From the Heart – November 2017

Spatchcock with Breast bone for Approved use by BB

Modernize the Classics for Thanksgiving
A Twist to the Family Favorite
Spatchcock & Grill the Turkey

by Chef Tony Seta

Let’s answer the big question “What is Spatchcock”? —Spatchcocking or Butterflying the Turkey is basically cutting out the backbone & breastbone and laying it out flat skin side up to roast in the oven or cook on the grill.   The basic method of preparation is to remove the backbone with a pair of poultry shears or a very sharp knife.

Note:  If you are not comfortable with removing the backbone—ask your butcher to remove it for you.

Diagram For removing the Backbone with a knife or with shears (for a turkey 10-14 pounds)


Backbone removed—With a sharp knife cut the cartilage at the middle of the breastbone—then turn the turkey over.


Push the Breast downward to flatten and break the breastbone


Ready for Grilling or Roasting.

When roasting-place the turkey on a sheet pan lined with foil and mirepoix—then topped w/ a Wire rack—Place the turkey on Wire rack


Method of Preparation – Grilling the Spatchcock

Prep the Grill Outdoor Charcoal Grill – Charcoal grilling can give you an amazing flavor when you use the right technique. For tasty results use these instructions:

➢        Prepare charcoal-covered grill by removing cooking grate and opening all vents.

➢        Position drip pan in center of charcoal grate and place 25 to 30 briquettes or 15-20 large pieces of lump charcoal along each side (lengthwise) of drip pan.   Do not use lighter fluid to start the charcoal. Burn briquettes until covered with gray ash, about 30 minutes. Place cooking grate in grill over coals.

➢        Prepare the Spatchcock Turkey for grilling

➢        Turn wings back to hold neck skin. Brush or spray entire turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.

➢        Season both sides of the turkey with salt & pepper (being very careful—the turkey is partially boneless & will flop around—do not tear the skin

➢        Place turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Cover grill, leaving vents open.

➢        Add 6 to 8 briquettes or 4-5 pieces of lump charcoal to each side every 45 to 60 minutes or so.  Keeping the temperature between 325-340ºF

➢        Using meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast.

➢        12 lb. turkeys will take 1 ½ – 2 hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.


Prep the Outdoor Gas Grill – Gas grilling is an easy way to get the grilled taste you’re craving. Just follow these simple instructions:

➢        Before turning on grill, lift grate and place drip pan directly on flavorizer bars, ceramic briquettes or lava rocks. Replace grate.

➢        Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking according to owner’s guide. Preheat burners on high for 10 to 15 minutes with lid closed.

➢        Prepare the Spatchcock Turkey for Grilling

➢        Turn wings back to hold neck skin. Brush or spray entire turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.

➢        Turn temperature down to approximately 350° F.

➢        Place Spatchcock turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Close lid and cook with minimal peeking.

➢        Depending on burner arrangement, it may be necessary to turn turkey over, halfway through grilling for even cooking.  (The burner temperature under the drip pan may have to lowered if the turkey starts to brown too quickly)

➢        Using meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast.  I like to use a remote thermometer to manage the temperature.

➢        12 lb. turkeys will take approximately 1 ½ hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.


Procedure for Oven Roasting:

➢        Pre-heat the oven to 350°

➢        Place the turkey into the pre heated oven

➢        Using meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast.  I like to use a remote thermometer to manage the temperature.

➢        12 lb. turkeys will take  approximately 1 ½  hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.


Carving the Spatchcock Turkey

1.     Cut the legs from the body at the point where the thigh is attached to the breast.

2.     Separate the drumstick from the thigh—then carefully remove the thighbone—keeping the thigh meat in tact as much as possible. Keeping the skin side up on the thigh meet—slice the thigh meat into ¼” slices—Repeat for the second leg.

3.     Cur the breast in half—Carefully remove the rib bones from the breast—firmly holding the skin side up slice the breast meat into ¼” ½ “ slices—Repeat for the second breast.

4.     Arrange on a warm platter

5.     Serve With Mango Salsa


Anthony C. Seta C.M.C.


Santa Rosa | Napa, California (Fire) / 53,058 Meals Over 8 Days

Multiple fires broke out late evening October 8 and early morning October 9.  High winds and dry conditions caused the wildfires to spread rapidly. The fires caused at least 40 deaths and hundreds missing.  OBR joined forces with Guy Fieri to feed those affected by the wildfires and first responders in the Santa Rosa community and surrounding area. OBR was able to do this with the help of the Salvation Army and other groups delivering the meals.

Central | SW Florida & the Keys, Florida (Hurricane) / 126,400 Meals over 9 Days

Hurricane Irma was classified as a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in Florida on Sept. 10, 2107. Although downgraded over time, Irma caused widespread damage via storm surges, high winds, and rainfall, causing power loss, flooding and major damage. OBR deployed to Southwest Florida and spent x days, serving x meals. In addition, FedEx assisted by flying meals to the Florida keys. This deployment followed one of the largest deployments in OBR history, Houston and Southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

Houston/Beaumont/Victoria, Texas (Hurricane & Flood) / 371,760 Meals over 11 Days

Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, struck Texas and neighboring states and produced over 40 inches of rain.  Operation BBQ Relief operated from three areas: Houston, Beaumont and Silsbee, and Victoria and Rockport.  To date, this was the largest and longest deployment.

