Thanksgiving How to Spatchcock a Turkey - Video

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The origin of the word "spatchcock" is debatable however, for our purposes, it simply means to "butterfly" the bird.

Cut along both sides of the backbone and that Thanksgiving turkey will open up like a book allowing it to cook faster and more evenly.

Here's a video showing how I brine, spatchcock and smoke a turkey:

 

TulsaJeff

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One thing I mentioned in another post and wanted to add it here as well.. even if you don't care about spatchcocking the bird (cutting out the backbone so you can open it up like a book), a turkey is SO much easier to separate into it's individual parts once it's laid open.

Wanna smoke a turkey that's been separated into pieces?

Spatchcock it first then separate the 2 halves. Remove the wings, legs, and thighs and you're left with the 2 breasts.
 

uncle eddie

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Thanks for posting!
I just bought some spatchcock shears nd have not had a chance to use them ... so far.

Just curious if you smoked the turkey at 225F the entire time? If so, did the mayo/rub make the skin crispy?
 

TulsaJeff

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The one in the video turned out with a really nice bite-thru but not crispy. I kept it between 225°F (107°C) and 240°F (116°C) for the entire time.

As you could see in the. video, the skin was about as good as can be expected from a smoker but some turkey has a thicker skin, and won't be very crisp no matter what you do aside from frying it.

The mayo and rub seems to help a lot but it's not foolproof by any means.

A couple of other things that really help is drying the skin in the fridge after brining. I like to dry it as good as I can with a paper towel and then let the cool dry air of the fridge finish drying it for about 24 hours.

In addition to this, some high heat at the end of the cook really helps as well. For instance, 2 hours of smoke then all the way to the finish line at 350°F (177°C).
 
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tx smoker

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Thanks for posting this Jeff. I've never done a spatchcock turkey but am doing one big enough to feed half of Texas for Thanksgiving. you've got me convinced that this is the way to go. I'll be doing it exactly the way you did...and i love the idea of the mayo rub. That sounds REALLY good.

Robert
 
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uncle eddie

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In addition to this, some high heat at the end of the cook really helps as well. For instance, 2 hours of smoke then all the way to the finish line at 350°F (177°C).
My MES40 has a top temp of 275F…so I have been putting it in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or so. The smoked turkey aroma fills the house…so good!
 

SM0KINW1LDCAT

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The origin of the word "spatchcock" is debatable however, for our purposes, it simply means to "butterfly" the bird.

Cut along both sides of the backbone and that Thanksgiving turkey will open up like a book allowing it to cook faster and more evenly.

Here's a video showing how I brine, spatchcock and smoke a turkey:


Buttermilk Brined Smoked Turkey.
I have been using your turkey and many recipes for quite a few years. All have been successful. I follow them literally for the first time and adjust afterward if inclined. This has elicited unanimous acclaim as my best turkey ever! No Adjustments necessary to please everyone. Your rub and sauce recipes are default. Spatchcock was the ticket for 22lbs. Finished last hr in a weber. Thanks! Jack
 

TulsaJeff

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Buttermilk Brined Smoked Turkey.
I have been using your turkey and many recipes for quite a few years. All have been successful. I follow them literally for the first time and adjust afterward if inclined. This has elicited unanimous acclaim as my best turkey ever! No Adjustments necessary to please everyone. Your rub and sauce recipes are default. Spatchcock was the ticket for 22lbs. Finished last hr in a weber. Thanks! Jack
Jack, sounds like you guys had a great thanksgiving! Cheers!!