How to Spatchcock a Turkey
Thanksgiving has never tasted so good!
A spatchcock turkey – you could also call it a butterflied turkey – is a very simply, a whole turkey with the backbone removed and the bird flattened for cooking.
OK … so why would you do this to a turkey?
In addition to amazing your friends and family, there are several other advantages to spatchcocking a turkey (or a chicken, for that matter!)
Have you ever ended up with a turkey breast that is dry by the time the thighs and legs are at 165°F? By flattening the turkey with the legs out to the sides, the thighs and drumsticks are more exposed, which means that they cook faster. This 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.
Also, all the turkey’s skin is exposed to the full heat of the EGG at the same time. With none of the skin underexposed, you end up with juicy meat and crispy skin for the whole bird.
Because it is flattened, a spatchcocked bird doesn’t use as much vertical space in the EGG. That leaves room for adding an EGGspander 2-tiered rack, so 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!
Here’s how to spatchcock the juiciest, crispiest turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner.
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 3-4 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.