Video: How to Cook a Spatchcock Turkey (the Fastest, Easiest, Best Way to Cook a Thanksgiving Bird)

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey with Gravy

If you're looking for something that isn't too labor-intensive, here's a recipe for the fastest and easiest route to a juicy turkey with crispy skin.

Get the recipe!

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

What with all the talk of turkey porchetta this week, I've been throwing around the word "best" a lot lately. I'm not going to really address that here other than to say that spatchcocking a turkey is the best way to cook a turkey if you value the greatest return for the smallest amount of effort.

I had a physics teacher in high school named Mr. Harless* who gave me perhaps the best and most honest advice any teacher has ever given me: embrace your laziness. Recognize the fact that you want to get from point A to point B as quickly and easily as possible (without sacrificing quality, that is). Laziness is nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, efficient use of time and energy is the one of the prime directives of almost every engineering problem

*Dear Mr. Harless—I apologize for the time my autocorrect changed your name to Mr. Hare Lips. It was mostly unintentional.

It was with Mr. Hare Lips Harless in mind that I promoted spatchcocked turkey last year and will continue to do so until a faster, better way emerges (if it ever does). It delivers breast meat that's juicier than a standard roast turkey, leg meat more tender than a standard roast turkey, and skin that's so crisp it literally shatters when you poke it, all in about half the time it takes to roast a conventional turkey.

A perfect Thanksgiving bird on the table in under 90 minutes? It can be done, and here is how you do it.

Take a look at the video for a walk-through of the process, or jump to this post to read up on more of the details.


How to Spatchcock Your Thanksgiving Turkey