the thickest part of the breast and thigh for a perfectly safe and juicy result.
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What Is A Spatchcock Turkey?
A spatchcock turkey is a turkey that has been prepared by removing its backbone, allowing it to be completely flattened.
This method, known as “butterflying,” spreads the turkey evenly, promoting more consistent cooking.
The bird cooks faster than a traditionally roasted turkey by laying flat on the grill or roasting pan, ensuring crispy skin.
The term “spatchcock” is believed to be a 17th-century combination of “dispatch” and “cock,” referring to the method of preparing and cooking poultry.
Why Should I Cook My Turkey On A Gas Grill?
- Frees Up Oven Space: Oven space is premium, especially during big holiday feasts. Grilling your turkey ensures you have room for all those tasty side dishes in the oven.
- Consistent Temperature: Gas grills often maintain a steady temperature, ensuring even cooking.
- Crispy Skin: The direct heat from the grill can give your turkey a crispier skin.
- Smoky Flavor: Even though it’s a gas grill, you can still achieve a mild smoky flavor by using wood chips.
- Outdoor Cooking Experience: It’s enjoyable to be outdoors, especially if the weather is pleasant. Grilling can be a fun activity to involve family or friends.
- Faster Cooking Time: With spatchcocked turkeys, grilling can sometimes be faster than traditional oven roasting.
- Energy Efficient: If you’re grilling outside, you won’t be adding extra heat to your home, which can be beneficial if you’re trying to keep the house cool.
Do I Need To Watch The Turkey The Whole Time It’s Grilling?
When grilling a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill, watching the turkey the entire time is essential but unnecessary.
Grilling differs slightly from oven roasting; the open flame can cause flare-ups, especially if dripping fat ignites.
However, modern gas grills with lids and reasonable temperature control allow for relatively consistent and even cooking.
That said, it’s still wise to check on your turkey periodically. Ensure the grill maintains a steady temperature and occasionally check for any unexpected flare-ups or uneven cooking.
“Grilling a spatchcock turkey is like dancing with flames — quick, flavorful, and a feast for the senses!”– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
While you don’t need to hover over the grill every minute, remaining vigilant will help ensure a perfectly grilled turkey with crispy skin and juicy meat.
Can I Add My Favorite Seasonings To The Turkey?
Seasoning is critical to enhancing the flavor of your spatchcock turkey, especially when grilling. You can liberally apply your favorite dry rubs, marinades, or herb mixtures to the turkey’s skin and underneath.
Some popular choices include rosemary, thyme, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika , and lemon zest.
Additionally, consider seasoning the turkey a few hours before grilling or overnight for deeper flavor penetration.
This will allow the spices and herbs to meld with the meat, ensuring a more flavorful and aromatic dish once grilled.
What is the best temperature to spatch a turkey?
The best temperature to grill a spatchcocked turkey is between 325°F to 375°F (163°C to 190°C).
Should you brine or spatchcock turkey first?
It would help if you brined the turkey first, then spatch it. Brining helps to season the bird and keep it moist during cooking, while spatchcocking allows it to cook more evenly and quickly. After brining, you can then spatch the turkey for grilling or roasting.
Cooking a spatchcock turkey on a gas grill offers a delightful twist to traditional oven roasting, ensuring a quicker and more even cooking.
To achieve the perfect grilled spatchcock turkey, it’s crucial to maintain the right temperature and monitor the internal meat temperature.
By spatchcocking and grilling your turkey, you’ll infuse it with a smoky flavor that’s hard to match, making your holiday or mealtime memorable.
Remember, every grill and turkey size might vary slightly, so watch the bird and adjust accordingly.
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