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To spatchcock the turkey or not when Smoking it for Christmas

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by palladini, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. I have a 12 Lb turkey in the freezer I plan on smoking for Christmas, about 3 or 4 days before to be exact.  My neighbour is onboard and I am doing his at the same time.  I intend to brine mine, and I will pressure him to do the same to his bird.  I have the recipe for the brine and such.

    Now the question should I spatchcock the turkeys and then put them in my 30 inch Electric MES or leave them as regular, uncut bird?  Just wondering which way is best.
  2. Hello Pallidini.  My humble opinion is to spatch.  Both ways will work but I feel it gives more surface area to absorb smoke and it is easier to crisp the skin at the end.  Just my way.  Hope it helps.  At least this will serve as a "Bump".  Keep Smokin!

  3. Thank you, I now have a direction to go when I stand in the cold Southern Ontario winter a few days before Christmas in -10 degree with wind chill taking it colder and that is in Celsius.

  4. LOL.  I am from south Tx.  About 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico.  About 200 miles north of the Mexico border.  Almost 15 yrs. ago I moved to England.  My 1st yr. here I wore thermals YEAR ROUND.  Wife would come home from work and find the gas fire going in the living room with the door closed and me happily napping.  " LIKE A SAUNA IN HERE".  Reply: "Yeah.  Ain't it nice". [​IMG]   YOU ARE A TOUGHER MAN THAN ME my friend; a tougher man indeed.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  5. I wear short is snow storms.  I was a long distance truck a few years ago, saw all of North America, year round.  I sat in St Cloud Minnesota one February night and it was like 58 below zero, with mean wind chill coming from the north.  Trucks were freezing as they traveled down the road.  I had a Pick up about thirty miles north of there the next day, so to get ready for the trip back, I fueled up with #2 fuel, all my company allowed me to use.  I then drove into my parking spot, everyone else had backed in.  Next morning, I was the only truck running; these are all the guys who told me, while fueling, that ‘putting that stuff, you will freeze up’, were the ones froze up, I drove off and did my pick up.

    I was in Houma AL  once, this is just south of New Orleans.  The Radio out of new Orleans, just as drove into the driveway of this place, said it was 138 degrees in the shade.

    The temperature here, on what is the front shoulder of the Elephant that is Ontario (Look at a map, rotate it, you will see the Elephant) is not all that bad.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Space might be the only thing you may want to check. The bird spatched out will take up a little more than twice the space it would whole. One spatched chciken fills the bulk of my mini-wsm. So I would check out that first. Spatching is a nice way to go as it doesn't take as long. Another thing to consider is that the MES doesn't get hot enough to crisp the skin, so If you are going to do that in the oven make sure you have a large enough pan or cooking sheet to hold the spatched bird.

    Not much room in there for anything else!!
  7. I will be smoking the 3 turkeys on a 30 inch MES smoker.  I will make them fit and at least twice during the process, I will rotate the racks around. 

     I will have to measure the width and depth of my smoker, and make a trip to my local restaurant supply company place and pick a couple of smaller (I have cookie sheets here that have ¼ inch clearance in my Oven in the house) pans to do this then.  No problem
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would, if your space is adiquate , Spatch the Bird. More flavor from the surface area on the meat (favor with each bite).

    However you do it, enjoy your meal and let us know which way you went. And how it was...

  9. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Definitely spatch. More even cooking across all parts
  10. OK folks, it is the beginning of go time for me.  Turkey smoking get ready time is here.

    So this past Wednesday, I got my Turkey out and started defrosting it.  Then Friday, I put mine in the brine.  My neighbour was supposed to do the same, but it seems, his G/F bought, he took it out Thursday morn, he stop by work Friday at noon, she say door unlocked, and he tried, to no avail.  So waiting for her to arrive at his house, I make up the brine for his and set it on his porch.  By the time she does arrive, He is in bed, not willing to get up and do what is needed to get the bird in the brine, so I do it for him, at 10 at night.   As I was talking with him, his G/F sitting on the bed showing him pictures, we learned that when he was trying the garage door, which was supposed to be open, her son was inside the house.

    My bird, It is at this time, already out of the brine, sitting in the fridge with a some salt on the skin.  His is still in the brine, he is gone somewhere and I am at total loss as what to do in about 1 1/2 hours here with his bird.  I have no pan, aluminum foil or anything for that bird and no fridge space.

    But any way, I am going to apply a rub, he says he is going to do the same, then Monday I plan on Smoking both birds at once in my MES

  11. Well, Today I posted a note and left the Turkey on my neighbors deck, still brining, he was not home.  I did this about noon Sunday, then stepped out for a couple hours.  Came home around 4, He is home, went over, turkey is still in brine in Kitchen, he having no idea what to do next. We have a discussion about what needs to get done, he has no Kosher salt.  So back home I go, grab my Kosher salt, back to his place.  I make him lift turkey out of the brine, rinse it, I salt it, he puts in a roasting pan. 

    So I bring it home, check if it will fit in my bar fridge.  Oops, no room there, what to do.  So out the shed I go, grab a cooler, stick the bird in there, with some ice.  That is where we stand now, more tomorrow.

    Tomorrow is Smoking Day, Stay tuned!
  12. bigr314

    bigr314 Meat Mopper

    I always spatch mine. they always come out great. 
  13. Well here we are today smoking the goods.  30 degree F out and about, decided this morning I would haul the smoker out of the shed and mount it where I do all the other times I fire it up.  I think that may have been a mistake, set the MES for 275, it has trouble getting to 200 degrees.  May just smoke these birds for several hours, if not to temp, finish them in the oven.

  14. linehand

    linehand Fire Starter

    this is awesome I've also always wanted to do this
  15. Well, the day after the smoke and everyone who has had taste so far says WOW!

    I think once April or May gets here, I may have to smoke another turkey, as this was too delicious not to do again.[​IMG]