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Turkey: Botched spatchcock and cooking time question

The butcher indeed spatchcocked my turkey, but it appears he just split the backbone in half. Should I try to remove the halves?

Also, the bird is about 16lbs. I planned on roasting in a convection oven, and The Food Lab recommends a 450 oven (without temp reduction). At what temp should I be roasting this bird, and for how long? I also have two additional legs (thigh/drum) and wings to roast on a separate rack. What cooking time am I looking at for those parts?


asked by Jacklyn Salama Lahav 5 months ago
3 answers 265 views
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Connor Bower

Connor is Food52's Advertising Coordinator

added 5 months ago

Kitchen shears should be your best friend for removing the spine should you want to remove them—more precision!

We're doing a high-heat roasted turkey too, Barbara Kafka's version. She calls for two hours for a fifteen lb bird, so I'd start checking your spatchcooked bird after an hour or so to make sure progress is about what it seems.

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Olivia Bloom

Olivia is Food52's Shop Editor

added 5 months ago

Turkeys will cook in about 25% less time in a convection oven—looks like Food Lab is recommending 80 minutes at 450, so start at 45 minutes!

Wings will probably take 30 minutes, legs 45. My rule of thumb is check early and often :) Just wait for the juices to run clear!

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added 5 months ago

Yep! I somehow got those backbone halves out with a fairly dull set of sheers and some brute force.

The cooking time (I put it in at 400 convection roast) ended up being basically how Olivia put it (although, unfortunately, I saw her response when I went to bed last night! I didn't check back again for answers in the afternoon because things got so busy, so I'd decided to put my bird in at 2:30 for a 5:15 carve time, thinking I'd let it rest for a good 45mins). When the bird was almost up to temp at about a half hour, I panicked! I shut the oven, cooled the bird down, and restarted things at a lower temp later on, about 4:30. The turkey came out great, with crisp skin and moist meat all around.

So, you really can blast a turkey in less than an hour!

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