How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Spatchcocked Turkey?

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Smoked spatchcocked turkey is a wonderful holiday treat that everybody will enjoy with delight. But before jumping in to explain the procedure of cooking spatchcocked turkey, first, we will get into the details of what spatchcock turkey is in the first place.

spatchcocked turkey

Spatchcocking a turkey is nothing but breaking down your turkey and making it more pressed. You basically get rid of the backbone of the bird and make it flat so that it sits. 

Spatchcocking a turkey actually hastens the process of roasting turkey and it is also evened out fully with respect to the temperature it receives. This makes the turkey more delicious and gives it an amazing flavor.

Generally, it takes about 10 minutes to smoke and cook 1 pound of turkey. So you can do the math with the weight of your turkey and the time needed to smoke it. 

Without wasting any more time, let’s see the time needed to smoke a spatchcocked turkey. Keep reading!

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Spatchcocked Turkey?

benefits of spatchcocked turkey

Smoking a spatchcocked turkey takes about 2 to 2 ½ hours depending on how big it is and how you are going to process it as a recipe. 

The smoke time can also vary with outdoor temperature, hot spots, and wind or humidity. 

The temperature also varies for every hour of smoking a 14 to 15-lb. turkey. In general, a spatchcocked turkey will take about 10 minutes to be smoked for every pound.

A 12 or 14-pound turkey is perfect for a smoked spatchcocked turkey to be binged. It is also sometimes stored and preserved for some time to be eaten later. Let us quickly get into the details of cooking a spatchcocked turkey along with the time it takes to do the same.

Benefits Of Cooking A Spatchcocked Turkey

Smoked spatchcocked turkey

The spatchcocked turkey has a smoky taste and a soft and chewy texture. The flat shape is a great add-on as it also contributes to its crispy and juicy flavor. 

A spatchcocked turkey can easily be stored in the fridge or freezer when you are not able to finish it fully. It also cooks faster and more evenly than the regular turkey. 

Here are some benefits listed for you to understand the benefits of smoking a spatchcocked turkey;

1. Start Low

The spatchcocked turkey is cooked starting at a low temperature. The smoke is oozed out to keep it hot and retain its temperature. You start at a lower temperature of 225 degrees F to get the smoke going.

It takes about an hour for this process which makes it hot and delicious.

2. High Temperature

After the spatchcocked has been smoked at a lower temperature for about an hour, the temperature is increased to 350 degrees F for another hour. This gets the turkey brown and golden crispy on the surface. 

3. Temperature Evened Out

Spatchcocked turkey is flattened well which makes it even and plain. Hence cooking the meat actually spreads the right temperature to all parts of the turkey. This is great as it softens evenly and is quite flavorful.

4. Faster Cooking

It is cooked faster than normal bird meat. Since it is flattened out, cooking or smoking it becomes easier and quite simpler.

How To Smoke A Spatchcocked Turkey?

served turkey

Now let’s see how you can prepare a spatchcocked turkey at home. Let’s see the ingredients we need and what the procedure is. 

What Are The Ingredients Required For a Smoked Spatchcocked Turkey?

Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to prepare a smoked spatchcocked turkey.

  1. Whole Turkey – A 12 or 14-pound whole turkey would do. It has to be thawed perfectly and all the giblets or covers removed. 
  2. Butter – This is an ingredient to dab the turkey on the surface. This helps the turkey to turn brown after it has been smoked fully.
  3. Smoked Turkey Rub – This is a seasoning agent that is classic and ideal for this recipe. This gives the flavor and makes it more delicious.
  4. Chicken Broth – This broth is used to moisten the layers of the turkey. It is also later used to make gravies.
  5. Dry White Wine – This is used as an alternative for broth and to smoothen the surface of the meat. It is optional and can be skipped if you don’t want booze in the recipe.
  6. Red Onions, Orange, Rosemary, and Thyme – These are additional seasoning ingredients that go with the recipe and make it more delicious.

Steps For Making A Smoked Spatchcocked Turkey

Smoking a spatchcocked turkey requires some kind of pre-planning and preparation. We also require some tools to make this item. Let us get into the steps required to prepare a smoked spatchcocked turkey.

Brining Turkey

  1. Start with brining the turkey. This may be an optional step but proves to ease the process a lot. It also adds some flavor and moistens the surface of the turkey. Brining it with apple cider or vinegar a day before would suffice.
  2. After that, take the turkey out from the brine. Dab and clean the turkey with a paper towel.

Spatchcocking Turkey

  1. Spatchcock the turkey to fit into the size that you prefer.
  2. Remove the backbone by carefully carving the meat to neat standards.
  3. Flip the bird and press the breastbone to make it flat. You should be able to hear a crack indicating that it has been broken.
  4. Then, remove the backbone and you’ll have a spatchcocked turkey. 

Smoking Turkey

  1. Season the turkey appropriately with all the spices that go with it. Set the smoker to 225 degrees F and then place the pan.
  2. Prepare the roasting pan with all the chicken broth, white wine, onion, herbs, and citrus. Place the turkey in the pan to be ready to be smoked. 
  3. Smoke the spatchcocked turkey at 225 degrees F for nearly an hour. Then, raise the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. This process has to continue for another 1 hour. Wait until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees.
  5. The smoke time will vary a bit by outdoor temperature, moisture, and hot spots as well. It will take 2 to 2 ½ hours in total.
  6. Make sure you baste the turkey with butter or olive oil.
  7. Apply all the seasoning that goes perfectly with the recipe and voila! Your smoked spatchcocked turkey is ready!

How To Store The Leftover Spatchcock Turkey?

spatchcocked turkey

Storing the leftover turkey is a common practice that is followed in every household after thanksgiving hoopla. So we have to know where it can be appropriately preserved so that it would not lose its quality sooner.

The shelf life of the meat is also considered an important factor.

  1. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and not more than that.
  2. Make sure you package the turkey in airtight containers with the fully covered plastic cover. Aluminum foils would also suffice.
  3.  Smoked turkey can be frozen for up to 3 or 4 months. 


Spatchcocked turkey is an extremely delicious turkey meal that is binged and loved by people. It is a very good alternative to normal turkey meat and has a smoothness that is absent in normal meat.

It would also have a texture that is crispy and quite cracking in nature for the flatness it hosts. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is spatchcocked turkey?

Spatchcocking a turkey is nothing but breaking down your turkey and making it more pressed. You basically get rid of the backbone of the bird and make it flat so that it sits. 

What are the ingredients used for cooking spatchcocked turkey?

The ingredients used for cooking spatchcocked turkey are whole turkey, onions, rosemary, dry white wine (optional), chicken broth, butter, and smoked turkey rub.

What are the benefits of cooking spatchcocked turkey?

The spatchcocked turkey can be cooked faster and the temperature is evened out on all parts of the meat since it is flattened.

How long does it take to smoke a spatchcocked turkey?

It takes about 2 to 2 ½ hours total to finish the process. There are some preparation protocols you have to follow to complete the process.

How long can the leftover spatchcocked turkey be stored in the freezer?

The leftover spatchcocked turkey has to be stored in the freezer to increase its shelf life. It will last up to 4 months and more.

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