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How to cook turkey: oven, fried & spatchcocking

Do you need a quick way to cook your turkey? Grab a pair of scissors and get ready to spatchcock it!

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cooking a turkey isn’t difficult, it just seems daunting because it is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving.

Below there are three ways to cook your turkey. There's the tried and true oven method, frying a turkey, and then there’s
Spatchcocking, which uses the oven, cuts the cooking time in half.


It seems simple enough, and yet, thousands of people call the butterball hotline every year.

Right now, you can find their 8-step oven roasting guide complete with cooking times and temperatures.

Spoiler alert: There’s no need to baste your turkey, but a thawed turkey is key!


The demos showing fried turkey tell a cautionary tale for sure. Here's how not to become a news story:

Always use the fryer outside, not in a garage or under a porch overhang.

Never fry a frozen or partially frozen turkey, it will go up in flames.

Don't overfill the fryer. A day before you fry your turkey, fill the fryer with water and dip the turkey in, that way you can measure how much liquid really needs to be in there.

Don't forget to make sure the turkey is dry before you fry it.


Spatchcocking is a method that requires you to split the bird down the middle, remove the backbone, and then lay the bird flat.

2 Wants To Know did this live on TV a few years ago.
When the bird is flat, it cooks more evenly. Turn up the heat to 450 degrees. Spatchcocking allows you to cook a 12-pound turkey in just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Normally, it would take 3 hours. So spatchcocking is a time saver.


"It's about three times as many fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year," said Alex Hoehn-Saric, Chair of, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Stove-top fires are the most common. The one thing you don’t do is throw water on the fire. What you should do instead is place a lid on the pot that is on fire.

Again, never throw water on the stovetop fire. If there is any grease involved, the flames will just increase.


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