Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey on Old Country Wrangler Smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by mickhlr, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    First of all, I’ve never tried smoking a turkey.  I’m mainly a brisket, ribs, and pork butt guy.  And, we are very near Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Inc.   So, I can stop by there anytime and buy a smoked turkey.  Greenberg’s ships all over the country, and their turkeys are always great. 

    However, I just wanted to try one on my own, on my Old Country Wrangler smoker…and if it hadn’t turned out well, I would just continue using Greenberg for turkey.   So, I went to the grocery store and bought a 12 lb turkey to try as a test.  If it turned out well, I’d smoke one for Thanksgiving…if not, I’d run down to Greenberg’s and buy one.  I must say, it turned out great!  So, I don’t have to spend $60 for a 12 lb smoked turkey anymore. 

    Now, I didn’t have a clue about how to smoke a turkey.   But, I remembered a BBQ Pitmasters show where they had to do turkeys.  Johnny Trigg said he didn’t know how to smoke a turkey, but thought he’d butterfly it and smoke it like ribs.  And, he won the competition.  So, I thought I’d do the same thing.

    I started looking up articles for how to butterfly a turkey, and found out it’s called spatchcocking.   Some of the videos I saw were pretty humorous, as that turkey backbone is not real easy to remove.  I saw some people try to use sheers, others using cleavers, all kinds of stuff.  But, I have a great knife that cut right through that backbone on both sides, rib bones and all…no problem.  So, I spatchcocked it in no time at all.  Then, I brined it for 18 hours in this brine:

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Gal Water

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Cups Kosher Salt

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]3 Cups Brown Sugar

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Tbsp Black Pepper

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]1 Tbsp Thyme

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]½ Cup White Wine

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]¼ Cup Worcestershire

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]¼ Cup of my homemade rub

    I use a lot of different rubs, for different meats.   But, I just happen to like this brown sugar based rub with chicken, so I thought I’d use it for turkey as well.  And, it turned out good.

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]½ Cup Brown Sugar

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]¼ Cup Chili Powder

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]¼ Cup Paprika

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Tbsp Cumin

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Tbsp Garlic Powder

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 Tbsp Mustard Powder

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]1 ½ Tbsp Kosher Salt

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]1 ½ Tbsp Course Black Pepper

    [if !supportLists]·          [endif]2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

    So, after I got my smoker going and running TBS at about 275*, I took the turkey out of the brine, washed it off good and rubbed it with olive oil all over.  Then, I sprinkled it all over with the rub above and threw it on the smoker.

    I had no idea how long it would take to smoke this spactchcocked turkey, but I was planning on staying between 250* to 275*, which is how I smoke ribs, and thought I had plenty of beer, so we’d just sit back and relax…see how long it would take to get the breast up to 165*.   After about an hour and a half, we were already up to 135*and it was looking good.  So, I turned it…and started keeping my smoker down to no more than 250*. 

    It smoked for another hour and a half, before it got up to 165* in the breast...or 3 hours total.

    So, I took it off and let it rest for about 25-30 minutes.   When I cut into it, it was so tender and juicy, I couldn’t believe it.  So, from now on, I’m a turkey smoker and will never buy another smoked turkey.  And, it’s so good, I can have smoked turkey at anytime of the year now…not just at Thanksgiving.  So, if you've never tried spatchcocking a turkey, give it a'll like it.  Plus, it's fun hearing people say, "What?" when you say "Spatchcock"!  LOL!!

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2013
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great!
    mickhlr likes this.
  3. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    That looks great! Perhaps I overlooked it, but what kind of wood did you use?
    mickhlr likes this.
  4. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Hey Kingt36, how's it going?  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  It was so tender and juicy, and probably the best turkey I've ever eaten.  Never been that much of a fan...just a Thanksgiving thing.  But, I may start eating turkey year-around now.  In fact, I went to the store today and got 2 big turkey breasts for Thanksgiving.  So, next time, I'm going to spatchcock two breasts and do just the breasts.

    I usually just use my fireplace oak or if I buy any, it will be hickory.  Post oak is cheap and plentiful here in East Texas, leaves a good smoke flavor, without being over-bearing, like mesquite.  I've used a lot of different woods, and I rank the fruitwoods as the mildest, then post oak, then hickory, then mesquite.  And, with the post oak, I used to split my firewood...but after testing, and playing with it, I use the same long splits I do for my fireplace...makes it easy.  I start off with a charcoal chimney of charcoal, and then throw in a couple of splits of post oak, and then just add one at a time from there on.  And, I know it's plenty it starts fast and is easy to use.
    kingt36 likes this.
  5. [​IMG]

    thanks for sharing.

    Happy smoken.

    mickhlr likes this.
  6. I use a lot of fire wood for smoking. Then I pick up of trim trees on my place.

