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Draggingtree

Butterfly your bird

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Butterfly your bird

Yes, I know it is not Norman Rockwell turkey, but there are some significant advantages to butterflying it (also called spatchcocking). Click here to see pictures of a bird being spatchcocked with step by step instructions.

 

1) By removing the spine and flattening the bird you can brown both sides. Brown is beautiful. It has more flavor than pale meat. It is a well-known process called the Maillard reaction. The cavity of a Norman Rockwell bird remains pale and unappetizing.

 

2) It allows you to season both sides evenly.

 

3) It cooks faster at the same temperature. Faster cooking means less moisture loss and when it comes to turkey breasts, moisture is critical. On a day when the air temp was 65°F I have cooked a spatchcocked 18 pounder in less than 90 minutes on a Weber Kettle at about 325°F. Your cooking time will depend a lot on the outdoor air temp, the thickness of the breasts, and the unique characteristics of your grill or smoker.I would guestimate 60 minutes or so for small birds about 14 pounds, and 2 hours for a 20 pounder. But air temp plays a major role, so give yourself a cushion.

 

4) Because heat enters the meat from two sides the top side doesn't dry out as much.

 

5) When breasts are done, thighs are too. This can be tricky on Norman Rockwell birds because you usually want the breasts about 10°F lower temp than the thighs, and since the thighs are thinner, this happens naturally when the bird is butterflied.

 

6) The meat is not tall and it fits better on a grill with a low lid. It is perfect for Weber Kettles.

 

7) Carving is a lot easier. The thighs come off with one easy cut. No fumbling around looking for the joint. The breasts are easier to remove too.

 

8) The back can go in the gravy making it tastier.

 

9) It looks pretty cool!

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@Draggingtree - have you ever actually ever butterflied the bird? My son and DIL did Thanksgiving one year and thought they would be fancy and did this. Lot of work - didn't taste any better for all of the extra work.

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@Draggingtree - have you ever actually ever butterflied the bird? My son and DIL did Thanksgiving one year and thought they would be fancy and did this. Lot of work - didn't taste any better for all of the extra work.

Twice I'v butterfiled the bird and cooked it on the grill (charcoal)

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@Draggingtree - have you ever actually ever butterflied the bird? My son and DIL did Thanksgiving one year and thought they would be fancy and did this. Lot of work - didn't taste any better for all of the extra work.

Twice I'v butterfiled the bird and cooked it on the grill (charcoal)

 

Now that would make sense. However my oldest son in Florida made a whole Christmas turkey on the grill one year. He injected it and it was delicious. Was nice because he and my husband concentrated on the bird and my DIL and I spent our time in the house on the sides. Kept them out of our hair toowink.png

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