This Spatchcock Smoked Turkey is sure to be the crowning glory of your Thanksgiving dinner. Spatchcocked for more even cooking, and smoked for incredible flavor, you’ve never had a bird quite as good as this!
Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
When preparing to cook an entire turkey, it can be daunting to plan for such a long defrost AND cook time. This recipe speeds up the process by spatchcocking the turkey first, making the bird more even and aerodynamic. Your turkey will cook quickly and with more even temperatures across the breast and thighs. It’s a win-win!
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New to spatchcocking? It’s not too hard. All you need to do is remove the backbone of the turkey! For a full, detailed step-by-step post with accompanying video, check out my post for How to Spatchcock a Turkey.
How to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey
Once you have your turkey spatchcocked, you’re ready to butter, season, and smoke the turkey.
- Butter. Spreading a healthy amount of butter under the skin of the turkey prior to smoking gives this turkey so much incredible flavor. I wouldn’t recommend any substitutions here. Go for the good stuff and you won’t be disappointed.
- Season. This turkey is going to be so tasty from the butter and smoke, it doesn’t need anything fancy when it comes to seasoning. Simple salt and pepper are all you need! Drizzle the whole thing with extra virgin olive oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper. I highly recommend you use a good quality kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper for the best flavor.
- Smoke. Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F. I used almond wood for this particular recipe, but pecan, apple, alder, or maple will also taste amazing! You can also pick your favorite. Smoke the bird for 4-4 1/2 hours. You’ll know the turkey is done cooking when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Make sure you’re using a reliable instant read thermometer and measuring the temperature in the thickest part of the breast. The thighs will be around 175-185 degrees F.
- Rest. Make sure to rest the turkey for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.
- Serve. Get into that bird! It’ll be cooked nice and evenly and buttery delicious.
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Tips for Cooking Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
If you have a big celebration coming up (Thanksgiving, anyone?), take these tips into consideration so your turkey is perfectly cooked with lots of juicy flavor.
- Stay small. When purchasing your turkey, try to keep your turkey under 15 pounds, if possible. Bigger turkey means more time in the danger zone of 40-140 degrees F. If you need more turkey, cook two instead of buying bigger.
- Don’t forget the gravy! If you want to save drippings from your turkey for gravy, place the spatchcocked turkey on a flat cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. This may increase the cook time slightly, but you’ll have lots of melty buttery drippings at the end.
- Switch up flavors. If you want to keep the smoking temperature and time, play with flavors by using my Apple Turkey Brine or my Homemade Turkey Rub. You could also use my Chicken Seasoning for a traditional turkey flavor or my Sweet Rub to give it a classic BBQ twist.
More Smoked Turkey Recipes
Smoked turkey is, quite possibly, one of the best ways to enjoy turkey. If you don’t want to spatchcock your turkey first, there are a handful of other delicious smoked turkey recipes here on Hey Grill Hey to help you out:
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- Smoked Turkey
- Cider Brined Smoked Turkey Breast
- Smoked Turkey Gravy
Smoked Spatchcock Turkey Recipe
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