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Original poster
Dec 20, 2010
New Tripoli, PA
Guessing thats how its spelled. I'm sure alot of people do it differently, but what have your experiences been with splitting a turkey? Do you like to remove the bone at the breasts or not and why? Have a 19 lb bird coming from the inlaws for christmas dinner. I'm hoping it fits on one rack. Counting on brining then smoking it in a MES 40 at 275 degrees. Any estimate on time? I was going to put the probes into her after the first hour and a half. Thanks.

Hey Nick,

I've never spatchcocked a turkey, but have done plenty of chickens.  I take some sharp sheers and cut out the backbone.  Then, you butterfly it open with the breast side up.  This will allow a fast cook time, and with the chickens that I have done, I notice better smoke penetration.  Good luck, and post some Qview!
Cut the backbone out and if it still won't fit then just finish cutting it in half. With it being brined it should be plenty moist. That's a big bird and spatchcocking would be the best way to do it as leaving it whole would make it hard to get it through the danger zone within the allotted time
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I did a "leap-frog" turkey one year and it worked great.

Essentially you cut underneath the breast, along the sides, and leave the spine. Then you open it up and flip it over. Here is the thread I followed:

Works great, you can either separate the 2 pieces or get it pretty flat. If you are careful you can even re-assemble it for table presentation!
Here's a link to a YouTube video on spatchcocking a turkey.

I would put a probe in the breast when you put it in the smoker, just to make sure your not in the 40-140 zone to long. At 275 you shouldn't be. As far as time goes I've never done a spatchcocked turkey, but I'm sure the time will be considerably shorter than a whole bird. I'm sure there will be a few folks along with more experience doing a bird this way to give you better advice. Good luck & don't forget the Q-view.
Thanks for the replies. I like the way that frogger turkey looks! Guess what it comes down to is how much will fit on one rack. Probably breasts on one rack and the legs on another using two temp probes. I'll try to remember some pics, even if it turns out like the bird from national lampoons Christmas vacation. Cracks me up when he cuts that thing and it deflates. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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