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How Much Energy Do You Save By Spatchcocking a Turkey?

How Much Energy Do You Save By Spatchcocking a Turkey?

Words Erin Zimmer

Have you heard of spatchcocking? Not only is it fun to say, it will cut your turkey cooking time in half (at least!)—and in turn, significantly save electrical energy, not to mention save on personal energy.


spatchcock turkey

Spatchcocking a turkey is the process of removing the backbone and laying the bird flat to cook. It’s basically just a fancy word for butterflying. Cooking your bird this way yields delicious, evenly-cooked, not-at-all-dry meat, not to mention a bird that saves on overall cooking time and energy usage. Everyone wins here—including the planet! But how much time and energy are you really saving here?

A 12-to-14-pound bird typically takes 180-210 minutes to roast in the oven the traditional way; whereas with spatchcocking, your bird will be in and out of there in about 80-90 minutes. That’s saving at least half the cooking time in the oven. Imagine if everyone cooked their bird this way—how much would we collectively save on energy?

According to, a reported 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving (not to mention another 22 million turkeys on Christmas and another 19 million on Easter) but let’s just stick to Thanksgiving for now. According to the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, an electric oven at 350F consumes 2.0 kWh of energy per hour at a cost of $.16. That means each Thanksgiving oven is saving up to 4.0 kWH and $0.32 by spatchcocking a turkey.

If you do a little back-of-the-envelope math to guesstimate the impact on a greater scale—like what if every one of those 46 million turkeys was spatchcocked on Thanksgiving—we’d save a whoppin’ 184 million kWH of energy and $14.7 million. Bam.

Now don’t you want to learn how to spatchcock? At the very least it’ll give you major bragging rights at the Thanksgiving table. Learn How to Spatchcock a Turkey for this Thanksgiving.

By Erin Zimmer

Erin Zimmer is a freelance writer and photo stylist for OXO. The former managing editor of James Beard award-winning food website Serious Eats, Erin is based in New Orleans, where she loves adventures in her canoe, evenings on the porch, and long bayou walks with her dog Lillie.

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