Smoked Spatchcock Turkey

posted in: Turkey 1
apple smoked spatchcock turkey
Apple smoked spatchcock turkey on MAK 2 Star pellet smoker-grill

The holidays provide great opportunities to stock your freezer with inexpensive Turkeys used mostly as lost leaders by grocery chains to get you into their store.  We've all seen it ... spend $25, buy a turkey at regular price and get a second one of equal value 'FREE' ... doesn't get any better than that!  Picked me up a 15lb turkey at $1.19/lb and a second one free right before Thanksgiving.  Just remember to get yourself some turkeys before the holiday cause that option usually disappears until before Christmas.  Last year I found fresh turkeys at Costco reduced to about 30¢/lb.  Need to checkout my local Costco to see if I get lucky again.

Spatchcocking a turkey is my favorite way of smoking a turkey on my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill.  I prefer using Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Apple and/or Hickory wood pellets.  Spatchcocking allows the turkey to better absorb the smoke and cooks them more evenly and quicker than traditional methods.  Once you spatchcock and smoke a turkey you'll be hard pressed to use your old recipes.

Spatchcock Turkey
Spatchcock Turkey backbone removed
Rubbed Spatchcock Turkey
rubbed spatchcock turkey

Spatchcocking poultry (turkey, chicken, cornish hen) is the mere removal of the backbone and cracking the breastbone in order to lay it flat on the pellet grill.  You can use a large butcher knife or poultry shears to accomplish the task.  I saved the removed backbone and boiled it with the giblets and neck for an hour or so for use in my turkey gravy.

Rubbed the turkey under and on the skin with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Jans Dry Rub.  You may want to wrap the rubbed spatchcocked turkey in plastic and refrigerating it for a few hours but it's not critical - the smoked turkey will turn out scrumptious either way!

California rain!!

Who says it never rains in California?  Glad we're finally getting some rain!  The remnants of my raised garden are enjoying the welcomed moisture.  Now I can pull the plants in preparation for next year's crop.

apple smoked spatchcock turkey
Apple smoked spatchcock Turkey

Preheated the MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 180ºF (smoke setting) with Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Apple wood pellets and smoked the spatchcock turkey for 2 hours before increasing the pit temperature to 325ºF.

Wood pellet smoker-grill
MAK 2 Star smoker-grill

The covered patio comes in handy year round to protect the MAK 2 Star from the elements of the hot Northern California Central Valley sun in the Summer (100º+F at times) and rain in the Fall and Winter when we get our normal rainfall.

Turkey quick sides
Spatchcock Turkey quick sides

No need to get fancy with all the sides and trimmings when there is only the two of us.  Quick and dirty sides works just as good!  Spiked up the Poultry Gravy with the liquid from boiling the giblets, neck, and removed backbone.

apple smoked spatchcocked turkey
Rested smoked spatchcock Turkey

Roast the Apple smoked spatchcock Turkey at 325ºF until an Internal Temperature of 170ºF is reached at the thickest part of the breast which should result in an Internal Temperature of 180º+F at the legs/thighs.

spatchcock turkey plate
Spatchcock Turkey dinner

Rest the Turkey under a foil tent for 30 minutes before carving and serving.  The Money $Shot$ ... A healthy portion of Apple smoked spatchcock turkey served with a multitude of quick sides.  Best part is that we get to graze on leftovers for a few days!!

Always rely on internal temperatures when cooking and not times given in recipes.  The 15 lb spatchcock turkey took 5¼ hours from start to finish ... 15 minutes to preheat the MAK 2 Star to 180ºF (smoke) -> 2 hours of Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Apple pellet smoke -> 2½ hours of roasting at 325ºF until the thickest part of the breast reached an Internal Temperature of 170ºF -> Rested under a foil tent for half an hour before carving and serving ... Total time:  5¼ hours.

  1. Adam Henry
    | Reply

    Thank you for this. It was the best Turkey we have ever made.

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