Learn How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Learn How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Thanksgiving has never tasted so good! Looking for a crispy, juicy turkey, check out this article to learn how to spatchcock a turkey for the best Thanksgiving ever!

A spatchcock turkey, often called a butterflied turkey, is very simple really. It’s a whole turkey with the backbone removed. The bird is also flattened for cooking.

You’ll find so many advantages to spatchcocking a turkey (or even a chicken)! Here’s why:

  • Your turkey will be juicy all over. You won’t risk having dry thighs and legs and a moist breast. It will all be juicy!
  • When you flatten the turkey with the legs out to the side, you expose the thighs and the drumsticks. They cook faster which lets the dark meat get to a higher temperature than the light meat. This makes the whole turkey cook evenly, and both dark and white meat finish cooking together.
  • What’s more, you end up with a crispier bird because the turkey’s skin is exposed to the full heat at the same time. With none of the skin underexposed, you end up with juicy meat and crispy skin for the whole bird.
  • Spatchcocked birds don’t need much vertical space on your Big Green Egg because it’s flattened.
  • In addition, you can cook your sides at the same time because a spatchcocked EGG doesn’t take up much space.

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Ready for the juiciest, crispiest turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner?

  1. Remove the turkey from its 12-hour brine.
  2. Lay the brined turkey breast-side down on a cutting board.
  3. Pat the backbone area dry with a paper towel.
  4. Use heavy-duty kitchen shears or poultry shears and cut along the left and right side of the turkey backbone.
  5. Remove the backbone from the bird entirely.
  6. Once you remove the backbone, trim any excess skin and fat from the neck area and remove the wishbone.
  7. Turn the turkey over and arrange both legs so they are out from under the bird.
  8. Use the butt of your hand to press down very firmly on the ridge of the breastbone and flatten the bird out all the way down to the cutting board.
  9. Tuck the wing tips behind the breast or remove the wing tips entirely to prevent the wing tips from cooking too quickly.
  10. Season the turkey liberally with dry rub and put in the refrigerator for three to four years.
  11. Set the EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 350°F.
  12. Before you put the turkey on the Big Green Egg, add your favorite smoking wood. Our favorites are pecan, cherry, or apple. These are the perfect complements for poultry.
  13. Put the turkey bone-side down on the EGG and close. Keep the temperature steady at 350°F.
  14. Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reads 165°F (around two hours for your 14 pound turkey).
  15. Remove the turkey from the EGG cover with foil. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Then slice and serve.

Enjoy your perfect spatchcocked Thanksgiving turkey!