Spatchcocking has become a popular method of cooking turkey in recent years, and for good reason. This technique involves removing the backbone of the bird and flattening it out, which results in a quicker and more even cooking process. When combined with smoking, spatchcock turkey produces a flavorful and juicy bird that is sure to impress your guests.
Smoked spatchcock turkey is a great option for those who want to try something new for their holiday meal. Not only does it produce a delicious bird, but it also reduces cooking time and frees up oven space for other dishes. With a variety of recipes available online, it’s easy to find one that suits your taste preferences and cooking equipment. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a novice, spatchcock turkey is a great way to elevate your holiday meal.
What is Smoked Spatchcock Turkey?
Spatchcocking is a technique that involves removing the backbone of the bird and flattening it out before cooking. Smoking is a method of cooking that involves flavoring and cooking food by exposing it to smoke from burning wood. Smoked Spatchcock Turkey is a delicious and flavorful way to cook a turkey that combines both of these techniques.
To spatchcock a turkey, you need to remove the backbone and flatten it out. This technique not only makes the turkey cook faster and more evenly, but it also exposes more of the skin to the smoke, giving it a delicious smoky flavor. The best way to smoke a spatchcock turkey is to use a smoker, which allows you to control the temperature and smoke level.
When smoking a spatchcock turkey, it is important to use a flavorful wood, such as apple or hickory, to infuse the turkey with a delicious smoky flavor. The turkey should be seasoned with a dry rub or marinade before smoking to enhance the flavor. Smoking a spatchcock turkey can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the bird and the temperature of the smoker.
Overall, smoked spatchcock turkey is a delicious and flavorful way to cook a turkey that combines the techniques of spatchcocking and smoking. By removing the backbone and flattening the turkey, it cooks faster and more evenly, while exposing more of the skin to the smoke, giving it a delicious smoky flavor.
Preparing the Smoked Spatchcock Turkey
Spatchcocking the Turkey
The first step in preparing a smoked spatchcock turkey is to spatchcock the bird. This involves removing the backbone of the turkey and flattening it out so that it cooks more evenly and quickly. To do this, you will need a pair of kitchen shears.
Begin by placing the turkey breast-side down on a cutting board. Use the kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Flip the turkey over and press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it out.
Brining the Turkey
Brining the turkey is an important step in ensuring that it stays moist and flavorful during the smoking process. To make a basic brine, mix together water, kosher salt, and any other desired seasonings such as thyme or sage. Place the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Alternatively, you can use a dry brine by rubbing the turkey with a mixture of salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. Be sure to rub the mixture under the skin as well as over the surface of the turkey.
Seasoning the Turkey
Before smoking the turkey, it is important to season it with a dry rub or other seasonings. A simple dry rub can be made by combining salt, pepper, garlic, and any other desired spices such as paprika or cumin. Rub the mixture over the surface of the turkey, making sure to get into all the crevices and under the skin.
During the smoking process, you may also want to baste the turkey with a mixture of stock and melted butter or oil. This will help to keep the turkey moist and add flavor.
To smoke the turkey, preheat your smoker to the desired temperature, typically around 275°F. Use apple, maple, or another desired wood for smoking. Place the turkey on the smoker, skin-side up, and smoke for several hours until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. You may want to tent the turkey with foil during the last hour of cooking to prevent the skin from becoming too dark.
Overall, preparing a smoked spatchcock turkey is a relatively simple process that can yield delicious results. By spatchcocking, brining, and seasoning the turkey properly, you can ensure that it stays moist and flavorful throughout the smoking process.
Smoking the Spatchcock Turkey
Setting up the Smoker
Before smoking the spatchcock turkey, it is essential to set up the smoker correctly. Ensure that the smoker is clean, and all the necessary equipment is in place. The following are the steps to set up the smoker:
- Fill the smoker with charcoal and light it up.
- Add wood chunks to the smoker to give the spatchcock turkey a smoky flavor. Hickory, maple, or applewood are great options.
- Adjust the vents to regulate the smoker’s temperature. A smoker temperature of 225°F is ideal for smoking a spatchcock turkey.
- Place a drip pan under the cooking grate to catch any drippings and prevent flare-ups.
- Set up the smoker for indirect heat to ensure an even cook.
Smoking the Turkey
Once the smoker is set up, it’s time to smoke the spatchcock turkey. Follow these steps to smoke the turkey:
- Place the spatchcock turkey on the smoker’s cooking grate, breast side up.
- Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast.
- Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, which takes about 15-20 minutes per pound.
- Baste the turkey with melted butter or olive oil every hour to keep it moist and flavorful.
- Check the smoker temperature periodically and adjust it if necessary to maintain a consistent temperature.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure it is fully cooked.
- Let the turkey rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Use wood chunks instead of wood chips for a more robust smoky flavor.
- Keep the smoker lid closed as much as possible to maintain a consistent temperature.
- Use a drip pan to catch drippings and prevent flare-ups.
With these tips, smoking a spatchcock turkey is easy and results in a flavorful, juicy bird.
Carving and Serving the Smoked Spatchcock Turkey
Carving the Turkey
Once your smoked spatchcock turkey is done cooking, it’s time to carve and serve it. Before you begin, make sure you have a clean cutting board, a sharp knife, and a wire rack to hold the turkey steady.
To carve the turkey, start by removing the legs and thighs. Cut through the skin between the leg and the breast, and use your knife to separate the joint. Once the leg and thigh are removed, repeat the process on the other side of the turkey.
Next, remove the breast meat. Cut along the breast bone, following the contours of the bone with your knife. Once you’ve removed the breast meat, slice it against the grain into thin pieces.
To make gravy, start by placing the turkey giblets (excluding the liver) and the neck into a saucepan with some water and rosemary. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about an hour.
Once the stock is ready, strain it and set it aside. In a separate saucepan, melt some butter and whisk in some flour to make a roux. Slowly add the turkey stock to the roux, whisking constantly, until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
To serve the turkey, arrange the pieces on a platter and drizzle some gravy over the top. If you have any leftover turkey, store it in the refrigerator on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. This will allow air to circulate around the turkey and keep it from getting soggy.
Total Time: Varies based on cooking time
Servings: Varies based on size of turkey