I made this Spicy Spatchcocked Turkey recipe for Thanksgiving, but I’m also planning on doing it for our Easter turkey. It’s a fast and easy turkey recipe. The real pros know to get to the stores early in the season when you’ll find the smaller birds in the 11-15 pound range. What’s the point of a small bird? You can fit it on the grill better and it’s easier to grill on a regular old weekend without too many leftovers. Perfect. So grab that small turkey and follow this easy grilled Cajun spicy spatchcocked turkey recipe.
If you’ve never spatchcocked a turkey before, it’s easy. Use sharp kitchen shears and cut the backbone out of the turkey. Make about half inch cuts on each side of the backbone and remove the whole backbone. Turn the turkey over and forcefully press down on top of the breast until it flattens out. (Here’s a step-by-step picture tutorial how to spatchcock a chicken or turkey.)
Melt a stick of salted butter in the microwave and using an injection needle add the butter into the breast, thighs and legs of the turkey. Mix together the spicy Cajun spatchcocked turkey dry rub and rub it under the skin and sprinkle it all over the turkey. Let the turkey sit while you prepare the grill.
To grill the spicy Cajun spatchcocked turkey on a charcoal grill, take some heavy duty aluminum foil and lay it where the turkey will be sitting. This will help stop drippings from getting into the bottom of the grill. Light about 10 coals and pour them over about 20 or so unlit coals arranged around the aluminum foil. Add a few chunks of apple or cherry wood and put the grate back on.
Sit the turkey on the grate above the aluminum foil and close the dome. It should take about 1.5 – 2 hours at about 350-450 degrees. If the temperature is a bit too hot open the dome a little to prevent burning. This should drop the temp a few degrees and allow you to finish the cook. If the temperature drops too much, carefully add a few handfuls of coals to the grill. Also, add a few pieces of foil under the legs of the turkey to prevent burning.
This spicy spatchcocked turkey recipe will wow your guests on Thanksgiving or if you are a real superstar you can pull this off at the stadium parking lot for one heck of a tailgate.
I originally wrote this article for Char-Broil.