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Nov 8, 2013 07:46 AM

Slow roasting a spatchcocked turkey?

So I've been reading the low and slow turkey threads with interest. Has anyone ever tried slow roasting a turkey that's been spatchcocked? Would the time required be less?

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  1. spatchcocked birds cook more quickly, yes.

    i haven't tried low and slow so cannot give time rec's though, sorry.

    1. Watching this with interest because I would have loved to spatchcock last year's bird, but could not get the breastbone to flatten out, short of just removing it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tacosandbeer

        with turkeys, i have the butcher do it.

        1. re: tacosandbeer

          I get my butcher to remove the backbone, then at home, I put on rubber gloves, grab a couple of handfuls of paper towels grab opposite sides of the ribcage and pull until the bones crack. I can then flip the turkey right side up and press down on the breast bone to flatten more.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Thanks for the instructions. I am unfortunately limited to frozen birds - fresh are difficult to get my hands on until closer to Christmas here in the boondocks of the UK, unless I want to pay loads extra for a special order. But I could give it a try!

            1. re: tacosandbeer

              Oh, I've removed the backbone myself at home before, too. It's not terribly hard, you just need to make sure you have a good grip on the turkey -- the paper towels really help with that! I usually start with kitchen shears to get a cut started, then use a cleaver or large knife and whack, whack, whack. It helps to use the backbone itself as a guide by slightly angling the knife against the backbone so you end up cutting straight down the backbone instead of angling off the wrong direction into the meat.

              But I must say, I prefer it when my butcher does it! :o)

        2. I don't know the exact purpose of spatchcocking poultry but if it's for moist and juicy tender you'll get that with an intact bird cooked low and slow.

          11 Replies
          1. re: fldhkybnva

            Normally, spatchcocking allows the turkey to cook more evenly and more quickly. Also, since I dry brine my bird, having it flat in the fridge makes it easier to salt evenly, and it takes up less vertical space in the fridge.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Good point, I literally need another fridge for Thanksgiving, one day.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                This, exactly. I was SHOCKED at how much less space the damn thing took without the backbone! You can use it for stock a few days before, too.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  I know, right? And I have to get *two* 20-pound turkeys in there in addition to everything else!

                2. re: TorontoJo

                  But you can't stuff it, so completely out at our house.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    I think some put the stuffing underneath so it still catches drippings.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Yeah, not the same. True stuffing mavens find this a travesty;)

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            I always spatchcock my turkey now before brining, and use the back, neck, wingtips, giblets to make stock. The fat that I skim off the top of my stock gets saved and then is drizzled over the stuffing that is baked separately. And I have tons of awesome stock to use for gravy, and usually enough left over for some soup as well.

                            TorontoJo, please let us know how you make out with the slow-roasted birds - I'm curious to try it some day!

                    2. re: TorontoJo

                      Spatchcocking also puts the dark meat towards the outer sides of the bird and shelters the white meat in the inner parts, thus helping to get the dark meat cooked without drying out the white meat quite as much.

                  2. The time required would have to do with the following variables considered and taken into account.

                    * The temperature you select to roast at(225-275*)
                    * The shape of the Breast
                    * The accuracy of your oven
                    * Roasting on a rack(elevated) or simply on top of vegetables
                    * Covered or uncovered.

                    If you are roasting two larger 20 pound birds, I suggest you remove the back, the leg and the thigh portions and cook separately.

                    Your actual roasting time at 225 will still require about 3 hours minimum, possibly 4+ if the breasts are large and thick. We used to cook large boneless breasts only at the Country Club and they took 4+ hours to hit 160*

                    Spatchcocked poultry is often cooked at higher temperatures and do save time. Low and slow is the opposite. It's a method to produce more evenly cooked meat and the allow the natural enzymes to break down the meat and naturally tenderize. The ending result is more moist and tender Turkey.

                    btw. Don't over look the benefits of a longer resting period of 1-2 hours if possible.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: fourunder

                      I have two ovens and was thinking of roasting at 200...

                      1. re: TorontoJo

                        I would roast the white and dark separately. I would plan 6.5-7,5 hours...4-5+ to slow roast and the rest of the time to rest. If you hit your mark early, you simply rest early and a little longer. If you find things are crawling at 200, you can increase the temperature. Personally, I have never found any noticeable difference, or rather, any benefit from using the lower 200 as opposed to 225 for the turkey to warrant the extra time needed, but if you have the time, there's no reason I can think of to discouraging you from using 200. Some others use it and find it best....but my general rule for turkey is 12-14#s I roast at 275. 14+ get's roasted at 225. For my palate, I find any lower temperatures for chicken or turkey produces a slightly rubbery texture. While the dark meat may be fully cooked, the color will be pink. I have no problem myself, but others find it off putting because they are used to meat cooked to death.

                        If you find you need an oven to start the sides, you can hold both in the one oven by refashioning the turkey around the breast to fit on the rack or sheet pan.

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          Food poisoning

                          Roast at 425 or. 450 and then turn down to 200

                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            Sorry, I didn't mention that part, but I did intend to start at 425 for 30 mins, then turn down.

                      2. I did one a few years ago. It turned out great, used the instructions on Martha Stewart's website. I used a frozen bird, made sure it was thawed all the way. Cut the backbone out with kitchen scissors then give the turkey a solid push on the breast (skin side up) like you are giving it CPR until the breast bone breaks.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: blackpointyboots

                          You slow roasted it? Or just spatchcocked it?