Spatchcock Thanksgiving Turkey
- By Tom Jackson
- Nov 10, 2015
Chef Tom shows you just how simple a truly fantastic Thanksgiving turkey can be. By spatchcocking, brining and roasting the bird at 325°F in our Yoder Smokers YS640 we end up with a wonderful roasted smokey flavor that compliments any other dishes you want to serve alongside your turkey.
Spatchcock Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
Spatchcock the turkey. To take the backbone out, place the bird breast side down. Cut along both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, from one opening of the cavity to the other.
Combine the one pound bag of Cattleman's Grill Butcher House Brine with 6 quarts of water. Whisk well until brine is dissolved. Place the brine and spatchcocked turkey in a large Briner Bucket. Lock the brining plate in place to keep the bird submerged. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine, one pound per hour.
Remove the turkey from the brine. Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Pull the skin away from the meat, but leave it attached. Using the John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler, season the meat under the skin for maximum flavor absorption.
Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640 to 325ºF. Lay the bird flat on a foil lined sheet pan and place the pan in the cooker. At 325ºF, a 12-pound turkey will take about 2 hours to cook. Cook the turkey until all the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF. It is likely that the legs will cook a bit faster than the breasts. That is fine. However, do NOT cook the breasts past 165ºF. We recommend using an instant-read thermometer like the Maverick PT-75.
The thighs will separate from the rest of the body very easily, just slice through the skin. You can serve the quarters whole, separate the leg from the thigh (by cutting at the joint) or you can pull the meat from the bones and discard the bones. The breasts can either be sliced intact or removed from the breastbone, separated from wings, and sliced to serve. The wings can be served whole or you may remove the skin and pull that meat from the bones.
Until you're ready to serve, store the meat, covered, in a pan with the juices rendered while cooking.