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Spatchcocked Turkey with Jerk Butter Recipe

Dennis The Prescott shows you how to spatchcock a turkey in this video courtesy of Traeger.

Print Recipe

Spatchcocking a turkey produces a juicy bird with crispy skin. Watch as Dennis The Prescott shows you step-by-step how to brine, spatchcock, and grill a turkey with bright flavors and perfectly crisp skin.

Store any leftover jerk butter in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze it. Use the butter next time you grill steak, chicken, or fish.

Serves: 8-12
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 2-3 hours
Recommended wood chips/pellets: Cherry


  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 2 oranges, halved
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Jerk Butter:

  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 3 springs onions, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves


  • 1 (18- to 20-pound) turkey
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds


  1. First, make the brine. Add 2 gallons of water to a large stockpot over medium heat. Add brown sugar and sea salt to the water; let dissolve (but do not allow water to boil). Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, let the water cool slightly. Add the oranges, lemons, rosemary, thyme, and peppercorns.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey; set aside and reserve for making stock or gravy.
  3. Add the turkey to the brine, making sure it is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours (up to 24 hours).
  4. Make the jerk butter: In a medium bowl, combine all of the butter ingredients and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Take the brine out of the refrigerator. Remove the turkey and place breast-side down on a cutting board.
  6. Now you are ready to spatchcock the turkey. Use kitchen shears, a sharp knife, or a cleaver to remove the backbone. Set the backbone aside (with the neck and giblets) to use for gravy later. Turn the turkey over so the breast-side is up and tuck the wings underneath. With a strong and steady hand, press down on the breastbone to break it and flatten the turkey.
  7. Next, stick your hand under the skin of the turkey, releasing it from the breast and creating a pocket. Stuff some of the jerk butter under the skin of each breast, creating a thick even layer.
  8. Coat the turkey in olive oil. Season it with salt, black pepper, and coriander seeds. Rub the oil and seasoning all over the bird and then transfer the turkey to a large sheet pan.
  9. When ready to cook, preheat your grill to 350 degrees.
  10. Place the sheet pan with the turkey onto the grill grates. Roast turkey (with the grill lid closed) for 2 to 3 hours, until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees and the skin is crispy and golden brown. Note: Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.
  11. Remove the turkey from grill and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

For more Traeger recipes, visit:

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