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how to grill a turkey

How to grill a turkey (spatchcock it!)

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  • Author: Jess Pryles



1 x 10-15lb turkey

22 tablespoons of olive oil

46 tablespoons of Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning

46 woody stems of Rosemary (optional)


  1. If your turkey is ‘enhanced’ (as explained in Recipe Note 1) continue to step 2. If not, brine your turkey for at least 8 hours, up to overnight (Note 2)
  2. Set up a charcoal grill for low and slow cooking (you can refer the image above in the post). Put a pan filled with water underneath where the turkey will sit, then a layer of unlit charcoal next to it. Light 1/3 chimney of coals, and when ashed over, dump on the far side of the unlit coals. Close the lid and adjust the vents for a low temperature cook.
  3. While the coals are lighting, remove turkey from brine or bag, and pat dry with paper towels. Use kitchen shears (Note 3) to cut on either side of the backbone, and remove it completely. Flip the turkey over, firmly and evenly pressing on the breast until the breast bone splits, and the turkey lays flat. Arrange the thighs to also lay flat, and tuck the wings under the breast to prevent wing tips from burning. (Scroll down for a video on how to spatchcock the bird).
  4. Smother the turkey in the olive oil, coating all over. Dust liberally over the entire surface with the Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning. Place it in the grill over the water pan, with the thighs/leg end facing towards the coals. Close the lid, and cook for 2.5-3.5 hours, maintaining a temperature of 275f-325f.
  5. Periodically check on the coals. If they look to be running low, throw a handful of unlit coals directly over the lit ones – they will eventually ignite and continue the heat source.
  6. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of your bird. Check at the thickest part of the thigh. The turkey is ready when the thermometer reads 165f (you can actually put it a few degrees before this as it will continue to climb in temperature even after you remove it). As you near the desired temp, you can throw some rosemary springs onto the coals to add some light herbed smoke to the bird before serving.
  7. Once the bird is at temperature, remove it from the grill and loosely cover with foil. Rest 10 minutes before carving.


  • NOTE 1: If you buy a bird that is already ‘enhanced’ ie, has been pre-soaked in a salty solution, you should not brine it. It will say so on the label/packaging.
  • NOTE 2: The most basic brine is 2 gallons of cold water/ 1 cup salt / 1 cup sugar. Add herbs and aromatics to customize, but keep the turkey cold (and food safe) during this process.
  • NOTE 3: I use these Gerber kitchen shears to spatchcock my turkey – they take apart for more sanitary cleaning.
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Holiday