Have you ever wondered how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey in a Thanksgiving night (or maybe some nights before) Is there anything more Thanksgiving-y than smoking a spatchcock turkey? If youre not familiar with the technique, its pretty simple: you remove the backbone of the bird and flatten it out before smoking. The result is a crispy, succulent turkey thats perfect for your holiday feast. But how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey? And what kind of wood should you use? Keep reading to find out!
What Smoking Temperatures are Ideal for Spatchcock Turkey?
The ideal temperature to smoke a spatchcock turkey is between 225 and 250 F. Any hotter and the bird may cook too quickly, resulting in dry meat. Any lower, and it will take longer for the turkey to cook through, leaving some areas overdone while other spots remain undercooked.
If you question whether 225 or 250 F are too small, keep on reading for some tips in the series How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey? right below why we should go small like that.
What Kind of Wood Should I Use for Smoking Spatchcock Turkey?
When it comes to smoking a spatchcock turkey, the type of wood you use will determine how the bird tastes. Generally speaking, hardwoods like mesquite, hickory, and oak are excellent for infusing flavor into the meat. If you want something a bit sweeter, try pecan or applewood. For an even more subtle note of smoke, use cherry wood.
What Equipment can I Use to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey?
Before learning about how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey, lets find out what equipment we can use for our spectacular spatchcock turkey.
- A charcoal or gas smoker is the best way to cook a spatchcock turkey. Using indirect heat, you can create a low and slow cooking environment that keeps the bird moist while infusing it with smoky flavor.
- An electric smoker can also be used, but it requires more attention to get the internal temperature up to a safe level.
Thats all about some side information to make sure you are well-equipped, lets move on to our official answer of How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey?
How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey?
The amount of time you need to smoke a spatchcock turkey will depend on the size of your bird.
- For a smaller turkey, aim for 2-3 hours at 220°F/104°C.
- For larger birds, expect around 4-5 hours at the same temperature.
- To get that perfectly crispy skin, finish off with a few minutes of high heat (around 375°F/190°C).
Finally, make sure to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey. Youll want to pull it off the smoker when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. This will ensure that your spatchcock turkey is cooked through and juicy.
How to Know Spatchcock Turkey is Ready?
When your spatchcock turkey is done, it will have a golden-brown skin thats crispy and crackling. The meat should be tender and juicy, and you should see no pink when you cut into the thickest part of the bird.
Secondly, as mentioned, when you spatchcock turkey reaches the temperature of 165°F/74°C, it is well-cooked. This is also a recommendation from USDA about internal temperature of food safety.
Smoking a spatchcock turkey can be an incredibly rewarding experience when done right. With the right wood, equipment, and timing, you can be sure to have a delicious feast this holiday season. Good luck!
Tips for Having Great Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
Before ending our question How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey?, here are some tips for you to have an ultimate recipe. Your turkey will be perfectly cooked and flavor-packed if you use these tricks during your next big event (for example, Thanksgiving).
- Stay small. While buying your turkey, aim to keep it under 15 pounds if possible. If the turkey is too big, then it will spend more time in the temperature danger zone of 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you think you need a bigger bird, cook two turkeys instead of one larger size.
- Keep up with the gravy. If you want to save turkey drippings for gravy, cook the spatchcocked turkey on a flat cooling rack placed atop a rimmed baking sheet. This may extend cook time slightly, but youll be left with lots of buttery drippings.
- Switch up flavors. By using my Apple Turkey Brine or Homemade Turkey Rub, you can have fun with different flavors while still maintaining the smoking temperature and time. If youre looking for a more traditional turkey flavor, try something like Chicken Seasoning or, for a classic BBQ twist, use my Sweet Rub recipe.
Thats all about the question How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey?. Lets wrap this up with a brief FAQs section and conclusion.
1-Do I need to flip a Spatchcock Turkey?
Cut around the backbone with either kitchen shears or a knife, then remove and discard it OR save it for another purpose. Snip 1 inch into the breastbone with shears (or cut length-wise along it with a knife), then flip the turkey so that the skin is facing up.
2-Do I have to spatchcock my turkey the night before?
Planning ahead for your holiday turkey has never been easier! You can make your Turkey Seasoning in advance, and spatchcock your turkey the day before cooking. This creates more space in your fridge, and also results in a crispier skin on your turkey.
3-What are the benefits to Spatchcock Turkey?
Spatchcocking a turkey might take some extra butchery, but its worth it. Not only will the turkey cook more evenly and quickly, but all of the skin will be exposed at once. This means you end up with crispy skin and juicy meat every time.
4-Where should I insert the thermometer into a Spatchcock Turkey?
Beside considering about how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey, we need to know about the safe internal temperature of smoked turkey. Check the turkey is cooked through by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should be 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Then remove it from the oven, cover loosely with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Now that youve had a crash course in how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey, we hope you feel confident enough to tackle this dish the next time you have guests over. As always, thank you for choosing The Blue Stove as your culinary assistant. If youre looking for more tips and tricks, be sure to visit our website - thebluestove.com. We update our content regularly so that you can keep cooking delicious meals for your family and friends. See you soon!