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Two-Hour Turkey

8 to 10 Servings

2¼ hours plus refrigeration and resting

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The trickiest part of Thanksgiving dinner often is the pileup at the oven. Casseroles, dinner rolls and dressing all vie for oven space that’s dominated by the turkey, putting a squeeze on the cook to get the complete meal on the table on time. But by spatchcocking the turkey (that is, cutting out the backbone and flattening the bird so all of the meat is on the same plane), allowing it to stand at room temperature for an hour before roasting, and roasting in a moderately hot oven, the centerpiece of the meal can be in and out of the oven in two hours or less. We also salt the bird in advance and refrigerate it uncovered for at least two hours or up to a full day. This process, called dry-brining, results in plump, juicy, well-seasoned meat and crisp, golden brown skin. But don’t dry-brine for longer than 24 hours; the meat can cook up stringy and dry. And don’t rinse off the salt, as this adds moisture that interferes with browning and crisping. We roast the bird on a bed of aromatics moistened with a little water to prevent scorching; you’ll have adequate drippings for making gravy.

8 to 10


2¼ hours

plus refrigeration and resting


  • 1

    12 to 14 pound turkey, neck and giblets discarded

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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William N.
November 28, 2023
Fam's Fave Turkey
So easy, fast, and rave reviews from family. I usually make prime rib for Thanksgiving because I don't like turkey that much but this won me over.
Kathy A.
November 25, 2023
Easiest turkey ever!
This was the easiest roasting ever. Preparation is easy and the turkey came out moist and flavorful. It's now our go to way!
Michael D.
November 25, 2023
Go To Recipe for Turkey!
I followed this recipe as written and my 14 pounder turned out perfectly. Yes the spatchcocking takes some practice but it was worth it. As promised the turkey roasted quickly and evenly.
Judith Y.
November 23, 2023
Made Thanksgiving a breeze
I also made exactly as written. The spatchcock is a game changer! No basting, a fraction of the time, and carves so nicely! Simple and delicious!
Lorena G.
November 20, 2023
My new go-to turkey recipe!
I followed the recipe exactly using the lowest recommended times for prep. I’m no longer afraid of (under)cooking turkeys! It was so moist and flavorful with crispy skin! 13 lb turkey took less than 1:45.