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Learn How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Did you know that spatchcocking a turkey creates more surface area so your turkey cooks faster and more evenly?

Often called a butterflied turkey, the spatchcoked turkey is simply a whole turkey with the backbone removed. In addition, the cook flattens the bird before cooking.

Wondering Why Someone Would Flatten a Turkey?

In addition to amazing your friends and family, you’ll find many more advantages to spatchcocking a turkey (or even a chicken)!

Have you ever ended up with a turkey breast that is dry by the time the thighs and legs are at 165°F? When you flatten a turkey with the legs out to the sides the thighs and drumsticks are more exposed. This means they cook faster. It also allows the dark meat to reach a higher temperature than light meat, so the turkey cooks evenly, and the white and dark meat finish together.

What’s more, the turkey’s skin is exposed to the full heat of the Big Green Egg at the same time. You end up with juicy meat and crispy skin for the whole bird because none of the skin is underexposed.

Because it is flattened, a spatchcocked bird doesn’t use as much vertical space in the EGG. That leaves room for adding an EGGspander two-tiered rack. This way you can cook several sides above the turkey. And here’s a tip: once you take the turkey and sides off the EGG, use that residual heat to cook you holiday desserts!

Spatchcock a Juicy, Crispy Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Remove the turkey from its 12-hour brine.
  • Lay the brined turkey breast-side down on a cutting board and pat the backbone area dry with a paper towel. Using heavy-duty kitchen shears or purpose-built poultry shears, cut along the left and right side of the turkey backbone, removing the backbone from the bird entirely (you may encounter additional resistance when cutting through the thigh-bone connection).
  • Once the backbone has been removed, trim any excess skin and fat from the neck area and remove the wishbone. Turn the turkey over and arrange both legs so they are out from under the bird. Using the butt of your hand press down very firmly on the ridge of the breastbone and flatten the bird out all the way down to the cutting board. Finally, tuck the wing tips behind the breast or remove the wing tips entirely; this will prevent the wing tips from cooking too quickly.
  • Season the turkey liberally with dry rub and place into the refrigerator for three-four hours.
  • Set the EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 350°F. Prior to placing the turkey on the EGG, add your favorite smoking wood – we suggest pecan, cherry or apple as their milder flavors complement poultry.
  • Place turkey, bone-side down, on the EGG and close, keeping the temperature steady at 350°F.
  • Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reads 165°F (will likely take around 2 hours for a 14-pound bird). Remove the turkey from the EGG cover with foil. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Then slice and serve.