Spatchcocked turkey on the grill

Photographer: Kate
Serves 8

So we are but a week away from Christmas and if like me you invited your entire family for Christmas you might be looking for some clever ways to maximise your oven capacity for the big day.  Not only does this method completely free up your oven for pies, pavlovas, puddings and potatoes it also produces a super succulent bird with just a couple of hours cooking time.  To do this successfully you do need a grill with a hood, but if you have that covered then this method is a little beauty.

I really believe that it’s worth the extra investment to get yourself a beautiful free range bird.  My friend Cathy from Canter Valley explains that their turkeys spend their days roaming around our fresh green paddocks, pecking and nibbling away as they explore the farm. At night the turkeys are moved into the sheds to prevent exposure to harsh weather conditions and protect them from predators.  I certainly agree that the quality of the product is reflected in the quality of it’s care on the farm and Canter Valley do a stand out job raising happy healthy turkeys.


1 4-5kg (12lb) free range turkey
4 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses


1. Thaw turkey thoroughly to be ready 2 days before serving to allow for brining time.
2. Thoroughly pat dry the thawed turkey using paper kitchen towels.
3. To spatchcock turkey, using kitchen scissors cut all the way up both sides of the spine and remove it.
4. Measure out salt and rub all over the bird, inside and out, and under loose skin.
5. Wrap turkey in a plastic bag and place in the fridge for 2 nights.
6. On day of cooking remove turkey from plastic, pat dry with paper kitchen towels, season with smoked paprika and allow to air dry in the fridge uncovered for a couple of hours.

To cook:
1.Preheat grill (or BBQ) on sear (high) for 5 minutes.
2.Turn the grill temperature to high and place turkey in the center of the grill skin-side down for around 10 minutes to sear and crisp skin.
3.Turn off center burner(s), only use the outside burners (indirect cooking) reduced to med-low heat.Close grill lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.
4.Turn the turkey so the skin side is up, brush with pomegranate molasses and close the lid.
5.Continue to cook for about an hour then check the temperature using an instant read thermometer (measure in the thickest part of the thigh meat and remove from grill when reading reaches 74(165F)).
6.Loosely cover the bird with foil on a cutting board and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.