Smoked Spatchcock 14 lb Turkey

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Smoked Spatchcock 14 lb Turkey

Ever since I stopped stuffing my turkeys and/or all poultry products (e.g. turkeys, chickens, Cornish hens) I’ve chosen to spatchcock them before smoking and cooking them low-and-slow. The stuffing issue comes down to safety concerns which have to do with salmonella and other bacteria. Salmonella can come from eggs in stuffing or from the interior surface of the turkey’s cavity. If the bird is removed from the wood pellet grill before the stuffing reaches 165°F, some bacteria could remain alive and make diners sick. Actually, if you cook the stuffing outside the turkey it’s no longer “stuffing” – it’s “dressing”. These days, I like to simplify my sides by using ‘Stove Top Stuffing’ – Easy Peasy!
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A spatchcocked turkey is fantastic for even and fast cooking. By removing the backbone, the turkey is smoked flat, increasing the surface area of exposed meat this speeding up the smoking/cooking time. It makes it much easier to cook the white and dark meat evenly – meaning the breast will stay juicy.

Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil under/on the skin before seasoning under/on the skin with Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 168 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook). Wrap the spatchcocked turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

A spatchcock turkey can’t physically fit on my Green Mountain Grills WiFi Controlled Davy Crockett so I used my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker grill.  Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 180°F using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoke the turkey for 2½ hours before increasing the grill temp to 325°F. Finish cooking the spatchcock turkey until the internal temperature reaches 170°F at the thickest part of the breast. Rest the turkey loosely under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving … for planning purposes only – It took about 5 hours to smoke/cook the turkey (30 min preheat / 2½ hours smoke / 2 hours @ 325°F / 20 min rest) …

Served some smoked turkey dark meat with all the trimmings – Gravy, mashed taters, stove top stuffing, corn, and of course peas with pearl onions.

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