We apologize if you or your company is not listed. Things can get crazy during a deployment, and we do the best we can to keep track of all the great volunteers and businesses who help make OBR happen.  If you or your company is not listed, please let us know so we can add you to the list.  Email us at


Aaron Mizrahi

Chef Aaron Mizrahi is an authority on live fire cooking as well as an authority on all meats.

He is a Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Beef International Brand Ambassador, Corporate Executive Chef at Grupo Almos and Chef at Mizrahi Meat Authority.


Sweet Swine O’ Mine

Winner of the inaugural Pigapalooza OBR cup!  Mark Lambert is the pitmaster for two time Memphis in May World Champion Team  “Sweet Swine O’ Mine”. Mark travels the world teaching BBQ classes in Europe, Australia, and Mexico.  He is also the co-founder and instructor at one the premier competition bbq classes in the country, .  When he’s not traveling the BBQ circuit he owns and operates a BBQ products business,  Sweet Swine O’ Mine Distributing (   His Rubs, sauces, marinades, and smokers are used by Grand Champion Pitmasters all over the world.  Mark is the Mississippi State Lead for OBR and the President Elect for the National BBQ Association.


Master Chef Tony Seta – Butterball

Master Chef Tony Seta, C.M.C.

Tony Seta, one of only 70 Master Chefs in the U.S. Certified by the American Culinary Federation, is a culinary professional with more than 30 years of experience. He is well-known for developing memorable dishes for restaurants and food manufacturers across the nation – and an expert in translating bold restaurant flavors to consumer recipes for in-home use. A culinary pioneer, he is especially known for reinventing old favorites like tasty barbecue sauces and other signature dishes.

Chef Tony’s big ideas have been behind many of the restaurant nationwide that you love to visit, such as Bone Fish Grill and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Tony was also a former Instructor at the Prestigious Culinary Institute of America

In his current role with Butterball, Chef Tony works with restaurant chains and food manufacturers to develop creative and signature turkey items using his expert knowledge of ethnic cuisines and current culinary trends.

Tony lives in North Carolina and serves as Butterball LLC’s Director of Culinary Services.


Memphis Barbecue Co.

John David Wheeler, Head Cook for the Natural Born Grillers BBQ Team, has been one of the most award-winning BBQ cooks in the world.  Among his many accomplishments are twice winning the overall Cooking Team of the Year award, winning the World Grand Championship at Memphis in May, winning three separate World Championships, over 75 Grand Championships and literally thousands of other awards. 

John Wheeler is now a partner and Pitmaster in the Memphis Barbecue Company, one of the hottest BBQ restaurants in the country.  Mr. Wheeler’s partner and Co-Pitmaster in the restaurant is Melissa Cookston, also a multiple World Championship winner, making the restaurant the only restaurant in America to feature two World Championship Pitmasters.


Boars Night Out

Boars Night Out started in early 2006 as a group of single guys that were all recently divorced. Throughout 2006 we were known as the team that liked to cook, and a team that could definitely throw a Championship Level Party!

2007-2009 were maturing years for the team. We picked up some first place trophies mostly in the Desert category. The Party was still the focus of the team and we knew something had to change. We made the team decision to shift our focus to becoming world class purveyors of the BBQ world.

In 2010 our focus shifted from the Party to preparing world class BBQ. We knew to compete at the highest level we needed a larger cooker. We collected our wish list and began construction of a new customized trailer. The only thing ordered for this trailer was the axles. Our 37-foot gooseneck trailer was truly custom built from the ground up incorporating ideas and suggestions from team members and respected cooks and friends from the BBQ community.

Our prosperity and accomplishments started taking shape:

  • 2 first place finishes in the Hog Division
  • 2 first place finishes in the Rib category
  • 1 Grand Champion Award

These, along with several 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes in other categories, and then to top it off with a 5th place finish in the points for the Memphis BarBQue Network and gained respect from fellow competitors.

In 2011 we continued to refine our processes. We worked on our presentations by matching our team member’s talents with the various tasks necessary to compete at the highest level. We were definitely focused and intent on accomplishing our goal to be at the very pinnacle of Championship BBQ teams in the world.

  • 2 Grand Champion Awards
  • 2 3 rd place finishes Hog
  • 1 1 st place finish shoulder
  • 2 1 st place finishes Rib
  • Numerous 3rd, 4 th places in various divisions
  • MBN recognized us as 3 rd in points earned for the year

In 2011 we traveled to Ottawa Canada and hosted the 4 th of July Celebration for the US Ambassador to Canada. Needless to say we were quite proud of this privilege and honor. We also purchased a commercial cooker enabling us to Cook for all types of civic events, fundraisers, catering jobs, etc. There is no event to small or too big for Boars Night Out!

2012 was the year where our focus and hard work finally paid off. Our team had matured, our attention to the smallest detail was where it had to be, we were totally focused, and our intent was to win against all competitors and to become the MBN Team of the Year!