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  • Writer's pictureJason Wills

Dry-Brined, BBQ'd Spatchcocked Turkey

Perfect for a Christmas Day Summer BBQ!

For many years, I've been cooking our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey on the BBQ after a simple 48-hour dry brine. The dry brine adds so much flavour and helps keep the meat tender and moist... no boring dry turkey here! By spatchcocking (butterflying) the bird, it ensures a more even cooking time for both the white and dark meat. There is a bit of prep involved that needs to start several days out if you include thawing time so read the instructions first, then plan back from when you will be cooking and serving. Ingredients 5.75kg Turkey (or smaller, just adjust cooking time and seasoning) 2T Kosher or rock salt (avoid iodised salt as it's too fine) 1t Cracked pepper 1t Paprika Garlic Butter, softened Optional: Fresh soft herbs (Thyme, Sage, Parsely)

Equipment Large roasting pan Kitchen shears/Large sharp knife for spatchcocking & carving Digital meat thermometer (optional, but I wouldn't be without one!) 1. Allow yourself at least 2-3 days for your turkey to thaw in the fridge, plus 48 hours to dry brine if you can for the ideal result. 2. Once thawed, it's time to prepare and spatchcock the bird. Remove the giblets and neck and set aside. Rinse the turkey and pat dry. To spatchcock the turkey, place the bird breast side down and using kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, carefully cut down each side of the turkey's backbone, remove and set aside to use in a bone broth, optional. Turn the turkey breast side up and press firmly on the breastbone to flatten. 3. Mix together the salt, pepper and paprika. Gently separate the skin from the flesh and lightly rub the salt brine under the skin. Place in a large roasting tray and cover tightly with plastic wrap. *Remove the plastic wrap the night before cooking to let the skin dry out a bit. 4. A couple of hours before cooking, remove the turkey from the fridge and bring it to room temp. Generously rub the softened garlic butter all over the turkey - on top of and underneath the skin - if using fresh herbs, mix them in with the garlic butter first. You do not need to rinse the bird or wipe off the brine. 5. BBQ Time - Preheat a lidded BBQ to 200°C. Place the brined & buttered turkey on a large BBQ-safe baking tray. Leave the outside burners on medium/high to maintain a temp between 180°C and 200°C and cook for approx 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your bird. Our recent 5.75kg turkey took just over 2 hours to cook to perfection. If you are glazing your turkey, only open the BBQ to glaze every 20 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal breast meat temperature is 74°C and the juices run clear. 6. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving to let the juices redistribute. Be sure to save any pan juices to add to your gravy. Carve that bad boy up and serve with all of your favourite fixin's. 😋 NB: The spatchcocked turkey can also be cooked in the oven at 180°C for maybe just a slightly longer cooking time.

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