• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Spatchcock turkey questions

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
401
34
Joined Jun 6, 2012
Hey All
I am responsible for turkey every year and usually do a 12lb bird on smoker with no issues. Last year had a few more people and sid an 18lb and didnt like how uneven it cooked. This year we have even more people and need around 20lb’er. I would prefer to spatchcock it for even cooking but working with limited area. I have a 23” Komodo Kamado and unsure how big turkey are when they are split. How big you think I can get away with? Needs to be 21” or less aide to side

I plan to do usual 24 hour wet brine followed by 24 hour uncovered in fridge to let skin dry out. Will inject day of (not sure with what yet. Need something savory) and then cook 350-375 with just charcoal as some family doesnt like smoke. Whats best way to keep a mahogany color to the bird instead of dark like you see with a lot of smoked Turkeys. I dont care but have aome picky eaters this year

also plan on two sous vide breasts to round it out
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,673
6,540
Joined Oct 17, 2016
In my experience a spatched 20lb bird will exceed 21" in width.
A 15lb bird usually pushes my 24" width.
You can control the spread of the bird in a number of ways,
Not cutting the breastbone and not flattening the bird all the way.
Or placing something under the bird so it drapes over it, but still leaves the body cavity wide open.
Tying the ends of the drum sticks together.

Or you could section the bird in various ways.
Most popular is two sections, breast/wings and thighs/drumsticks.
That way you can cook the breast to 165° and the thighs/legs to 180°.
Or simply halve it.
 
Last edited:

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,837
4,273
Joined May 12, 2011
Parted Out and Injected Turkey

Been doing this for several years now. I separated the Legs from the Breast. I also remove the Spine and Wings, leaving the rest of the breast as is. The Spine, Wings, Neck and Giblets get roasted then go into making a Stock. I add my Salt (1.5%), Sugar(.5%) and Cure #1 (0.25%), if using Cure. The amounts of added Seasoning and Cure #1 are determined by Adding the Bird weight + 10% of the Bird's weight in Stock. Combine and mix thoroughly. This10% weight of now Seasoned Stock gets injected! Stock gets more flavor in than just water and seasoning.
The remaining Stock goes in Dressing and is made into Gravy.

To cook, the Legs go in at 325, for an hour, then the Breast goes in and they come out together, when the Breast hits 155°F. The Legs are usually 20°F hotter at 175 and perfect for my taste.

This all gets done on Tuesday. The Turkey is cooked on Wednesday, gets Sliced, panned with Gravy and goes in the Refer. We reheat, make Veggies and eat at our leisure on Thursday with no rushing around...JJ
 

Inscrutable

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
541
332
Joined Apr 4, 2019
I just did a 14-lb and it took up all of a half-sheet pan (13x18), so cant see a ‘normally’ spatched 20 fitting within a 21” circle ... especially if you get one of those runway model turkeys with long legs :emoji_laughing:

Several good T-day suggestions from Chile
 

JCAP

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
597
622
Joined Jun 12, 2019
Another though...if you can get two 12lb birds on there without spatching thats a way to go.
 

dirtsailor2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
21,675
3,541
Joined Oct 4, 2012
I can fit a 14 pound turkey spatchcocked and then cut in half on my 14" WSM. It's a tight fit though. So maybe halving the spatched bird will work. I'd try that before going JJ's route, but that's another option. All these options will cook more evenly than a whole bird.

Luckily for you since you are brining the bird a few days in advance you can test fit the bird. Spatch it prior to brining and see it it fits. If it doesn't start cutting it up until it does.

As for the nice mahogany color cherry or a mixture of cherry and pecan will give you that nice color and not be too dark. The lighter smoke profile and higher temps work well together.

Last resort is what we used to do. One 12 pound bird in the smoker and one 12 pound bird in the oven. Believe it or not part of the family doesnt like smoked turkey. So that was a win win for everyone. Of course there was never any leftover smoked turkey...
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
401
34
Joined Jun 6, 2012
I am going to roll with a 16lb'er and spatchcock it. If doesnt fit I can "tent" it securing legs to the grate handles. This will still allow it to cook more evenly I imagine. I would like to do two birds but no room in oven due to other items. I will continue with two sous vide turkey breasts deboned and bound together with twine. Cant decide if I will add skin back after cooking and use blow torch for crisping up or crisp skin separately and break into crackling chips
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
401
34
Joined Jun 6, 2012
Picked up a 18lb'er and a 24lb'er. Going to spatchcock both to see which fits best. Other will be parted out and breasts wrapped for sous vide. Legs and thighs will be on upper rack high in dome with main turkey underneath. What time to completion am I looking at with temps at 350-375?
 

Inscrutable

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
541
332
Joined Apr 4, 2019
Picked up a 18lb'er and a 24lb'er. Going to spatchcock both to see which fits best. Other will be parted out and breasts wrapped for sous vide. Legs and thighs will be on upper rack high in dome with main turkey underneath. What time to completion am I looking at with temps at 350-375?
I’d guess a little less than 2hr, and a little more, respectively. But use a thermometer.
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,673
6,540
Joined Oct 17, 2016
I’d guess a little less than 2hr, and a little more, respectively. But use a thermometer.
In my experiences 15-18lb spatched and injected birds at 350°-375° take right about 2 to 2.5 hours, allow yourself 3 to 3.5 hours for unforeseen circumstances.
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
401
34
Joined Jun 6, 2012
Looks like 18lb will be on grill. Plan to do porchetta with breasts on other turkey i. Sousvide. Ill remove thigh and leg bone and do apple cranberry stuffed dark meat on grill wondering if there is a good cranberry injection for turkey I can use
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
401
34
Joined Jun 6, 2012
Sorry. Fat fingers on phone key board. Ill be parting out second turkey and cooking breasts sous vide. This will be porchetta style which is herb paste rubbed on thin breasts then rolled up and trussed. For quarters will debone and cover with cranberry apple stuffing mixture and roll up. This will go on grill. Would like to do a mild cranberry injection here just cant find any examples
 

rtbbq2

Master of the Pit
1,409
28
Joined Mar 2, 2012
20201121_164702.jpg
Hey All
I am responsible for turkey every year and usually do a 12lb bird on smoker with no issues. Last year had a few more people and sid an 18lb and didnt like how uneven it cooked. This year we have even more people and need around 20lb’er. I would prefer to spatchcock it for even cooking but working with limited area. I have a 23” Komodo Kamado and unsure how big turkey are when they are split. How big you think I can get away with? Needs to be 21” or less aide to side

I plan to do usual 24 hour wet brine followed by 24 hour uncovered in fridge to let skin dry out. Will inject day of (not sure with what yet. Need something savory) and then cook 350-375 with just charcoal as some family doesnt like smoke. Whats best way to keep a mahogany color to the bird instead of dark like you see with a lot of smoked Turkeys. I dont care but have aome picky eaters this year

also plan on two sous vide breasts to round it out
If you dry the skin overnight in the fridge you will have crispy skin at 325 smoker temp. I did this one yesterday.
 

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.