    Happy smoken.

    mickhlr likes this.
  7. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great, I plan on smoking a few boneless turkey breasts tomorrow evening on my wrangler. I cook my chickens spachcocked as well, they cook faster thay way and turn out great!
  8. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Sounds good glocksrock...let us know how they turn out, and pics would be great!  I guess I've just never been much of a fowl smoker, as I've never even heard of spatchcocking until I did this turkey.  I was just saying last night that I needed to spatchcock a chicken and try it.  I'm looking forward to trying the turkey breasts now.
  9. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Everything turned out great!

    The bottom round roast was rubbed with montreal steak seasoning, and salt & pepper. Everything was smoked with hickory and cherry, and a small bit of oak.

    Didn't get any pics of the sliced turkey breasts, as they were for someone else, but they turned out fantastic.
  10. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Man, that looks awesome glocksrock!  I've never even thought about smoking a roast like that...but this makes me want to try it.  Also never thought about smoking boneless turkey breasts like that.  How long did you have to smoke those turkey breasts to get them to 165* IT?

    Another thing I'm going to try between now and Christmas is that rum-injected double-smoked ham that Jeff sent out the recipe for today.  Wow!  Did you see that thing?  I'm a ham lover anyway, and that just looks so good, I've got to try it.

    Me and Capt Morgan really enjoy smoking meat!!  LOL!!
  11. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I did see that ham on the newsletter, it looked awesome!

    It took a little over 3 hours to get the breasts up to temp, but I think they were still a bit frozen in the middle when I put them on, otherwise they would have been done quicker, also if I had smoked them at a higher temp they would have been done quicker, but they had a deep smoke ring on them and they were great. They were the butterball boneless breasts, and these were cajun flavored, I didn't even know they made them like that, but I'll have to get one for myself.
  12. beefmeister

    beefmeister Smoke Blower

    What's the internal temp of the roast, before and after resting ??
  13. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I pulled the beef roast at 133, but didn't take another reading after resting. I was using my phone for those pics, and the color is a bit off, it was a nice pink medium rare in the center.
  14. MickHLR,

    Congratulations on your smoked turkey results.

    Let me share with you that I have smoked a boat load of turkeys in the past month NOT butterflied but whole with fantastic results.

    I season the turkeys, place them in double aluminum pans and smoke then open for 2/1/2 hours at 250 degrees for 2/1/2 hours, cover them and smoke then another 1/12 hours at the same temperature and they are done !!

    The pans are full of juice and the taste is awesome.

    I smoke on a Lang reverse flow smoker and it's great.

  15. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Harv, that sounds great.  I'm going to have to try covering...maybe the last hour, just to see.  I don't believe I'll ever try one without spatchcocking it though.  And, I know it will be done in 3, maybe smoke for 2 hours at 250*, then cover and continue cooking for another hour at 250*.  Definitely worth trying.  I'm going to do a couple of turkey breasts for Thanksgiving weekend (we're going to relatives' on Thanksgiving day, and I probably won't even eat any baked turkey...just always too dry for me) and I will try this.  However, it will be hard to get them any juicier than the one I did above.  So, to test, I may do one like this, and the other one normal.  Of course, I will also spatchcock both of them, even though they are only breasts.  Can't wait to see what happens.
  16. Good luck MickHLR and I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

    I will be smoking a 19 pounder on Wednesday morning along with a couple of other friends who are also smoking birds in advance for Thanksgiving. My wife will be cooking a 21 pounder in the oven on Thanksgiving morning for the family.

    We will be smoking on the Lang 108 as we have done in the past.

  17. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Sounds great Harv!  Wow, has that 19-pounder finished yet?

    BTW...I'm real envious of that Lang 108!  LOL!  Can't even imagine smoking on that bad-boy!  Have fun my friend!
  18. Hey, Mick!  Turkey looked great!

    I am smoking one as we speak on my Wrangler.  I spatchcocked it as well.  It's a practice run for Christmas.  I brined it in the Slaughterhouse brine, but didn't rub it.

    These Wranglers are great, aren't they!
  19. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Damnthatsgood, I agree...for a $500 smoker, you can't beat them.  Although I wish I could afford Harv's Lang 108 up there.  LOL!

    I'm doing another one tomorrow.  Well, I just bought a big ol' breast this, I'm just going to do the breast.  But, this breast is probably bigger than that entire 12 lb turkey I did the first time.  I've already spatchcocked it, and it is brining now.  I'm going to do this one exactly like the original...except I'm also going to inject it with Cajun Butter.  Back when I used to fry them, I always liked the Cajun Butter injection, so I'm thinking it may turn out well on a smoked one.  We'll see.

    Have fun...and I hope it turns out great!!
  20. Glocksrock,

    That's a great looking bottom round roast ! Looks moist and it's making me hungry.


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