How to Spatchcock a Turkey

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Once you spatchcock your Thanksgiving turkey, we bet you’ll never go back! In this article, we look at how you can do it with ease.

First, though, just what is a spatchcocked turkey? It is often called a butterflied turkey. This simply means the cook removes the backbone from a whole turkey and flattens it for cooking. You can also do this with a chicken.

You may be wondering, though, why you would want to flatten a turkey. Let’s look.

Why a Spatchcocked Turkey is So Good

First, you’ll amaze your Thanksgiving guests as they’ll all say, “How did you do that?” Now, let’s get to the why.

Some people cook a turkey and end up with a dry turkey breast by the time the thighs and drumsticks are cooked. Well, when you flatten the turkey and put the legs out to the sides, you expose the dark meat. This means everything cooks more evenly and finishes at the same time.

Dark meat can get to a higher temperature than light meat, so you have an evenly cooked turkey that comes out at the same time.

What’s more, you expose the skin to the full heat of the EGG. The best part? You get juicy meat and crispy skin.

Another benefit of spatchcocking your turkey is that a flattened turkey takes up horizontal space, not vertical. So you can add the two-tiered EGGspander. This allows you to cook a couple of sides above your turkey! When they’re done, you can cook your desserts!

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

You can use the same procedure to spatchcock a chicken, too!

Directions for Spatchcocking a Turkey

If you’re ready for the crispiest, juiciest Thanksgiving turkey, follow these instructions:

  • Brine your turkey for 12 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine.
  • Lay the turkey breast side down on a cutting board.
  • Pat the backbone dry and throw away the paper towel.
  • Grab your kitchen scissors and cut along the left and right sides of the turkey backbone.
  • Remove the backbone entirely. This may be hard but push through.
  • Trim off any excess fat and skin from the neck.
  • Remove the wishbone.
  • Now turn the turkey over and pull the legs out from under the turkey.
  • Press done firmly on the ridge of the breastbone and flatten the bird all the way out.
  • Tuck the wing tips behind the breast or remove them. We like to remove them so they don’t cook too fast.
  • Season the turkey with a dry rub and refrigerate for about four hours.

Directions for Cooking a Spatchcocking a Turkey

Great job! Now you’re ready to cook it.

  • Set your EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 350°F.
  • Add your favorite smoking wood – we like pecan, cherry, or apple for poultry.
  • Place your turkey, bone-side down, on the EGG and close.
  • Keep the temperature steady at 350°F.
  • Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reads 165°F (This takes about two hours for a 14-pound bird).
  • Remove the turkey from the EGG and cover it with foil.
  • Let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

If you have any questions, please give us a call, as we are Big Green Eggsperts! Our president, David Townley, is happy to talk with you.

Once you have your directions, head on over to our blog for a great spatchcocked turkey recipe!