How long to cook a 20 lb spatchcock turkey?

Spatchcocking is a popular cooking method that involves removing the backbone of the turkey and flattening it, allowing for more even and quicker cooking. Cooking a 20 lb spatchcock turkey requires proper planning and attention Here’s a comprehensive guide on how long to cook a 20 lb spatchcock turkey:

Recommended Cooking Times a 20 lb spatchcock turkey

  • At 350°F (177°C): Cook for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours.
  • At 325°F (163°C): Cook for approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.
  • At 275°F (135°C): Cook for approximately 5 to 6 hours (for a slow-cooked, smoky turkey)

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

  • Turkey Weight: The larger the turkey, the longer it will take to cook. A 20-pound turkey will take longer than a smaller bird.
  • Oven Temperature: Higher oven temperatures will result in faster cooking times.
  • Oven Type: Convection ovens cook more evenly and may require slightly less cooking time.
  • Stuffed vs. Unstuffed: A stuffed turkey will take longer to cook than an unstuffed one.
  • Brining: Brined turkeys may cook faster due to the moisture retention.

Signs of Doneness

To ensure your 20 lb spatchcock turkey is cooked to perfection, watch out for these signs:

  • Internal Temperature: The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh and breast.
  • Juices Run Clear: When you pierce the thigh with a fork, the juices should run clear, not pink.
  • Crispy Skin: The skin should be golden brown and crispy to the touch.

Tips for Cooking Spatchcock Turkey

  • Start with the turkey at room temperature for even cooking.
  • Baste the turkey regularly with melted butter or olive oil to keep it moist.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Use a meat thermometer to accurately monitor the internal temperature.

Should you brine your turkey first?

If you normally brine your turkey, you should keep doing so – this is no different than roasting the whole bird. Spatchcock turkey is always juicy and delicious anyway. But if you’ve never brined a turkey before, there’s no need to, and brining frequently results in meat that’s saltier than you’re used to.

How long to cook a spatchcock turkey

  • 11-12lb turkey: about 75 mins
  • 12-14lb turkey: about 1 hour 25 mins
  • 14-16lb turkey: about 1 hour 35 mins
  • 16-18lb turkey: about 1 hour 50 mins
  • 18-20lb turkey: about 2 hours

Oven accuracy varies so you should always use a meat thermometer, especially with a high stakes thing like turkey, especially as the bird gets bigger. They aren’t expensive and will save you from microwaving pink meat or eating cardboard turkey. We like this one. Once you have one, just get your breast meat to 150ºF and your thigh meat to 165ºF.

Choosing a Turkey for this Recipe

I’ve used turkeys up to 20 pounds, but keep in mind that it can be challenging to find a pan large enough to accommodate a spatchcocked bird over 16 pounds (I had to go to a restaurant supply store to purchase a huge pan for a 20-pounder).

I would suggest a turkey of about 10-14 lbs.

You can use either a regular turkey or a butter-basted turkey to make spatchcock turkey. If using a butter-basted turkey, I lower the temperature a little to prevent the drippings from burning.

What size turkey does this work with?

It works best with smaller turkeys, not because larger ones don’t work as well, but rather because a large turkey requires a large oven to fit flat in it as well as a large baking sheet. You might want to stick with the smaller 14lb birds and load up on sides if your oven can’t accommodate a full size baking sheet (18′′x26′′).

Can you Spatchcock a 20 lb turkey?

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