Easy Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey Recipe

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You can find numerous recipes for cooking Thanksgiving turkey. But one cooking method that ensures an evenly cooked and juicy turkey is by using a spatchcocked smoked turkey recipe. 

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

If you’ve never heard of a spatchcocked turkey, let me help you with this first. Spatchcocking is a simple & effective technique of breaking down your turkey. To spatchcock a turkey means that you remove its backbone. This helps the turkey sit flat as it roasts. 

As a result, it speeds up the roasting process & results in a more evenly cooked turkey every time. In other words, it’s a game-changer! Now that you know what we will do let me explain the next steps.

Once you have spatchcocked a turkey, you will butter it, season it, and smoke the turkey. This turkey’s preparation time will take 20 minutes, and then you can leave it for cooking.

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What Equipment Will You Need To Make Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey? 

  • Large Cutting Board – You will need a large cutting board to spatchcock your turkey.
  • Kitchen Shears – To spatchcock (remove the backbone) of your turkey, you will need one pair of sharp kitchen shears. 
  • Gloves – It is always best to wear gloves while handling raw meat to avoid contamination. So, you will need one pair of gloves.
  • Smoker – A smoker will be required to cook the turkey.

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey?

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
10 Minutes4 Hours 30 Minutes4 Hours 50 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey? 

  • Turkey – To make spatchcocked turkey, you will need one (15 pounds) spatchcocked turkey)
  • Butter – You will need eight tablespoons of softened salted butter to cook the turkey.
  • Olive Oil – To season the turkey, you will need four tablespoons of olive oil. 
  • Salt – You will need one tablespoon of coarse kosher salt to add a savory flavor.
  • Black Pepper – You will need one tablespoon of coarse black pepper to add some peppery notes.
Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Steps To Make Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

1. Preheat The Smoker 

Before you begin to spatchcock your turkey, set your smoker with your choice of hardwood by preheating it to 275 degrees. Hardwoods like pecan, maple, apple, or alder are great for smoking turkeys. 

2. Spatchcock Your Turkey

Spatchcock your turkey by removing any giblets. Flip the turkey (breast side down), and remove the backbone using kitchen shears. Snip the inside of the breastbone and turn the turkey over. 

Press the center of the turkey breast down until you hear a crack. The breast will lay flat on your work surface. Tuck the wing tips behind the wings.

3. Spread Butter On The Bird

Gently separate the skin from the thigh meat and breast using your fingers. Take two tablespoons of the softened butter and insert it between the skin and one side of the breast. Press the skin from the outside to spread the butter evenly across the breast. Repeat the procedure on the remaining breast. Make sure you spread all of the butter under the skin of your turkey.

4. Season The Turkey

Flip your turkey breast side down. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and spread it all over the turkey with your hands. Season the turkey with black pepper and salt. Turn the turkey over and repeat the process by drizzling the remaining olive oil. Season the turkey top evenly with salt and black pepper. 

5. Smoke The Turkey

Transfer your turkey to smoker grates. Make sure that the turkey lays flat with its wings tucked in, and thighs turned out. Close the lid of the smoker. Smoke the turkey for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, or until the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees F on the thermometer. 

6. Carve The Turkey

Remove the turkey from the smoker and place it over a cutting board. Allow the smoked turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. 

To carve the turkey, begin by removing the thighs and legs first. Remove the skin from the thighs and shred the thigh meat. Remove the wings. Run the knife along the central breast line. Turn your knife and slice against the ribs until the breast is completely removed. Slice the breast into the thickness of your choice. Serve your turkey and garnish with herbs, as desired. 

How To Spatchcock A Turkey?

Spatchcock is to cut out the backbone of the turkey so that your turkey lays flat for cooking. To spatchcock your turkey, you will need a large cutting board, sharp kitchen shears, and gloves. Spatchcocking a turkey requires three simple steps. Take a look at them below.

1. Prepare The Bird

Set up a clean large cutting board, and wear your gloves. Place the turkey on the cutting board and pull the giblets out of the turkey, and set it aside. 

Next, remove the neck by pulling it out of the bird. Finally, remove the tail by giving it a quick snip. 

2. Remove The Backbone

Now you’re ready to remove that backbone. Flip the turkey over, with the breast side down. Grab your shears and locate the backbone. Run the shears on the right side of the backbone and start snipping. While doing so, you will encounter a bit of resistance. 

