Dry Brined Spatchcock Turkey On The Grill

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, easter, grilled turkey, thanksgiving, turkey
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Dry Brine: 1 day 12 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 219.87kcal
Cut the cooking time of your turkey by several hours by spatchcocking and grilling. Baste with a simple herb butter sauce and don't forget the Cider Gravy.
Print Recipe


  • 1 10-12 pound Fresh Turkey (not Kosher)


  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • 3 cups apple cider
  • turkey giblets (neck, heart, liver, turkey back)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage 5-6 sprigs
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme 6-8 sprigs
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley 5-6 sprigs
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary 2-3 sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons Wondra Flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcesershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (I used Gravy Master)
  • turkey drippings (if available)


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme



  • Remove the turkey from the packaging and set the turkey neck and giblet package aside.
  • Use paper towels to dry the inside and outside of the turkey. Turn the turkey so the breast side is down and the back is up. Firmly hold a turkey thigh with one hand and use a pair of sharp kitchen sheers to cut down just to the right of the turkey's back bone. Use the sheers to cut down just to the left of the turkey's back bone and remove the spine. Place the back bone with the rest of the giblets for the gravy.
  • Holding either side of the ribs, open up the turkey with your hands. Run a sharp knife down the interior breast bone (in the center) of the turkey. Don't cut all the way through, just about 1/8" to help you lay the turkey flat when flipped.
    Turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up and use both hands to press firmly into the center of the rib cage until you hear a little pop or snap and the turkey breast lays flat.


  • In a small bowl combine the kosher salt, dried thyme, black pepper and paprika. Stir well to combine.


  • Lift the skin of the turkey at the bottom of the bird and slip your hand between the skin and flesh, breaking through the thin membrane so that you can run your hand all along the meat of the bird. Season the bird with the Dry brine both over and under the turkey skin. Flip the bird over and season the interior.
  • Transfer the turkey to a half sheet pan and refrigerate uncovered for 24 to 36 hours.


  • You can use a gas grill or charcoal grill for this, but you'll be cooking in an indirect method with the heat source on one side of the grill and the turkey on the other. (Note you can also add some soaked wood chips (cherry, apple, peach or pecan) to the embers or to a smoking basket.


  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the chopped herbs and worcestershire sauce. Simmer for one minute and remove from heat.


  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature while the grill heats up. Remove the top grate from the grill.
  • Use a chimney starter. Fill the bottom cavity of the starter with newspaper. Add charcoal briquets to the top of the chimney starter. Light the newspaper with a lighter stick or long matches. The briquets will catch fire and start to burn. When the briquets are quite hot and the embers look ashy with a fiery interior, pour the embers along two sides of the grill. Rest a drip pan that's about as large as the turkey in the center of the embers.
  • Return the top grate to the grill. Place the turkey directly above the drip pan and cover tightly with the grill lid. Cook the turkey at 350° (adjusting the heat hotter by opening the upper and lower vents and reducing it by closing the vents) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the thickest part of the turkey breast or thigh registers 165° on an Instant Read Thermometer.
  • Baste the turkey every 30 minutes with herb butter.


  • Set up the grill for indirect heat -- using 1 or 2 burner elements (depending on the style of grill you have) and the other side will be for cooking the turkey. Place a drip pan under the grates where the turkey will be. Preheat the other side of the grill to 350°-375°. When the grill is hot, place the turkey on the grates over the drip pan.
  • Cook the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with the herb butter until the thickest part of the bird registers 165° on a digital thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board and let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.


  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet large enough to accomodate the turkey (a half sheet pan should do it). Place the turkey on the wire rack and transfer to the oven. Baste the turkey every half an hour with the herb butter.
  • Roast the turkey for an hour and 20 minutes to an hour and 45 or until a digital thermometer reads 165° on the thickest part of the turkey. I start testing for doneness at the 1 hour and 20 minute mark.


  • While the turkey is cooking, make the gravy. In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil and cook, uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until the cider is reduced by half and measures 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.
  • In a large stock pot or dutch oven, add the turkey neck, back and giblets and cover with 5 cups of water. Add the sage, thyme parsley, rosemary, bay leaves, onion, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the stock is reduced by half.
  • Use a pair of tongs to remove the large pieces of turkey neck, giblets and back. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the contents through the strainer. Press on the solids to release the juices and discard the solids. You'll need about 3 cups of turkey stock
  • Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour until a bubbly paste forms. Add the salt and pepper and continue to cook, whisking constantly, for a minute over the heat. Alternate adding turkey stock and cider reduction, whisking well after each addition. Do not add more liquid until the previous addition has been fully incorporated. The gravy will be very thick in the first few additions but will loosen up. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, worcesershire sauce and browning sauce and simmer for an additional minute. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped thyme and sage.

If you're not using turkey drippings:

  • If you aren't adding drippings, taste for seasoning now and adjust as needed... more salt, pepper, if you want more tanginess, add a bit more apple cider vinegar (one teaspsoon at a time).

If you're using turkey drippings:

  • If you're using drippings from the turkey, wait until you add the drippings to adjust seasoning -- the turkey drippings will be very flavorful from the turkey brine and basting. Whisk in a few tablespoons of drippings and taste for seasonings. Note, if the drippings are very fatty, you may want to add an additional tablespoon of cider vinegar to cut the fat somewhat.


  • When the turkey registers 165°, remove it from the grill and transfer to a cutting board to rest. Tent with tin foil for 20-30 minutes before carving.
  • Remove the thighs and legs by cutting through the thigh joint and then finding the joint between the thigh and drumstick and cutting cleanly through it. Repeat with the second leg. Remove the wings by finding the joint and poking the tip of the knife into that joint and cutting through it. Transfer to the serving platter and arrange neatly.
  • Remove the breast from the bone by cutting into the center of the breast and slicing down to the bone, curving your knife and following the bone as closely as possible down the end of the breast. Slice the breast meat crosswise into 1/3" thick slices and arrange on the platter.
  • Serve with warm gravy.


Calories: 219.87kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.28g | Protein: 1.53g | Fat: 16.15g | Saturated Fat: 10.14g | Cholesterol: 42.21mg | Sodium: 2433.58mg | Potassium: 137.41mg | Fiber: 1.29g | Sugar: 7.98g | Vitamin A: 664.2IU | Vitamin C: 4.15mg | Calcium: 40.83mg | Iron: 1.48mg