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How large a baking sheet or roasting pan should be used for a 24-lb. spatchcocked (butterflied) turkey? Someone asked in a comment. ;o)

Here is the recipe https://food52.com/recipes... I've always roasted a much smaller turkey; it's been many years since I've seen one that size -- and I've never seen one that size spatchcocked. Your thoughts? Thank you, everyone. ;o)

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asked about 2 years ago
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added about 2 years ago

I'm doing the exact same thing. I'm hosting for the first time ever. 18ppl. I actually practiced spatchcock last night with a chicken to see how hard it would be. Definitely cooks faster and more evenly. I'm excited!

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

Kim, I love that you practiced on a chicken. :)

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Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

Measure the turkey. Like you would your waistline, well maybe not...just use a tape measure at the store. Divide by two. Subtract about three inches for the backbone you'll remove. You could just make two halves on two sheets pans.

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hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

The largest I've done was somewhere around 18-lbs, and I managed to get it onto a 1/2-sheet pan. If a larger bird wouldn't fit I'd either separate it into the breast half and thigh half as Sam suggested, or use some foil "wings" to extend the sheet pan a bit. Unfortunately my oven is not large enough to accommodate a full sheet pan.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

We cooked a spatchcocked 24ish pounder on a full sheet at my Mom's house, but she has a commercial Wolf stove. We put onions, carrots and celery on the pan with wine and stock to keep the drippings from burning. We had to add liquid a couple of times and then the turkey took over. We thought about setting the turkey on the veggies, but ended up using a rack.

It turned out beautifully. Definitely the way to cook a monster bird.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

Forgot to add: let the butcher butterfly it for you. Just make sure you get the back and neck.

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added about 2 years ago

I love spatchcocking a turkey, it's a great technique for cooking a turkey faster. And who doesn't love that? That being said, this is a large turkey for this method so make sure you're safe and have a butcher properly remove (and save!!) the backbone. A "full size" sheet tray should work. You could also have the butcher break the breast bone completely and split the turkey equally and do each half on a "half sheet" sheet tray. I think using a cooling rack on the sheet tray helps for circulating air under the bird. Make life easier by creating the gravy while the turkey is cooking using the backbone and neck. You can even make this up to a week before!

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added about 2 years ago

are you suggesting she make the Turkey a week before her dinner. I am afraid I have to strongly disagree.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 2 years ago

She's suggesting that you can make the stock and gravy the week before; I'd make the stock in a jar and put the pan drippings plus some deglazing stock in another jar and freeze, were it a whole week before that I roasted the neck and back. I'd defrost and make the gravy the day before. I've also frozen gravy with success. ;o)

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added about 2 years ago

As a follow up question, how long do you cook a spatchcocked 24 lb. bird?

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added about 2 years ago

THAT is a good question.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 2 years ago

Please see the discussion in Step 11 of this recipe, where I discuss roasting times for larger birds. https://food52.com/recipes... ;o)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I learned from Kenji discussions that while 12-14 lb birds are done at about 80 minutes when cooked at 450°f, the monster birds should be cooked at 425°f and are ready at 2.5-3 hours. Our big bird breast was ready (at 150) before the thighs even when spatchcocked, so we simply popped the legs off, let the breast rest and finished the legs. One year, we had the same situation and finished the legs off in the drippings in the pan on the stovetop. Birds are bred with such larger breasts these days.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 2 years ago

Very helpful, Susan W. Thank you. ;o)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

AJ, just so you know my REAL opinion, I prefer the taste of smaller birds. My brother is in charge of buying the turkey. He goes to a farm that raises heritage, pastured birds. He gets a kick out of the huge ones, so I say nothing. The trade off is that I buy the grass fed, pastured, aged prime rib for Christmas dinner. :)

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 2 years ago

Susan W., it sounds like you've negotiated this well. (Did you know I negotiate for a living?) To my mind, it's far better to have purchasing decision authority for the beef! ;o)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I agree on the beef. I really only use turkey as a vehicle for gravy, my stuffin' muffins and mashed potatoes. That and cute layered leftovers jars we send everyone home with and the fabulous Thanksgiving omelettes topped with gravy my brother makes the next morning after our black friday surf session at La Jolla Shores. I do love holiday traditions. :)

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added about 2 years ago

Not sure a full sheet pan even fits in my oven. Some of the European brands won't even hold a 1/2 sheet. Not that it matters for me this year, as I am not the one cooking the turkey, but it is something to check!