Therefore, you will need to put some extra pressure. Once you cut the entire length of the right side of the backbone, move to the left side. 

Repeat the same process on the other side of the backbone to completely remove the backbone from the turkey. Snip up any remaining pieces left over from removing the backbone to have a clean cavity inside the bird.

Finally, snip the center down the breastbone, approximately 1-2 inches. This will make it easier to flatten your bird.

Tips For Making Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

  • When making spatchcocked smoked turkey, keep the turkey under 15 pounds. If you are looking at serving a large gathering, you prepare two turkeys of 15 pounds each.
  • To serve the turkey, you can prepare a delicious turkey gravy by using pan drippings and giblets. 
  • You can use a flavorful turkey rub or chicken seasoning to make your spatchcocked smoked turkey more flavorful.

How To Store Leftover Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey? 

Are you wondering how you can store leftover spatchcocked smoked turkey? Here’s what you can do. You can store the smoked turkey slices in an airtight container and proceed to place them in the refrigerator. Before eating, you can warm it up in a microwave or oven. 

Nutritional Information

Calories 732 kcal
Fat 33 grams
Saturated Fat 8 grams
Carbohydrates1 gram
Protein105 grams
Cholesterol348 milligrams
Fiber 1 gram
Sodium541 milligrams
Potassium1090 milligrams
Sugar 1 gram
Calcium56 milligrams
Iron4 milligrams
Vitamin A271IU

What Will Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey Look And Taste Like? 

Spatchcocked smoked turkey tastes delicious. It turns out to be crispier and juicier. The turkey picks up great flavors from the smoke of the hardwood chosen. This turkey cooks evenly and picks up a nice golden color after roasting. 

Recipe Card

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey Recipe

Looking for a recipe that cooks the best turkey? Try out this super easy spatchcocked smoked turkey recipe for the best results!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 732 kcal

Equipment

Large Cutting Board
Kitchen Shears
Gloves
Smoker

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15-pound)  Turkey (spatchcocked)
  • 8 tablespoon Salted Butter (softened)
  • 4 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt, coarse
  • 1 tablespoon Black Pepper, coarse

Instructions
 

  • Before you begin to spatchcock your turkey, set your smoker with your choice of hardwood by preheating it to 275 degrees. Hardwoods like pecan, maple, apple, or alder are great for smoking turkeys.
  • Spatchcock your turkey by removing any giblets. Flip the turkey (breast side down), and remove the backbone using kitchen shears. Snip the inside of the breastbone and turn the turkey over.
  • Press the center of the turkey breast down until you hear a crack. The breast will lay flat on your work surface. Tuck the wing tips behind the wings.
  • Gently separate the skin from the thigh meat and breast using your fingers. Take two tablespoons of the softened butter and insert it between the skin and one side of the breast. Press the skin from the outside to spread the butter evenly across the breast. Repeat the procedure on the remaining breast. Make sure all of the butter has been spread under the skin of your turkey.
  • Flip your turkey breast side down. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and spread it all over the turkey with your hands. Season the turkey with black pepper and salt. Turn the turkey over and repeat the process by drizzling the remaining olive oil. Season the turkey top evenly with salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer your turkey to smoker grates. Make sure that the turkey lays flat with its wings tucked in, and thighs turned out. Close the lid of the smoker. Smoke the turkey for 4 to 4.5 hours, or until the thickest part of the turkey breast reads 165 degrees F on the thermometer.
  • Remove the turkey from the smoker and place it over a cutting board. Allow your smoked turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • To carve the turkey, begin by removing the thighs and legs first. Remove the skin from the thighs and shred the thigh meat. Remove the wings.
  • Run the knife along the central breast line. Turn your knife and slice against the ribs until the breast is completely removed. Slice the breast into the thickness of your choice.
  • Serve your turkey and garnish with herbs, as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 105g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 1090mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword Main Course, Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey Recipe
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is spatchcock turkey easy to cook?

Yes, spatchcock turkey is easy to cook and gives an evenly cooked bird.

How do you spatchcock a turkey?

You can spatchcock turkey by using a sharp kitchen shear.

What are the benefits of spatchcocked turkey?

Spatchcocked turkey allows the bird to cook evenly and faster.

Does spatchcock turkey reduce cooking time?

Yes, spatchcock turkey takes less time to cook than roasting it the normal way.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading the recipe above. Try out this easy turkey recipe and tell me in the comments section how it turned out to be. 

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